Urgent: For Californians: Farmers Markets Threatened

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Urgent: For Californians: Farmers Markets Threatened

This message was just sent around by Tom Atlee ...

Farmers Markets are a vital piece of agricultural sustainability and of Y2K preparedness. I urge anyone living in CA to act on this tip, and those outside CA as well. And those outside CA may want to check on the legal status of their own farmers' markets. I didn't even know this might be a problem until I got this note. -- Tom

Dear friends --

Joan Taramasso, Napa Farmers' Market Manager, had a letter to the editor published in the Napa Register on 4/30/99. She said that legislation is currently proposed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) that will effectively do away with more than 300 California farmers' markets as of Jan. 1, 2000.

Section 1392.1.2 of Assembly Bill 593 expires as of 1/1/00. The CDFA proposes allowing it to expire, which will repeal and eliminate all the sections in the California Code of Regulations that allow the operation of all farmers' markets in the state. The result of expiration and the loss of exemptions that allow for direct marketing would make the markets illegal.

The apparent willingness of the CDFA to allow the exemptions to expire seems to be related to lobbying by supermarkets, because farmers' markets sales detract from supermarket sales.

It is too late to mail letters, but you can fax your letters in support of all farmers' markets to the CDFA (1220 N Street, Room A-447, Sacramento, CA 95814) at 916-654-0666 by May 7.

We encourage you to write even just a brief note to let the legislature know your views. Out-of-state support would ultimately help strengthen the cause for all farmers' markets.

Thank you,

Thomas and Diana Morley

Tom Atlee * The Co-Intelligence Institute * Oakland, CA




Ill do some more checking.

Love our towns Farmers Market and theyll likely be needed 01/01/2000, across the state, and across the country.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 04, 1999


Tried searching the ... Napa News, a service of the Napa Valley Register ...


And cant find the Letter To The Editor mentioned. However, Joan Taramasso has written another letter. The web-site seems fairly new and I think the search engine may not work correctly. (My browser kept crashing).

Someone else may want to try to dig it up ...


http://www.napanews.com/nv/arc99.nsf/Web+Search+ Simple?Openform

Sent an e off to the editor and webmaster requesting confirmation on that end, of the story.

Now off to study the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) site ...



-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 04, 1999.

Well now if this ain't yet another piece of bullheaded idiot shoot-the-solution in the foot butthead thinking! Oops, been reading you-know-who over on csy2k.

Yeah, right, like supermarkets will be in a position to sustain everybody in densely populated Califlower next year. Not. Farmers' Markets, gardens, bartering -- why such an official big-money aversion to the tried & true village natural approach?
Not enough regulations, not enough control, not enough taxes, additives, sprays, restrictions, tightropes, hoops, nooses, and planks.

And straight-jacket forbid the weeples from remembering in collective sane memory the gentle fragrant family ways of growing, selling, sharing the fruits of God-given land!

Stamp out the natural, that the weeples ossify in plastic and artificial constrictures and have no stirring reminders of life as it once was and perhaps embrace elements of what is meant to be?

NO! Bring on the hormonally pumped dairy, irradiated everything, esticided, ungicided, atricided, waxed, shellassed, gassed, processed, bioticized, aniticized -- value-added industrialized mechanizm schizisms to stuff the cubicle bodies.


xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), May 04, 1999.

If this is for real, and I have little doubt that the commie controled (read, liberal democrat), piece of crap, bunch of baboons in the California body politic, would do this, then that is why we have the 2nd amendment.

If the jerks ever get a gun control thing past us then hire yourself a good burglar and have him steal your weapons and hide them in a good safe spot for you.

-- downwithNWO (liberals=sharkbait@deepblue.com), May 04, 1999.

The solution is outlined in "Unintended Consequences" by John Ross, available from Amazon.com or Loompanics.com

-- A (A@AisA.com), May 04, 1999.

Something sure "smells" rotten in California. There IS a "time-lapse" deadline of Jan. 1, 2000.

Need more details.


Under the CDFA site is a link to ...

Federation of Certified Farmers ' Markets California (U.C. Davis)

What is a Certified Farmers' Market?

http:// farmersmarket.ucdavis.edu/docs/about.html

Which leads to the ...

