Eighteen states have passed legislation regarding farm to school programs. Below are summaries and links to the text of this legislation. This information should reflect legislation that has passed as of June 10, 2008.
To search for California state legislation text: http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/acsframeset2text.htm
SB 281 (2005 California Statute, Chapter #236)
Introduced in 2005, SB 281 established the California Fresh Start Program that provides an additional 10 cents per a meal for fruits and vegetables. SB 281 also encourages schools to buy California products when commercially available. As a part of nutrition education, sampling of produce is required, and may include purchase of local products for this purpose.
According to SB 281 the State Department of Education will have $400,000 to provide grants, on a competitive basis, to a county office of education or community college. Of this $400,000, no more than $100,000 can be used to cultivate an online professional development seminar for school-site staff on serving, safe-handling guidelines, marketing, and promoting nutritious fruits and vegetables. Also no more than $300,000 is to be used to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of educational materials and marketing of California Fresh Start Pilot Program.
To search for Colorado state legislation text:
SB 127 (2006 Colorado Session Laws, Chapter #242)
SB 127 established the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables pilot program for the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years, to provide students in participating public schools with free fruits and vegetables. Interested school districts must apply for the program through the Department of Education. Eligible schools are selected based on a variety of criteria, one of which is to ensure that a certain percentage of students enrolled in a particular school district are eligible for reduced or free lunch under the federal “National School Lunch Act.” This bill also requires that participating schools use Colorado fruits and vegetables to the maximum extent possible.
$500,000 was appropriated. $350,000 was used to convert reduced price meals to free meals. $150,000 went to the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Pilot Program.
HB 1307 (2005 Colorado Session Laws, Chapter #317)
Under HB 1307 governmental bodies purchasing agricultural products are allowed to preference Colorado products over out of state products as long as the quality is equal, the Colorado producer is able to meet requested quantity, and price is either lower than the lowest out of state bid, or “reasonably exceeds” the lowest bid. “Reasonably exceeds” is defined as a bid that may exceed the lowest bid and can be paid for by the existing fiscal budget.
To search for Connecticut state legislation text: http://www.cga.ct.gov/ HB 5847 (2006 Connecticut Acts, P.A. 06-135)
HB 5847 is “an act implementing the provisions of the budget concerning education” and therefore pertains to a variety education related programs including farm to school. The farm to school program is established within the Department of Agriculture, which will collaborate with the Department of Education to promote the sale of Connecticut-grown farm products to school districts, individual schools and educational institutions that are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education.
The Department of Agriculture’s (DOA) role is to encourage, solicit, and guide Connecticut farmers through the process to sell their products to school districts, individual schools and educational institutions, while also working with the Department of Education to support schools through the local procurement process. The DOA is also required to develop and maintain a database of farmers interested in farm to school, and to outreach to these farmers.
According to this bill the Department of Education (DOE) will promote events such as Connecticut Grown for Connecticut Kids week to bring school kids together with Connecticut agriculture inside and outside of the classroom. The DOE should “encourage and solicit school districts, individual schools and other educational institutions under its jurisdiction to purchase Connecticut-grown farm products, and provide outreach, guidance and training to districts, parent and teacher organizations, schools and school food service directors concerning the value of and procedure for purchasing and incorporating into their regular menus Connecticut-grown farm products.”
PA 05-228 (2005 Substitute Senate Bill #410)
Allocates $100,000 annually to encourage the sale of Connecticut-grown food to schools, restaurants, retailers, and other institutions and businesses in the state.
SB 589 (2004 Connecticut Acts, P.A. 04-222)
SB 589 is “an act concerning the preservation of the family farm and Long Island Sound” and therefore pertains to various agriculture-related programs including the Connecticut Farm Fresh Schools program. Administered by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Connecticut Farm Fresh Schools is to promote Connecticut schools that are serving Connecticut farm products. Schools, including public, non-public, and higher education institutions, in which 20% or more of the food served by the school consists of Connecticut grown/produced foods are eligible to be certified as a “Connecticut Farm Fresh School” and are able to use “Connecticut Farm Fresh School” in promotional materials and activities.
To search for Delaware state legislation: http://legis.delaware.gov/ HR 74 (2004)
House Resolution 74 urges Congress to pass the Farm to Cafeteria Projects Act (Child Nutrition Reauthorization), and any other legislation promoting farm to school partnerships. The goals of this bill are to assist schools in purchasing locally grown food, provide more healthy fresh food for school children, educate children and their families about foods grown in their communities, and to expand market opportunities for local farms.
