Minnesota Commission on Local Foods

MN Rep. Larry Hosch (DFL endorsed), has introduced H.F. 2075, a bill to appoint a “Minnesota Commission on Local Foods.” The full text of the bill (available below the jump) states that the statewide commission will:

…advise  the  governor  and  legislature  regarding  creating  and  sustaining  local  and  regional  food  systems  that  support  small  and  medium sized  farms,  sustainable  farming  practices,  and  local  food-related  enterprises.

A sustainable-practices farmer, food industry representatives, Dept. of Ag, Dept. of Health, university, food policy, and legislative folks would serve on the commission, among others — sounds like a thought-provoking mix.

According to a “legislative action alert” email circulated in support of H.F. 2075, would-be supporters should consider reaching out to legislators.

Two particularly worth talking to: Mary Ellen Otremba, Chair of the Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs committee — rep.maryellen.otremba@house.mn / 651-296-3201 and  Jim Vickerman, chair of the Agriculture and Veterans committee jimv@senate.mn / 651-296-5650.

H.F. No. 2075

1.1A bill for an act

1.2relating to agriculture; creating a commission on local foods; requiring a report.



1.5    Subdivision 1. Commission. (a) The commissioner of agriculture must convene

1.6a statewide commission on local foods to advise the governor and legislature regarding

1.7creating and sustaining local and regional food systems that support small and

1.8medium-sized farms, sustainable farming practices, and local food-related enterprises.

1.9The commission must develop and present a final report as provided under subdivision 3.

1.10    (b) The agricultural development and financial assistance division of the Department

1.11of Agriculture shall provide staff support to the commission. The commission may accept

1.12outside resources to support its efforts.

1.13    (c) Commission members must be compensated as provided in Minnesota Statutes,

1.14section 15.059, subdivision 3.

1.15(d) The University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships is

1.16requested to provide facilitation services to the commission including agenda and meeting

1.17design; development and distribution of meeting notes; authorship and review of any

1.18public reports or findings; communications with commission members; and fund-raising

1.19to support the commission.

1.20    Subd. 2. Membership. (a) The speaker of the house and the Subcommittee on

1.21Committees of the Committee on Rules and Administration of the senate shall jointly

1.22appoint members of the commission as follows:

1.23    (1) up to two representatives of the University of Minnesota;

2.1    (2) two representatives of the Department of Agriculture with expertise in local

2.2foods marketing, specialty crops, and agricultural diversification;

2.3    (3) one representative of the Department of Health;

2.4    (4) two representatives of the local food or sustainable agriculture community;

2.5    (5) two representatives of statewide farm organizations;

2.6    (6) three representatives of the food industry, including one at-large representative,

2.7one representative of food distribution, and one representative of food service or food


2.9    (7) one representative from the nutrition community;

2.10    (8) one representative who is an enrolled tribal member from a reservation

2.11community located within the state;

2.12    (9) one farmer using sustainable farming practices on a small or medium-sized farm;

2.13    (10) one representative of a food and farm policy nonprofit organization;

2.14    (11) one representative of an organization representing the interests of agricultural


2.16(12) two legislative members, one from each body;

2.17    (13) two representatives of local policy-making bodies; one from the Twin Cities

2.18metropolitan area and one from rural Minnesota;

2.19    (14) one representative of the health care industry;

2.20    (15) one representative of the philanthropic community; and

2.21(16) one at-large member.

2.22(b) The commission may appoint additional members and develop subgroups

2.23as needed to fulfill its objectives.

2.24    Subd. 3. Report. By March 1, 2010, the commission shall develop and present to

2.25the legislature and the governor an analysis and recommendations for local and regional

2.26food systems in this state. The commission shall present its findings to the house of

2.27representatives and senate committees with jurisdiction over agriculture policy.

2.28    Subd. 4. Expiration. The commission expires June 30, 2010.

2.29EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.


  1. Scott McGerik

    What problem is this bill addressing? I find it relatively easy to buy produce from small and medium sized farms. We’ve got farmer’s markets all over the place. There are also plenty of restaurants which purchase food from such farms. If I’m not mistaken, Cafe Twenty Eight, where I dined last night, buys from such farms.

    I’m interested in hearing from someone operating a small farm what problems they face and how the state can remedy those problems.

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