Letter: A bill to protect our farmers and children
Published 8:15 am Friday, March 29, 2019
As we seek bipartisan compromise at the legislature this session, Minnesotans can easily agree that we must protect the health of our children and the health of our family farms. The bipartisan Farm to School bill, HF 0811, SF 1346, does just that.
Farm to School is good for kids, good for farmers and good for local communities.
The link between the food kids eat and their educational and health outcomes is clear. Farm to School allows schools to access fruits and vegetables from local growers, meaning fresher choices for students. This also allows local students to connect with where their food comes from.
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Farm to School is good for our farmers because it would increase markets for current farmers and create an opportunity for new farmers to start. It creates a supply chain that stimulates economic growth in communities like our own. A study out of Oregon showed that for every dollar spent on Farm to School programs, $2.16 is generated in additional economic activity for the local economy.
The bill has passed through all of its legislative committees and awaits inclusion in the Agricultural Omnibus Finance Bill. Our Representative, Jeanne Poppe, is the Chair of the House Agricultural Committee. Please join me in asking her to support farm to school and make sure it is included in the finance bill this year.
I live in Austin and believe that healthy choices for kids and new opportunities for farmers are important.