FDA Listening Session on Proposed Food Rules

US Food and Drug AdministrationMOFGA will sponsor a “Listening Session” with FDA representatives at the Augusta Armory on

August 19th between 9:30am and 12:30pm

This is the only session scheduled in Maine and one of only three in New England. This is an important opportunity for growers to communicate directly with FDA on the proposed rules.

The FDA has extended the public comment period, so those who cannot make the listening session can submit comments by Nov. 13, 2013.

Dave Colson, MOFGA’s Ag Services Director has put together a summary of the talking points that MOFGA has generated after reviewing the proposed rules that might be helpful.

Maintaining Herd Health on a Sheep Dairy Farm

MESAS (Maine Sustainable Ag Society) is sponsoring an event on Sheep Dairy Herd Health that is free and open to the public (NO pre-registration required) on

Saturday, August 17th from 2:00pm to 4:30pm at
Northern Exposure Farm
18 Country Lane, Dedham, ME

There will be a tour of their livestock and milking facility, as well as a discussion of the farm’s approach to biosecurity, disease management, and identifying healthy foundation stock.

For questions, contact Dick Brzozowski: richard.brzozowski@maine.edu or 207-781-6099

Meeting: October 7 at Turner Farm in North Haven

North Haven Island, Maine, USAAlas.

Our Meeting at Turner Farm was a wash-out in more ways than one. As the small group that gathered in the Rockland Ferry Terminal waiting room chatted merrily as we waited to board the ferry to North Haven, the ferry left without us.

It was pouring buckets of rain that morning, and Steph at Turner Farm was a good sport about it when I let her know we had *missed the boat* but it was still a shame to realize that we had struck out.

The group in the waiting room was so small I decided that I would send off my agenda items to the group electronically to get your feedback. The one topic I need to hear back about is an immediate workshop proposal:

Michael Kalish is an Affineur who has studied in Europe and worked at the Herve Mons caves. I will email around the links he sent from earlier classes he has put on for other groups, and he has said he can be available to teach a class here in Maine in late March 2014.

Are Guild members interested in scheduling an Affinage Workshop? For one day? Two days? More? Please respond by posting comments on the Guild web site article for the October 7th meeting.

Additional Items on my Agenda:

  • More ideas for 2014 Workshops? Any follow-up info from earlier ideas?
  • Most people should know this: Sarah from Winter Hill Farm is organizing Open Creamery Day — contact her if you would like to be added to the listings for this event, or want to print out a poster to advertise the event.
  • The Maine Chamber of Commerce has announced that they want to organize another Taste of Maine event on November 15th at the Augusta Civic Center. For more information please contact Maine State Chamber Program Manager Amy Downing at (207) 623-4568 ext. 104, or adowning@mainechamber.org. If someone in the Guild would like to organize a Guild table as we did for the Washington, DC event in April, please let me know.
  • The Guild has lost its Logo banner — it’s about two feet wide by three feet tall with the Guild log printed on it. Does anyone know where it might be stored (it is NOT with the trade show display)? If not, does the Guild want to replace it? I would argue that it’s very helpful, especially in events that do not favor the use of the trade show display. Please comment on the article about this if you have some ideas.

Our next meeting will be our Annual Meeting which we always hold at State of Maine Cheese Co. in Rockport. I hope to see you there.

–Eric Rector
President, Maine Cheese Guild