SB 504 Creates the "Sustainable Agriculture and Local Foods Initiative"
Sponsor: Koster
LR Number: 2225S.02I Fiscal Note: 2225-02
Committee: Agriculture, Conservation, Parks & Natural Resources
Last Action: 2/28/2007 - SCS Voted Do Pass S Agriculture, Conservation, Parks & Natural Resources Committee (2225S.04C) Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2007

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Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 504 - This act creates the Sustainable Agriculture and Local Foods Initiative.

The Office of Sustainable Agriculture and Local Foods is created within the Department of Agriculture which shall administer technical and financial assistance programs to small farms and agribusinesses to enhance opportunities for the production, sale, and distribution of their agricultural products. The Office may employ staff, promulgate rules, and administer funding for its operations and programs, which include programs created by this act and tax credits for the implementation of recommended sustainable agricultural practices. The Office shall also partner with the Department of Health and Senior Services to promote the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.

The Missouri Farm-to-Cafeteria program shall provide assistance to small farms and agribusinesses in selling their products to government entities, including but not limited to school districts, higher education institutions, hospitals, and correctional facilities. The program will provide incentives to school districts for purchasing agricultural products from small farms and agribusinesses and will require state institutions to give certain preference to such locally produced food when awarding food supply contracts.

The Beginning and Transitioning Farmer program shall create a mentoring program to connect young people with an interest in agriculture with experienced farmers and ranchers and also facilitate their entrance into farming. The program shall also use up to $500,000 of Big Missouri linked deposit agricultural loan funding to assist “micro agricultural enterprises,” which are agricultural operations with starting costs less than $40,000 and that have 5 or less employees.

The Office shall administer a Missouri-branding program which shall assist small farms and agribusinesses market and distribute their agricultural products within the state.

The New Markets program shall create ten new farmer's markets in the state per year for ten years. The act creates the New Markets Fund from which grants for the New Markets program shall be made, with the total amount of grants not to exceed $100,000 per fiscal year.

The programs created in this act shall sunset in six years.