USDA’s consideration of a National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement doesn’t alter anything about the future of Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement, he said.
“We’re still moving forward with OPMA and it will happen regardless,” Geary said.
He noted both the national leafy greens program and the Ohio marketing agreement will be voluntary and neither will supersede the other. “Farmers can decide to do both or either one,” he said.
Loren Buurma, co-owner of Willard-based Buurma Farms Inc., serves on the board of the Ohio Produce Growers & Marketers Association. He said Ohio is not the only state interested in the state-led approach.
A number of states have expressed interest in joining Ohio in the marketing agreement.
“It promotes the safety that is necessary,” he said. A national agreement may impose a 200 foot buffer around the field when that would not be appropriate for some states.
“Rules can’t be based on the scale of farming in one area of the country,” he said.