NSAC's Blog

Legislation to Remove Barriers to Local Farms and Food

April 9, 2013


Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Representative Chellie Pingree of Maine today introduced their Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 (S. 679 and H.R. 1414).

The bill was previously introduced in 2011 and parts of the bill were included in the five-year farm bills that were worked on, but not finalized, in the Senate and House last year.  The new version of the bill is aimed at inclusion in the five-year farm bills the Senate and House will develop again this year.

The Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act addresses seven different titles of the Farm Bill, including proposals that address crop insurance, credit, nutrition, rural development, research and extension, horticulture, and livestock.  The bill addresses food production, aggregation, processing, marketing, and distribution and aims to reduce barriers that limit growth in local and regional farm and food markets.

Sen. Brown and Rep. Pingree highlighted the bill at a press conference on Capitol Hill today.  Joining the Representatives at the press conference were Maine organic farmer Sarah Smith and celebrity Chef Tom Colicchio.

Smith commented: “Passage of the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act will mean more jobs and income for farming communities nationwide and greater availability of high quality locally and regionally produced food for consumers.”

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Sarah Smith, co-owner of Grassland Organic Farm speaks on Capitol Hill

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has been closely involved in the development of the bill, both in 2011 and again this year.  Our press release can be read here, and we also have pages on our website with:

For an investment of just over $100 million a year in farm bill dollars, the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act can help a growing sector of the food system flourish.  This investment is small in overall farm bill terms – roughly one-tenth of one percent of total farm bill spending – but big in its power to deliver real, lasting, and market-based benefits to farmers, consumers, and communities.

We will be working for the inclusion of the entire Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act in the upcoming 2013 Farm Bill and will report on the progress of that campaign at key steps in the legislative process.

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Categories: Farm Bill, Local & Regional Food Systems


5 Responses to “Legislation to Remove Barriers to Local Farms and Food”

  1. Jan Dietrick says:

    I just let Senators Boxer & Feinstein and Rep Julia Brownley know that they should cosponsor this bill and make sure that Senator Stabenow understands the importance of this approach to agriculture.

  2. Jan Dietrick says:

    Please add my organization to the supporters: Dietrick Institute for Applied Insect Ecology

  3. Sarah Hackney says:

    Jan – thank you! We’ve just added your organization to the nearly 300 across the country who’ve signed on in support!

  4. Gina Sims says:

    Thank you so much NSAC for providing such great ongoing reports on the Farm Bill and for all of the resources you share! I had the opportunity to speak to a small group of California State University, Chico students tonight who were passionate about food policy issues and it is so nice to be able to direct them to you for the most current information!

  5. Sarah Hackney says:

    Thank you, Gina! We are happy to be a resource for folks interested in food & farm policy at the federal level!

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