The new food sovereignty law is set to take effect November 1st. The Legislature needs to amend the law or the USDA will no longer allow state-inspected meat processing facilities to operate. (The state has to certify that those facilities meet federal safety guidelines, and the new law, as written, means the state can no longer do that.) Shutting down the state-licensed facilities would be a disaster for farmers at any time of year, but particularly hard in the fall. The Maine Farm Bureau has issued a legislative alert – read it here: Legislative Update re Food Sovereignty Law.
The public hearing about amending the law is at 9:30am on October 20th at the Cross Office Building in Augusta. The Legislature will vote on the matter on Monday, October 23rd.