The Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement board of directors has voted to extend the enrollment period for handlers wishing to join the agreement. The extension sets a new deadline of May 18 for sign-ups.

"All along, the goal of the marketing agreement has been to get as close as possible to 100 percent participation among leafy greens handlers," said Board Chairman Joe Pezzini. "Even though we currently have more than 99 percent of California product enrolled, the board feels strongly that it should do everything possible to reach out to the remaining handlers."

Handlers who sign up during the extension will be assessed retroactively to April 1. Applications are available at www.caleafygreens.ca.gov or by contacting Ramiro Casillas at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, (916) 341-6005, or rcasillas@cdfa.ca.gov.

Final details about the inspection and certification program and use of service and certification marks by signatories remain under consideration by the marketing agreement board.

Inspections are scheduled to begin this spring. In the interim, trial inspections of signatories will take place with the expectation that each signatory is compliant with the program's guidelines for good agricultural practices.