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VideoMissing: Male Boxer, since evening of Jan. 4, Hwy. 97 West, rear of Promised Land Creamery, $500 REWARD. Call 830-391-2240 with information.

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Hiring seasonal workers at Braunig and Calaveras Lake. Apply within or call 210-635-8289.
Immanuel Lutheran Church is now hiring for a Youth and Family Ministry Director. Pastoral: Minister to youth and their families during Sunday School and other church programs, being present in their lives outside the church walls, available for common concerns and in crisis situations. Leadership: Recruit and nurture Youth and Family Ministry program. Administration : Manage the planning process and coordinate with Pastor and Youth Committee all regular ministries to youth and their families. This includes youth of all ages on Sunday mornings and mid-week events; assisting with Confirmation, special events, trips and retreats, and parent meetings. Stewardship: Ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of youth programs, manage youth ministry budget, and collaborate with the sponsors of each Youth group. Ability to build, lead, and empower youth. Ability to implement a ministry vision. Familiarity with Lutheran Doctrine required; must be comfortable teaching it and representing Lutheran Theology. Proficient computer skills using MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, database, email, internet, and social media. Supervisory experience preferred. Ability to adapt and evaluate curriculum preferred. Must have excellent organization, communication (verbal and written), and listening skills, with a high degree of initiative and accountability. Exceptional interpersonal and relational skills required, with sensitivity to church members and visitors. Understanding and enjoyment of youth and families and guiding their spiritual development. Please send resumes to immanuellavernia@gmail.com or call 830-253-8121.
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Agriculture Today


Comment about food safety regulations




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October 30, 2013 | 3,798 views | Post a comment

By Kathleen Phillips

BRYAN -- These days, fruit growers need to be concerned about more than yielding a crop, especially with proposed new rules on food safety, according to Dr. Juan Anciso, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulture specialist in Weslaco.

Anciso said fruit and vegetable growers have until Friday, Nov. 15, to comment on the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act, federal regulations that will set standards for the growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce for human consumption.

Anciso told participants at the recent Texas Fruit Conference in Bryan that recently some farmers have been criminally charged for “adulterating” produce, a charge that now can be made whether a grower knows of the adulteration or not.

Anciso said irrigation rules written into the proposal are one area that merit close examination and comment.

“Growers in the Rio Grande Valley irrigate from the river, and there are microbes in it,” Anciso said. “There is a regulation proposed on how much E. coli can be in irrigation water to be used for food crops, for example.”

He said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to set an upper limit of 235 colony-forming E. coli units in a water sample to be used for watering food crops. But Anciso said that number comes from the level that is required to protect people swimming in water.

“It is not scientific to use those numbers for irrigation. The values have never been tested in the field to assess risk, and there is no peer reviewed scientific document to tell what the risk is above 235 units,” he said. “Drip or furrow irrigation on apples, for example, should make that crop exempt since the water doesn’t touch the fruit. And five days after the last irrigation, the microbes drop by one to four times in produce such as spinach. There is scientific peer review for that.”

Anciso suggested that the law may need to be adjusted to match real-world application rather than issue a blanket code for all crops.

He said when final rules become law, they will be adopted over time with the larger farms having fewer years to comply. He acknowledged that almost 80 percent of the 190,000 U.S. produce farms are not covered by the proposed FDA rules, but about 90 percent of the U.S. food crop acres are potentially vulnerable to harmful contamination.

The FDA has fact sheets for the 550-page proposed regulations at http://1.usa.gov/1214956.

Anciso also urged fruit growers to take the online food safety training at http://agrilifefoodsafety.tamu.edu/. Information about the AgriLife Food Safety App for mobile devices is at that website too, he said.

Kathleen Phillips writes and provides Texas AgriLife Extension Service media support for research in horticulture, plant pathology, and biochemistry and biophysics.
 

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