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5/3: Agriculture and Food System State Legislation: The SiX Hotlist

Farmer Equity, Local Food, Cannabis Production & Farmed Animal Welfare

This is the beginning of Agriculture and Food System bill tracking at the State Innovation Exchange (SiX). As we continue to grow this tool, we will add new issues to our bill tracking database.

Farmer Equity & Justice Bills

  • The Illinois House adopted Representative Sonya Harper’s resolution (IL HR 46) to encourage the Department of Agriculture to study the effects of land loss to Black farmers.
  • North Carolina state Senator Natalie Murdock introduced a bill to create the Black Farmer Restoration Program, joining Illinois and South Carolina that have introduced similar bills.

Local Food Dairy Bills

  • Local Food: Over 25 states are considering or reforming cottage food laws, “Food Freedom” laws, making it easier for producers to sell directly from their farms while providing opportunities for consumers to purchase food at the farm gate.
  • Dairy and Milk: 13 states are examining their laws around the sale of raw milk from the farm. Across the country, as dairies suffer from low milk prices, this could provide additional revenue for producers.

Cannabis Production Bills:

  • A number of states, including NY, NJ, VT, OR, and RI are examining cannabis production and ways that the industry can advance social equity.

Farmed Animal Welfare Bills:

  • AZ, NV, and UT are among some of the states considering legislative action to improve conditions for confined egg-laying hens.

The inclusion of bills in this list is not indicative of SiX’s support or opposition but rather is intended to provide an overview of some of the key legislative trends in state legislatures. This is not an exhaustive list of bills.

As is the nature of legislative language, the devil can be in the details; SiX can connect you with state legislators and local agriculture and food systems organizations.

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The Cohort for Rural Opportunity and Prosperity (CROP) serves as a virtually convening space for legislators who are working on policies that promote healthy and thriving rural communities through ecologically and socially-responsible agriculture and local, direct-market food systems.