To become law, our local food bills must have the support of legislators who are swamped with thousands of bills on every topic imaginable. The BEST way to bring their attention to our bills is with meetings and phone calls from constituents!
Don’t think your voice matters? Think again! Two weeks ago, a farmer called his State Representative and talked with the staff about current laws that require him to go through expensive headaches to sell eggs to restaurants and grocers. We followed up with a proposed bill and more information for the State Representative … and now that representative has filed the bill!
Every call COUNTS! We see it every day, when we visit offices–the legislators who are hearing from the people back in their home district care a lot more about what we have to say.
Many calls in a short period amplify the impact, which is why we’re planning the “Local Foods at Home Week,” February 18 – 22. We need your help during this week to influence legislation!
The legislators will all be back in their home districts on February 18th, for Presidents Day. So make plans to meet them in person that day! Or set up an appointment to talk with their staff during the week by phone. Guidance on how to set up the meetings, as well as relevant information on the bills, are below.
Let us know that you’re planning to take action that week, and we’ll be sure to send you more tips and materials you can share that reinforce your message about the importance of supporting our local producers with meaningful legislation.
How to set up a meeting
FARFA’s Priority Bills
- Expand the cottage food law to cover pickled and fermented foods, and remove some of the unnecessary restrictions in the current law;
- Limit the fees that local health departments can impose on farmers’ market vendors;
- Allow licensed raw milk dairies to sell at farmers’ markets and direct delivery (HB 503/ SB 80);
- Make it easier for small farmers, urban farmers, and diversified farmers to get agricultural valuation and lower property taxes (HB 97);
- Reduce how long it takes new farmers to qualify for agricultural valuation, and lower property taxes, on their farms;
- Require local health departments to give straight answers to farmers and food producers about what they have to do to comply with the law;
- Create a small farm & rural business ombudsman to help businesses navigate regulatory agencies’ requirements;
- Remove licensing and fee burdens for small-scale flower growers (a wonderful side business for small vegetable producers);
- Allow farmers, cottage food producers, and other farmers market vendors to provide samples of their foods without expensive permits;
- Allow farmers to sell ungraded eggs to restaurants and retailers, improving access to locally raised eggs (HB 1284);
- Make it easier for farmers to process poultry on-farm without having to build a facility that costs tens of thousands of dollars.