Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nixon sign Farm-to-Table bill into law

Missouri cafeterias may soon have more local produce on the menu.

Governor Jay Nixon approved a bill that establishes a Farm-to-Table Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will identify obstacles to marketing locally-grown produce to large facilities such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes and prisons.

Representative Casey Guernsey sponsored the bill in the Missouri House. He says that government regulations should not prevent farmers from placing their food in local facilities.

"That’s just ridiculous in my opinion," Guernsey said. "We all know that fresh grown products and produce are the best and the most nutritious. We shouldn’t be in a situation where we are preventing the people who need this food oftentimes the most from being able to have access to it."

Guernsey says that the current movement that advocates locally grown produce is a great opportunity for rural communities.

"It’s pretty exciting and it also makes sense for smaller producers to be able to market some of their products to an even greater place, but they are just simply unable to do so right now," he said.

The Advisory Board will consist of at least one representative from the University of Missouri Extension, and members of the Departments of Agriculture, Corrections, Economic Development, and Elementary and Secondary Education, as well as the Office of Administration.

The Advisory Board will present their finding to the General Assembly.

Jacob McCleland, KRCU


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