California Food and Agriculture Code (CDFA)

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection= fac&codebody=

And under it is the appropriate Direct Marketing section dealing with Certified Farmers Markets ...

Article 1. General Provisions ............................... 47000- 47004
Article 2. Certified Farmers' Market Advisory Committee ..... 47010- 47014
Article 3. Certificates .......................................... 47020
Article 4. Violations and Enforcement ....................... 47025- 47026

See section ...

Article 1. General Provisions ............................... 47000- 47004

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/ displaycode?section=fac&group=46001-47000&file=47000-47004

47001. (a) The secretary may adopt regulations to allow and encourage the direct sale by farmers to consumers of all types of certified agricultural products and noncertifiable agricultural products produced within the state, as defined in subdivisions (l) and (m), respectively, of Section 1392.2 of Title 3 of the California Code of Regulations.

[This section and this code is mentioned in the first posted message. Will get back to this later.]

And note ...

Article 2. Certified Farmers' Market Advisory Committee ..... 47010- 47014

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/ displaycode?section=fac&group=47001-48000&file=47010-47014

47010. (a) The secretary shall establish a committee which shall be known as the Certified Farmers' Market Advisory Committee. The primary goal of the committee shall be to ensure the integrity of certified farmers' markets. ...


47014. This article shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2000, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2000, deletes or extends that date.

And ...

Article 3. Certificates .......................................... 47020

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/ displaycode?section=fac&group=47001-48000&file=47020

47020. (a) A certified farmers' market certificate issued by a county agricultural commissioner shall be valid for 12 months from the date of issue. ...


(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2000, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2000, deletes or extends that date.

And ...

Article 4. Violations and Enforcement ....................... 47025- 47026

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/ displaycode?section=fac&group=47001-48000&file=47025-47026

47025. (a) In lieu of prosecution, but not precluding suspension or revocation of certified producer's certificates or certified farmers' market certificates, the secretary or the county commissioner may levy a civil penalty against a person who violates this chapter or any regulation implemented pursuant to this chapter. ...


47026. This article shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2000, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2000, deletes or extends that date.

You can also check out ...

California Agricultural information by County with links to each counties lists of Certified Farmers Market in your area ...

http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ counties/

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 04, 1999.


I'm muttering stronger invectives than "Pittoooey!"

#@$%$^^&%$ *(&&%^%$%$()()88$^%$%#%$^& !!


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 04, 1999.

Official California Legislative Information web-site ...


Search Bill information using term: certified farmers' markets ...

http:// www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html

... found in the 1999-2000 Session

AB 593 - Assembly Members Strom-Martin and Thomson (Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Cardoza) * Certified farmers' markets.

Status - 04/27/1999

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/bill/ asm/ab_0551-0600/ab_593_bill_19990427_status.html


LAST HIST. ACTION : Re-referred to Com. on AGRI.


TITLE : An act to amend Sections 47001, 47003, 47004, 47011, 47013, 47020, and 47026 of, to add Sections 47004.1, 47021, and 47025.1 to, to repeal Sections 47014 and 47020 of, and to repeal and add Section 47002 of, the Food and Agricultural Code, and to amend Section 113745 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to agriculture.

History - 04/27/1999

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/bill/ asm/ab_0551-0600/ab_593_bill_19990427_history.html

TOPIC : Certified farmers' markets.


Apr. 27 Re-referred to Com. on AGRI.
Apr. 26 Joint Rule 61 (a)(2) suspended.
Apr. 22 From committee chair, with author's amendments: Amend, and re-refer to Com. on AGRI. Read second time and amended.
Apr. 21 In committee: Hearing postponed by committee.
Mar. 4 Referred to Com. on AGRI.
Feb. 23 From printer. May be heard in committee March 25.
Feb. 19 Read first time. To print.

Bill Text

In order to view the PDF version of the bill text documents ...

Amended - 04/22/1999

HTML - 29270 bytes

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/ bill/asm/ab_0551-0600/ab_593_bill_19990422_amended_asm.html

PDF - 47238 bytes

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/ bill/asm/ab_0551-0600/ab_593_bill_19990422_amended_asm.pdf

Introduced - 02/19/1999

HTML - 14168 bytes

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/ bill/asm/ab_0551-0600/ab_593_bill_19990219_introduced.html

PDF - 21647 bytes

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/ bill/asm/ab_0551-0600/ab_593_bill_19990219_introduced.pdf

Now Ive got to take a break before reading it all.