To search for Iowa state legislation: http://www.legis.state.ia.us/
SF 601 (2007)
Community Food Security Coalition. 110 Maryland Avenue, NE Suite 307 Washington, DC 20002. (202)-543-8602. www,foodsecurity.org
Iowa’s farm to school program was originally part of SF 209 and SF 452, and is currently written into SF 601. This bill establishes a statewide Iowa farm to school program that is administered by the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and a Farm to School Council. The purpose of this program is to improve child nutrition in schools and strengthen local and regional farm economies. This program encourages the relationships between Iowa farms and Iowa schools (elementary and secondary) to purchase locally and regionally produced or processed foods to provide Iowa’s children with fresh minimally processed food for inclusion in school lunches.
SF 551 (2007)
$80,000 was appropriated for farm to school in FY08 and another $80,000 was appropriated for FY09. Money will go toward salaries, support, maintenance, and other miscellaneous needs.
To search for Kentucky state legislation: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record_search.htm
HB 484 (2008 Kentucky Acts, Chap. # 37)
This bill would extend the provisions of KRS 45A.645 to encourage governing boards of public post secondary institutions to purchase Kentucky-grown agricultural products if the vendor can meet quality and pricing requirements; and if the institutions purchase agricultural products. See HB 669 from 2006 for further details. (Last Update: 6/3/2008)
HB 626 (2008 Kentucky Laws, Chap. #154)
This bill amends current law concerning the Kentucky Proud program. It creates a Kentucky Proud Advisory Council and creates a Kentucky Proud promotion fund, with a grant program using available funds. Before a state agency may purchase Kentucky-grown agricultural products, the vendor shall be required to participate in the Kentucky Proud program, if the vendor can meet quality and pricing requirements. See HB 669 from 2006 for further details.
KRS 45A.645 (2006)
This bill addresses the direct marketing of Kentucky-grown products to state agencies. Under KRS 45A.645 State agencies shall purchase Kentucky-grown agricultural products if quality and pricing requirements can be met. All vendors selling to state agencies must participate in the Kentucky-Grown Labeling Program. All Kentucky-grown products that are purchased by state agencies must also be reported to the legislature. Also non-U.S. grown agricultural products must be labeled with a country of origin label if they are purchased by a state agency.
HB 669 (2006 Kentucky Acts, Chapter 244)
This bill amends KRS 45A.645, requiring state agencies to purchase Kentucky-grown agriculture products if vendors can meet quality and pricing requirements. Also, prospective vendors may also apply for marketing assistance from the state, as long as the vendor is participating in the Kentucky grown labeling and logo program.
To search Maryland state legislation text: http://mlis.state.md.us/#pryr
HB 883 (2006 Maryland Laws, Chapter 360)
HB 883 requires the Board of Works to adopt regulations allowing a 5% price preference above the lowest bid for MD grown products. Schools and state facilities are to review procurement regulations and
Community Food Security Coalition. 110 Maryland Avenue, NE Suite 307 Washington, DC 20002. (202)-543-8602. www,foodsecurity.org
use the 5% price preference for purchasing local products. This section does not apply if it is inconsistent with federal law.
SB 158 (2008 Maryland Laws, Chapter #371)
This bill establishes the “Jane Lawton Farm to School Program” in the Department of Agriculture to promote the sale of farm products grown in the state to schools. This includes developing a database of farmers interested in selling their farm products to schools, creating a promotional event entitled “Maryland Homegrown School Lunch Week,” and providing experiential learning for students, such as trips to local farms. The companion to this bill is HB 696.
To search for Massachusetts state legislation text: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/seslaws.htm
HB 4429 (Chapter 123 of Acts of 2006)
Earlier versions of this bill include HB 4324, HB 4381, HB 4404. Language was originally made part of the Economic Stimulus Package 2006, and is now a law as Section 4 of Chapter 123 of Acts 2006. HB 4429 allows state agencies to pay up to 10% above the lowest bid to purchase in-state agriculture products as long as there is no conflict with other state or federal laws. State procurement officers may award contracts up to $25,000 without seeking other bids, as required by standard procurement procedures. A governmental body may establish a preference for purchasing local products by majority vote.
