Farmers from across the state met in Raleigh this morning to express their concerns about potential food safety legislation that could change the way they are allowed to operate.
In a meeting at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, a panel of farmers addressed representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. State agriculture department officials were also there, along with a group of about 60 other industry officials, farmers and consumers.
At the top of the list for many farmers in attendance: a fear that sweeping legislation would make it difficult for small farmers to continue to operate, either because complying would cost too much money or take too much time.
"You should not prevent new farmers from wanting to enter the market," said John Vollmer, whose family operates the Vollmer Farm in Franklin County. "When Farmer John croaks, who's going to take it on? I hope [complying with the new rules] won't be such a mountain that my son and daughter-in-law won't want to take it on."