CSA Farmers Gain Political Support at State Level

August 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

Political support for local farming is growing at both city and state levels.  As I blogged here, the New York City Council last month passed a package of bills to support regional farmers and announced its own Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with two upstate farmers.

Now state government is backing local farmers too.  U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) recently introduced legislation that would create a competitive grant program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture dedicated to the promotion of CSA.  The program would award federal funds to non-profit organizations, extension services, and state and local government agencies to provide support — ranging from marketing and business assistance to crop development — to CSA farmers.

“Tens of thousands of families have joined CSAs over the years, bringing fresh, vitamin-rich fruits, vegetables, eggs, homemade breads, meats, and cheeses to tables all across America. Supporting and promoting local businesses and healthy diets, this arrangement benefits both the farmer and the customer,” said Sen. Gillibrand in a press statement.

The grant program would give preference to projects working with family farms, farms operated by or employing veterans, and those that expand CSA reach into low-income communities without access to fresh food around the country.

About 350 of the estimated 12,000 CSA farms in the U.S. are in New York State.

To read the proposed legislation, please click here.

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Entry filed under: Community Supported Agriculture, Local Food Production. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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