To search for original text o Montana state legislation text: http://leg.mt.gov/css/bills/default.asp
SB 328 (2007 Montana Laws, Chapter #146)
SB 328 allows public agencies to preference Montana agricultural products when price “reasonably” exceeds the lowest price quoted for a similar out of state product. “Reasonably” exceeding the lowest price quoted means that the public agency can remain within its budget without supplemental or additional appropriation to pay for the potentially higher cost of local procurement. This provides an optional exemption from the Montana Procurement Act for public institutions.
To search for New Mexico state legislation text: http://legis.state.nm.us/lcs/BillFinder.asp
SM 54 (2008)
This resolution commits the Senate to having additional fresh fruits and vegetables served in school meals to every New Mexico student and to strengthening New Mexico’s farming communities and increasing farmers’ incomes by purchasing fruits and vegetables, when available, from New Mexico farmers.
The Senate requests that the school districts and their respective boards of education and superintendents place great emphasis on, and make a high priority as a matter of educational policy for, the purchase of locally grown foods in their school food programs for the benefit of their students.
The Senate should encourage the food service directors of New Mexico school districts to search out in their various locales, with the assistance of the New Mexico department of agriculture and farm to table, local farmers who want to supply locally grown foods for school food programs.
SB 90 and HB 264 (2007)
This bill appropriates $85,000 from the general fund to provide New Mexico grown fresh fruits and vegetables when available to the Valley High School cluster in the Albuquerque public school district.
Community Food Security Coalition. 110 Maryland Avenue, NE Suite 307 Washington, DC 20002. (202)-543-8602. www,foodsecurity.org
HJM 34 (2001)
This bill encourages the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Education to collaborate on increasing the use of New Mexico agricultural products in public school meals. One of the goals in New Mexico is to expand marketing and selling opportunities for the state’s farmers and ranchers.
To search for New York state legislation text:
Also available, National Conference of State Legislatures’ report on the history of F2S in NY:
2002 New York Laws, Article 2, Section 16, subdivision 5-b under Agriculture and Markets
http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS (Click “AGM Agriculture and Markets”, “Article 2”, “16”)
2002 New York Laws Article 7, Section 305, subdivision 31 under Education http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS (Click “EDN Education”, “Article 7”, “305”)
Under the jurisdiction of the Education Department with cooperation from the Commissioner of Education and Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets this law establishes a farm to school program to facilitate and promote the purchase of New York farm products by educational institutions in New York. The department will also work on making relevant information available to farmers, farm organizations, and institutions interested in establishing farm to school programs. The department shall also coordinate promotional events such as New York Harvest for New York Kids Week in early October each year.
S 6024 (2004 New York Laws, Chapter #269)
http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS (Click “GMU General Municipal”, “Article 5-A”, “103”)
Allows school districts to apply for permission to purchase directly from associations of more than 10 farmers when no other farmers or smaller associations are available. Raises the dollar cap on direct purchases $0.15 to $0.20 per meal per student.
Requires the NYS Education Department to develop regulations with input from the Department of Agriculture and Markets that should:
1. accommodate the provisions of the State Farm-to-School Law;
2. allow schools to pay farmers prices comparable to what they would otherwise pay for locally grown foods through their conventional channels as opposed to comparing to national wholesale prices;
3. allow school districts interested in purchasing local farm products to notify interested farmers statewide in accordance with provisions of the Farm-to-School Law by using publications, websites and other mechanisms;
4. ensure that schools provide a fair opportunity to all farmers interested in selling to them and that schools select the seller or sellers based on the usual traditional purchasing criteria (i.e. low price, quality, reliability, delivery, etc.) without having to divide up purchases proportionally among competing bidders; 5. provide guidelines for dept of education approval of purchases by schools from associations of 10 or more farmers;
To search for Oklahoma state legislation text: http://www.lsb.state.ok.us/ HB 2655 (2006 Oklahoma Session Laws, Chapter #257)
In HB 2655, the director of the Oklahoma Farm to School Program is established under the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. The Director will establish public and non-profit partnerships to develop farm to school programs; provide state leadership to encourage school districts to buy from local farmers; and provide workshops and training for food service, farmers, processors, and others involved in farm to school work. Staff shall be made available from the departments of Health, Education and Human Services to assist in implementation of the program, seek grant funding and private donations for the program, and develop a web site to assist farmers in coordinating fresh food procurement.
$100,000 was permanently allocated to the Department of Agriculture for the program but not written in the specific language of the bill. The money has been appropriated in total for the past two years
HB 2833 (56 O.S. Supplemental 2007, Section 245)
This bill continues the “Oklahoma Food Security Act” until December of 2012. The Food Security Committee will continue to meet and work on issues such as supporting community food security initiatives and encouraging food production on the local level, supporting efforts to provide farmers’ markets with the technology for accepting food stamps, encouraging the use of home and community gardens for food production, and supporting creative transportation methods for connecting at-risk populations with nutritious foods.