Quick take ...

Theyve proposed changes, but possibly tabled it in the Committee on Agriculture, which if it just sits there, means it doesnt get enacted upon, so it expires?

At least as implied by the statements ... This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2000, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2000, deletes or extends that date.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 04, 1999.

The bill doesn't propose anything like what you have said it proposes. It does not abolish farmer's markets. As I read it, it proposes to change the law in regard to local rules regarding farmers markets and fees for participants. I do wish people would actually read legislation before they knee jerk react to what someone says it means. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/bill/asm/ab_0551-0600/ab_593_bill_199904 22_amended_asm.html or go to http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/acsframeset2text.htm and enter AB 593 in the bill number.

-- marsh (siskfarm@snowcrest.net), May 04, 1999.

No marsh, it's not about the bill itself, it's about it getting passed in this legislative session, so it won't expire.


For Immediate Release:February 26, 1999
Contact: Robyn Boyer Stewart
Phone: (916) 319-2001


http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a01/press/ p0199011.htm

SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Virginia Strom-Martin (D-Duncans Mills) has introduced legislation aimed at protecting the integrity of farmers' markets.

"The North Coast is home to hundreds of independent farmers, who depend on farmers' markets to sell their goods," said Strom-Martin. "It is important that the markets remain viable and maintain the reputation of offering high quality produce at reasonable prices."

Current law requires the state to maintain a certification program for farmers' markets and producers. Even though this program has proven successful, it is set to end on January 1, 2000. Strom-Martin's bill, AB 593, will ensure that the program remains intact by extending its operation to January 1, 2005 and strengthening its enforcement guidelines and funding procedures.

By continuing the state certification program, the bill allows small farmers to uphold their certified status. When farmers are certified, they are issued a certificate that lists the produce they wish to sell. Once at market, certified farmers can only sell what is listed on their certificate. The County Agricultural Commissioner is then responsible for enforcing the program and ensuring that each certified farmer abides by its standards.

Farmers' markets are very popular in California. In the First Assembly District, there are over 20 certified farmers' markets. Many cities use the markets as the center for large community events, such as the Thursday Night Market in Santa Rosa. Many consumers are attracted to the lively, open-air atmosphere of the farmers' market, often available in these venues.

"To maintain the integrity of the farmers and the markets they depend on, certification is essential," said Strom-Martin, "my bill assures the public that the high quality they have come to expect will be preserved."


It appears this be may be stalled, because of the latest ...

Status - 04/27/1999 ... LAST HIST. ACTION : Re-referred to Com. on AGRI

... it was sent back to committee.

Phone calls are clearly in order.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 05, 1999.

In case Californians feel moved to contact those involved ...

California State Assembly Members' Home Pages

http:// www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/defaulttext.asp

Assembly Committee Membership

ftp://leginfo.public.ca.gov/pub/dailyfile/asm/ assembly_committees


AGRICULTURE (9)-Cardoza (Chair), Maldonado (Vice Chair), Briggs, Florez, Frusetta, House, Reyes, Thomson, and Wiggins. Chief Consultant: Jim Collin. Consultant: Walter Hughes. Committee Assistant: Mercedes Flores. Room 2141. Phone: 319-2084

California State Assembly Agriculture Committee


Agriculture Committee Members:

Dennis Cardoza, Chair (Principal Coauthor AB 593 * Certified farmers' markets)
(916) 319-2026
State Capitol
Room 2141
Sacramento, CA 95814

http:// democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a26/

Abel Maldonado, Vice Chair
(916) 319-2033
State Capitol
Room 4017
Sacramento, CA 95814

http:// republican.assembly.ca.gov/members/33/

Marilyn C. Brewer
(916) 319-2070
E-Mail: a70@assembly.ca.gov
State Capitol
Room 6031
Sacramento, CA 95814

http:// republican.assembly.ca.gov/members/70/

George House
(916) 319-2025
E-Mail: George.R.House@assembly.ca.gov
State Capitol Room 3141 Sacramento, CA 95814

