Manager Warns Yuba City Farmers Market May Close

YUBA CITY (CBS13) — A farmers market in Yuba City may be in jeopardy of closing according to the manager who says she’s being targeted by local officials.

But agriculture officials say they’re just enforcing state rules.

Lacie Robertson and her family take a variety of produce from their farm in Marysville and sell it at the year-round farmers market on Wednesdays in Yuba City. It’s a market she started. And one she says she may have to close down.

“It really breaks my heart because I love that market; when I started up it was my baby,” she said.

The problem? Robertson has received a number of citations for failing to meet certified farmers market standards.

Nick Oliver is the Deputy Ag Commissioner for Sutter County. He says the rules are straightforward, simply list everything you’re going to sell at the market on your certified producer certificate.

“It’s a state program so those regulations are detailed and we hold everyone we inspect to the same standards,” he said.

Robertson’s offenses have cost her from $50 to more than $150, ranging from once selling two kinds of kale without listing them and another time for selling basil, also not listed on her certified producer certificate.

She says she feels picked on.

“I feel like they’re following the letter of the law but not the intent of the law, they’re being extremely strict,” she said.

Other market producers say it’s just something they have to do. Margaret Matteoli is with Black Fox Brand selling premium Japanese rice.

“I’ve been checked once; I’m real careful that I have everything on the list,” she said.

The Sutter County Department of Agriculture says Robertson has received four violations within a year and a half, the largest number in recent years.

It’s Robertson’s understanding that another violation will mean she won’t be able to sell here anymore and as manager may even have to dissolve it.

“To me that’s tragic I mean people love the farmers market, I love to be out there,” she said.

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