FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, SEPT. 2, 2008
David McLeod, assistant commissioner
(919) 733-7125, ext. 238
Board of Agriculture to meet Sept. 5 in Fletcher
RALEIGH – The N.C. Board of Agriculture will meet at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 5, at the Hampton Inn in Fletcher.
The board will vote on amendments to state rules governing petting zoos at agricultural fairs. The proposed changes are to remove the requirement that pony rides take place on impervious surfaces such as concrete; allow flexibility in the placement of hand-washing stations while maintaining proper visitor flow; and decrease from 90 to 30 the number of days prior to a fair that an animal must receive its first rabies vaccination.
Another proposal before the board would increase the maximum amount of fuel that a gas station can sell by the half-gallon in a 12-month period. A number of N.C. gas stations use older dispensers that are not capable of calculating the total purchase price when the cost is above $3.99 per gallon. Current regulations allow these stations to display the price per half-gallon, with the total price being calculated inside the store. The proposal would increase the limit on the amount of fuel stations can sell in a 12-month period using half-gallon pricing. The proposal also would set a deadline of ending half-gallon pricing by Jan. 1, 2011.
Board members also will ratify approval of a referendum recently held by the N.C. Apple Growers Association. Growers voted to pay an assessment to support efforts to promote North Carolina apples. The assessment will be 5 cents per bushel of fresh market apples and 5 cents per hundred pounds of processed apples. It will apply for the years 2011 through 2016.
In other action, the board will vote on expanding fire ant quarantine areas in the state. The additional quarantined areas would be Bertie and Martin counties, the portion of Davidson County south of Interstate 85 and the portion of Franklin County south of N.C. Highway 56.
The Board of Agriculture is a policy-making body that adopts regulations for many of the programs administered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Its 10 members are appointed by the governor. The commissioner of agriculture serves as chairman of the board.