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Public policy update — State farm to school

By Stephanie Heim, Associate program director (with support from Erin McKee, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy)

A farm to school bill (HF811/SF1346) passed a third committee in the Minnesota legislature on Monday. The next step in the legislative process would be inclusion in the agriculture omnibus bill. 

Sen Mike Goggin discusses the farm to school bill (HF811/SF1346). Photo: Winona Daily News
Senator Mike Goggin discusses the farm to school bill
(HF811/SF1346). Photo credit: Winona Daily News

Farm to school and early care has strong bipartisan support. Farm to school benefits urban and rural communities, kids, farmers and communities (Benefits of Farm to School fact sheet). The bill would reimburse schools and early care settings for purchases of local foods (up to a certain amount based on number of meals served). It would also support education around food and farming and expand farm to school and early care practices.

In 2014, after a national conference and as the Minnesota Core Partner for the National Farm to School Network, I began leading state farm to school policy conversations with key partners upon their request. I served as a content expert, convener, facilitator, and synthesizer throughout the process. I also supported over 25 organizations and partners to make evidence-informed decisions and worked to build their capacity.

To stay informed about state policy efforts and farm to school in general, subscribe to the quarterly Farm to School in Minnesota newsletter. Our latest issue (published March 12), features an update on state policy efforts.

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