Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I—Pulaski) said today he was glad the State Department of Agriculture decided to back off of farmers at markets who cut their artisan cheeses fresh from the wheel. Earlier this year, the state had penalized farmers for doing so. According to news media reports, some were told they needed to obtain a state license to cut and sell cheese at the markets. This took away from the freshness and salability of the cheeses.
“The news that farmers were being told they needed to comply with such a regulation was irksome. The state was adding yet another layer of bureaucracy that made little sense. Cheese and fresh produce at the markets must be sold that day, in many cases. If they had to cut, pre-wrap, refrigerate, and store for later, this takes away from the freshness and the quality. My office and I questioned why this was being done at the time. I’m glad to see the state responded by exempting these farmers from the food processing license,” said Barclay.
“Cheese producers, farmers and anyone in business here has enough regulations to contend with from the state. At least the state decided to show some sense here and step out of the way to let people make a living. I’m sure they’re happy to hear they are free to cut the cheese,” said Barclay.