http:// republican.assembly.ca.gov/members/25/

Peter Frusetta
(Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties)
(916) 319-2028
E-Mail: peter.frusetta@assembly.ca.gov
State Capitol
Room 5175
Sacramento, CA 95814

http:// republican.assembly.ca.gov/members/28/

Sarah L. Reyes
(916) 319-2031
State Capitol
Room 5128
Sacramento, CA 95814


Helen Thomson (Coauthor AB 593 * Certified farmers' markets)
(916) 319-2008
E-Mail: helen.thomson@assembly.ca.gov
State Capitol
Room 4140
Sacramento, CA 95814

http:// democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a08

Dean Florez
(916) 319-2030
E-Mail: Assemblymember.Florez@assembly.ca.gov
State Capitol
Room 5135
Sacramento, CA 95814

http:// democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a30/

Patricia Wiggins
(916) 319-2007
State Capitol
Room 4112
Sacramento, CA 95814

http:// democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a07/

Not on Agriculture Committee, but key ...

Strom-Martin, Virginia (Coauthor AB 593 * Certified farmers' markets)
(916) 319-2001
E-Mail: Virginia.Strom-Martin@assembly.ca.gov
State Capitol
Room 3146
Sacramento, CA 95814
See also ...

Assembly Members' Addresses

http:// www.leginfo.ca.gov/asm-addresses.html

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 05, 1999.

There also seems to be a deadline, and a time-window to get this done.

Legislative Calendar (1999) & Legislative Deadlines ...

http:// www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/acsframeset11text.asp

May 14
Last day for policy committees to hear and report nonfiscal Assembly Bills (J.R. 61(a)(3)).

May 21
Last day for policy committees to meet prior to June 7. (J.R. 61(a)(4)).

May 28
Last day for fiscal committees to hear and report Assembly Bills to the Floor (J.R. 61(a)(5)).
Last day for fiscal committees to meet prior to June 7 (J.R. 61(a)(6)).

June 4
Last day for Assembly to pass Assembly Bills (J.R. 61(a)(7)).

June 7
Committee meetings may resume (J.R. 61(a)(8)).

June 15
Budget Bill must be passed by midnight (Art. IV, Sec. 12(c)).

July 16
Last day for policy committees to meet and report Senate Bills (J.R. 61(a)(9)).
Summer Recess begins on adjournment, provided Budget Bill has been enacted (J.R. 51(a)(3)).

Aug. 16
Legislature reconvenes (J.R. 51(a)(3)).

Aug. 27
Last day for fiscal committees to meet and report Senate Bills to the floor (J.R. 61(a)(10)).

**Aug.30-Sept. 10
Floor session only. No committee may meet for any purpose (J.R. 61(a)(11)).

Sep. 10
Last day for any bill to be passed (J.R. 61(a)(12)).
Interim Recess begins on adjournment (J.R. 51(a)(4)).

**This deadline APPLIES TO ALL bills, constitutional amendments and bills which would go into immediate effect pursuant to Section 8 of Article IV of the Constitution (Art. IV, Sec. 8 (c); J.R. 61(i)).


Oct. 10
Last day for Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature before Sept. 10 and in his possession on or after Sept. 10 (Art. IV, Sec. 10(b)(1)).


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 05, 1999.

My apologies, Diane. I stand corrected. Will alert the state level of my ag organization that this is a bill worth promoting and post it on our "alert" page.

-- marsh (siskfarm@snowcrest.net), May 05, 1999.

Zowie, Diane our info & Link huntress! Always feel rock-solid grounded and sane relying on Diane's expertise & interpretations.
We've known Diane a while and met her enough times in person to vouch that she's for real and as commendable a versatile citizen as anyone could hope for as a mainstay in their bug-out fortress.
Can't imagine why the CIA or any other alphabet .govbizmilorgedu hasn't snatched her up -- to this Forum's benefit we have her contributions!

Diane, you ought to start your own detective agency, you of the Sherlockian skills. You can keep your cool and tune into intuition and concentrate. You can track energy and trace motives and sniff the Net out like a thoroughbred bloodhound. Bet you'd have one interesting successful unique biz going!

xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), May 05, 1999.

