The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service is requesting comment on the creation of a voluntary National Leafy Green Marketing Agreement. The agreement would help the leafy green industry in meeting commercial food quality and safety requirements. The USDA is proposing that there be eight regional zones represented on the Board. Representatives from these zones, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, would form a Board to manage the Agreement. The Board would include 26 representatives – 12 handlers, 10 farmers (at least two of which must be small farmers), one importer, one retailer, one food service representative and one member of the public. The Secretary would also appoint a Technical Review Committee to assist the Board in the development of technical requirements commonly referred to as Good Agricultural Practices, Good Handling Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices. "We are asking for extensive public participation with input from farmers and handlers as well as the public to develop a comprehensive, voluntary agreement that will meet the needs of everyone," said AMS Administrator Rayne Pegg. "This agreement is a proposal at this point and we encourage your comments over the next 90 days. We will analyze the comments and decide how or whether to proceed with an agreement."You can visit the AMS website at www.ams.usda.gov for more information on this proposal and how to comment on the proposed National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement.