By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau
Periodically, I’d like to discuss some of Arizona Farm Bureau’s agriculture policy. This policy, updated regularly and contained in a policy book you can find online, is developed, voted on and supported by Arizona Farm Bureau’s agriculture members.
One of the first policies I’d like to discuss is our “Retail Agriculture” policy.
Retail Agriculture: (Appears on page 40 of our policy book)
Arizona Farm Bureau recognizes the growing trend toward retail agriculture, i.e. farm stands/stores, U pick operations, community supported agriculture and farmers’ markets. In order to protect themselves as well as their customers, Farm Bureau encourages producers who market their products directly to the public to adopt USDA’s Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) to the extent they are feasible for the individual operation under existing statutes and laws.
We also recognize and support the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s “Arizona Grown” program and encourage growers to participate in this program to further the promotion of Arizona Grown products.
We also support the Arizona Farm Bureau’s “Fill Your Plate” campaign/website in its efforts to champion the rich and diverse agriculture industry in Arizona, and encourage its expansion. The Arizona Department of Agriculture’s Ag Consultation and Training Program offers free training for certification in GAP and GHP and a cost share program that helps with the cost of the USDA audit for certification.
As you can see from the above three paragraphs, Arizona Farm Bureau supports a robust and dynamic retail farming industry. In fact, five of our current board of directors are retail farmers and ranchers and believe in bringing to the customer the highest quality agriculture product available.
Through Farm Bureau’s promotion efforts that include Fill Your Plate, we’re striving to make our retail farmers and ranchers the next celebrity group.
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