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Local and Regional Food Bill Prepared for Inclusion in New Farm Bill

October 27, 2011


National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
For Immediate Release
October 27, 2011

Contact: Helen Dombalis, Ferd Hoefner, 202-547-5754

Local and Regional Food Bill Prepared for Inclusion in New Farm Bill

Washington, D.C. October 27, 2011 – Today Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Representative Chellie Pingree of Maine announced that next week they will introduce the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act, a comprehensive bill intended for inclusion in the 2012 Farm Bill.

This legislation will help farmers and ranchers engaged in local and regional agriculture by addressing production, aggregation, processing, marketing, and distribution needs.  It will also assist consumers by improving access to healthy food.  Of utmost importance, the bill will provide secure farm bill funding for critically important programs that support family farms, expand new farming opportunities and rural jobs, and invest in the local agriculture economy.

“We applaud Senator Brown and Congresswoman Pingree for introducing this legislation, which is important to farmers and consumers alike,” said Helen Dombalis, a Policy Associate with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.  “The Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act revises and expands federal farm programs already in place to ensure that they work well for producers wanting to add value to their products and to sell in their own communities and regional markets, helping to meet rapidly expanding consumer demand for local food.”

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and its 40 member groups were closely involved in the development of the bill.  Among the many other groups endorsing the measure are the National Farmers Union, National Organic Coalition, Community Food Security Coalition, American Farmland Trust, and the National Farm to School Network.

The bill includes provisions that cut across ten titles of the Farm Bill, including proposals that address conservation, credit, nutrition, rural development, research and extension, food safety, livestock, and crop insurance.  For instance, the bill would:

  • Authorize USDA’s Risk Management Agency to develop a whole farm revenue insurance product for diversified operations, including specialty crops and mixed grain/livestock or dairy operations;
  • Strengthen direct producer-to-consumer and larger scale retail and institutional marketing channels, through the Local Marketing Promotion Program, a renewal and expansion of the current Farmers’ Market Promotion Program;
  • Expand USDA’s rural Business and Industry loan funding set-aside for local and regional food enterprises and infrastructure;
  • Create an annual allocation for local and regional specialty crop market development within the Specialty Crop Block Grant program;
  • Renew funding for the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program to assist producers entering into organic production; and
  • Fund farmer food safety training through the National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach and Technical Assistance program, authorized last year as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010.

For more information on the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act, visit NSAC’s website.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities.

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Categories: Commodity, Crop Insurance & Credit Programs, Conservation, Energy & Environment, Farm Bill, Food Safety, General Interest, Local & Regional Food Systems, Nutrition & Food Access, Press Releases


4 Responses to “Local and Regional Food Bill Prepared for Inclusion in New Farm Bill”

  1. My Wife Minister Jacqueline Dennis and I. Elder Michael Dennis, are looking at starting a Farmer’s Market In the Charlotte NC Area. we are trying to connect with farmers in our area that may be interested in these new markets to share their organically grown produce, and share their knowledge with a groups of youth who have no real idea where the foods they eat come from. We are in the a exploratory phase right now, and looking at site where we can begin, but bringing both sides to the table seems a daunting challenge. However our research so far has revealed an undeserved market, as well as untapped food deserts where current farmers markets in our area seem to ignore. We have a deep driving desire and an excited fiery passion for helping provide these markets. We are looking to start a non profit organization to serve this desperate need. we are looking to connect with “Let’s Move” an initiative championed by our First Lady Michelle Obama. I hope to hear from anyone here who can pass along helpful, Please, only positive information, I am a positive person and have no time for fear filled responses. you can connect with me on Facebook. Thank you all for your answers in advance. God loves you

    http://www.facebook.com/GodsMichael or, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Greater-Wellness-Coaching/167019566658447

  2. [...] have rushed out two bills of their own, to be included in the larger Farm Bill process. The Local and Regional Food Bill would bolster support for family farms, and “expand new farming opportunities and rural jobs, [...]

  3. [...] have rushed out two bills of their own, to be included in the larger Farm Bill process. The Local and Regional Food Bill would bolster support for family farms, and “expand new farming opportunities and rural jobs, [...]

  4. [...] have rushed out two bills of their own, to be included in the larger Farm Bill process. The Local and Regional Food Bill would bolster support for family farms, and "expand new farming opportunities and rural jobs, and [...]

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