|House Agriculture Committee passes Farm Bill with Pingree's local food provisions|
|Thursday, July 12, 2012|
Bill sets nation's farm policy for the next five years
Late last night the House Agriculture Committee passed major legislation setting the nation's farm policy for the next five years, and it contained a range of provisions written by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree designed to support and expand local farms and food.
Last year Pingree introduced the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act, which included 29 separate provisions. Over half of those provisions were included in either the bill that passed last night or the Senate version that passed earlier this year.
"Consumers all over the country are demanding more access to local food—they know it's good for their families and good for the local economy. Unfortunately farm policy is out of step with that trend but these local food provisions will start to move us in the right direction," Pingree said.
Some of the local food proposals included in the bill:
Although the local food provisions were a major accomplishment and a significant reform of national farm policy, Pingree was disappointed the bill made significant cuts to SNAP benefits.
With broad bipartisan support, the Senate has already passed a version of the Farm Bill that included some of Pingree's local food provisions. Pingree says she's hopeful the full House will vote on the Farm Bill later this month.