Good Farmers Market article for the SoCal area in the latest Westways issue of AAA -- Southern California Automobile Association magazine ...

Buying The Farm

The southlands open-air markets burst with local flavor
By Paul Lasley

Part 1

http:// www.aaa-calif.com/westways/0599/farm-1.html

Part 2

http:// www.aaa-calif.com/westways/0599/farm-2.html

Part 3 (Locations & Addresses)

http:// www.aaa-calif.com/westways/0599/farm-3.html

For information on markets in your area, contact the ...

Southland Farmers' Market Association
1308 Factory Place, Box 68
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 244-9190
e-mail: sfma@earthlink.net

http:// www.cafarmersmarkets.org/

... or contact your local county agricultural office.

See also ...

Original Los Angeles Farmers Market, The - Foods, pleasures and treasures from around the world. Historic outdoor cafe atmosphere.

http:// www.farmersmarketla.com/

Farmers Markets of Southern California

http:// www.farmernet.com/index.html

Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association

There are more than 60 Farmers' Markets located in various cities and communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. ...


FARMERS MARKET LISTS: A list of markets in California and links to lists of markets around the world.

http:// www.marketreport.com/maps.htm

Farmers Market Bulletin Board
Share your thoughts about farmers markets, and read the comments posted by others.


-- Diane J. Squire (
sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 05, 1999.

Talked with someone at the CA State Assembly's Agriculture Committee office.

The bill has to pass the Assembely, the Senate and be signed by the Govenor ... this year ... or it expires.

Was referred to a "farmers market" expert at the office, who wasn't in. Sent an "e" off to him and copied each Ag Assemblyperson who had an e-mail.

Left a few other phone messages. Awaiting news.

Will report back.

If necessary, I'll spearhead a CA media alert. Gathering names, etc. now.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 05, 1999.

Hi all: while I can sympathize with your chagrin over the sunset clause that permits the farmer's markets to demise in 2000....let me give you a slightly different slant:

We were market gardeners in 1976-about 1981....I may have the dates wrong by a few years, but it is more important that I describe the situation.

The Farmer's Market laws permitted us to take our ungraded unsized produce to the parking lot of San Jose State University. Others were there doing the same. Some folks were bigger than we were, of course, but they were still raising their own stuff. We sold brown eggs, ungraded, and raised alfalfa sprouts and such too.

It was like a big party, except there was a little dish on our table into which people put money, as they took the vegetables away.

We were California Certified Organic ....and the dues were miniscule. An inspection was virtually free.

The inspection of your property, by the county ag man was free, and it verified that you were indeed raising and selling your vegetables. You got a license that you had to post at your table.

If your were going to sell stuff by weight, you had to take the scale to the county weights and measurement guy, for testing, and that was free.

We paid about $5 for our table space, to the market manager, a troll at the end of the line of booths, (who yelled at me because I didn't know what a fave bean was!)

So....after another career in a different field, we recently decided to look into market gardening again.

The situation has been entirely taken over by a whole middle group of people, the managers. "Markets" are owned by managers or groups, to which you have to pay a membership fee of anything from $50 to $250 per year, just to belong to that market. Table space is $25 to $30. Inspection is about $30. Becoming Certified Organic is hundres of dollars.

The California Markets do not open, most of them, until May, because that's when the big guys are ready with the cherries....what happens to the spring and winter vegetables that we can grow here?,

Fine, you might say, inflation. I would agree, but when you go to the markets and look at the sellers.....you find trucks with painted signs, bags with the company logo, sellers who only work on the farm, not the owner. You see sellers with refrigerated trucks.

These people go to several markets a week, and the markets are staggered during the week to accomodate them.

In short, the Farmer's Markets are no longer what they were intended to be in the beginning....it is a case of get big or get out on a miniscule scale. The folks in the farmers markets now are the guys who are too small to sell to the big chains, or don't have slick marketing techniques or packaging. But in the meantime, they have squeezed the truely small producer, which is what the market was intended to protect, right off the board.

But the price of vegetables has not gone up appreciably.....only the overhead.

Just my two cents....you touched a nerve....

Better learn how to garden yourselves, guys....or find someplace where you can start a community garden!

-- Mary (CAgdma@homenoaddress.com), May 05, 1999.

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