Session Strategies:Legislating Healthy Food Access

Several Food Charter-related requests are working their way through the busy legislative session—particularly around food infrastructure strategies to improve food safety and inspections, promoting the development of urban agriculture, and restoring regionally-scaled processing facilities across the state. Here’s a bit more detail about the bills moving through the legislature:

  • SF1459 – The Omnibus Agriculture policy bill, which includes funding for additional meat inspectors serving small processing plants, more staff positions to review food safety plans for faster permits for more food and farm enterprises, and improved coordination of food and farm enterprise permits between cities and states.
  • SF899 and SF969 – To provide funding for the farm to foodshelf program
  • SF534– To add “urban agriculture development zones” to land use plans for cities with populations greater than 60,000 people.
  • HF1905 – This establishes a new butcher training program at the Northeast Regional Corrections Center, including rehab of a meat processing facility – the only one in the NE region of the state.
  • SF977 – Establishes the pollinator-friendly neighborhood program.
  • SF138 – Creates an exemption from regulation so that entities in Minnesota can raise capital through equity crowdfunding.

Thanks to Food Charter Champions like Representative Jason Metsa, Representative Foung Hawj, Nicole Neeser at Minnesota Department of Agriculture, among many others providing this great leadership.