This year, HB 2833 included the schools as part of the overall goals of the Oklahoma Food Security Task Force: “Involve schools in identifying and improving students’ access to sufficient and nutritious foods.” The Governor signed HB 2833 on Friday, June 6th, 2008.
HB 3601 (2008 Oregon Laws, Chapter #21) http://www.ncsl.org/programs/environ/healthyCommunity/healthyCommunity_search.cfm
This bill requires the Department of Education to establish the Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Program. These programs help schools utilize Oregon food products and produce from school gardens, promote food and garden-based educational activities, and work with the state Department of Agriculture to develop farm to school related programs. For the purpose of paying the costs of the Department of Education of administering the Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Program, the department may accept contributions of moneys and assistance from any source, public or private.
On or before February 1, 2009, the Department of Education shall report, in the manner provided in ORS 192.245, to the Seventy-fifth Legislative Assembly on the activities related to the Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Program established under section 1 of this 2008 Act.
To search for Pennsylvania state legislation text: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/
SB 1209 (2006 Pennsylvania Laws, Act #184)
SB 1209 is known as the Healthy Farms and Healthy Schools bill. This law creates a statewide program modeled after the Kindergarten Initiative. Recognizing the benefits of integrated programs that combine nutrition education, parent involvement, and a connection to local agriculture for students and farmers in Pennsylvania, this program trains teachers and other educational staff on nutrition and agriculture education. Also, a list of Pennsylvania farmers who have agreed to supply foods to Pennsylvania schools was established, and grants have been awarded to schools for procurement of local produce and implementation of educational programs. Grant amounts are limited to 75% of the amount necessary to develop the program and are not to exceed $15,000 annually, per school. Applicants may use in-kind support to match the amount granted.
Money for the Healthy Farms and Healthy Schools is provided by the Governor’s budget (http://www.state.pa.us/papower/cwp/view.asp?A=11&Q=471208). $500,000 has been appropriated for 2007 and 2008 with a similar budget for the same amount through 2012.
HR 821 (2004)
Almost word for word the same as Delaware resolution [HR74], urging Congress to support the Farm to School Projects Act of 2003 and any other legislation that assists schools in purchasing local foods, provides more healthy and fresh food for school children, educates children and their families about foods grown in their communities, and expands market opportunities for local farms.
SB 3341 (2008 Tenn. Public Acts, Chapter # 963) http://www.ncsl.org/programs/environ/healthyCommunity/healthyCommunity_search.cfm
This bill specifies that each local school board’s plan for compliance with nutritional breakfast and lunch programs include specific provisions to encourage purchasing local agricultural products. This would include setting preferences for the use of agriculture products from each local school board’s county or geographical region, as well as allowing flexible bidding processes to assist farmers to bid competitively on portions of a given nutrition plan, rather than an entire nutrition plan. The legislation requires each local school board to submit to the commissioner a plan for compliance with this part sixty (60) days prior to the beginning of the school year. For each subsequent school year, it requires each local school board to submit modifications to the plan sixty (60) days prior to the beginning of the school year.
To search for Vermont state legislation text: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/docs2.cfm
SJR 59 (2004)
This resolution urges Congress to enact the proposed “Farm to Cafeteria Projects Act.”
HB 456 (Act 145 of 2006)
HB 456 encourages farm to school initiatives through improvements to local infrastructure and education. The Commissioner of Education is to award small grants from the education fund to schools that use Vermont products in their school meals and provide nutrition education for students. It also establishes a mini-grant program, with maximum awards being $15,000, to assist with purchasing equipment, resources and materials that increase local purchasing and education regarding nutrition and agriculture. Grants may also be used for professional development for teachers to learn more about farm to school connections. The Department of Agriculture is to make one-time awards to local processors who are processing local produce for Vermont schools or institutions, while the food service personnel and Commissioner of Education are to provide training in local purchasing and processing for food service providers. This bill also requires that a report be submitted to appropriate legislative committees on how to increase local purchasing by state entities.
HB 522 (Act # 38 of 2007)
HB 522 sets goals for Vermont to support in-state agriculture. This includes Vermont’s own “buy local” campaign that promotes the purchasing of locally produced foods and dairy products. This bill also establishes systems to connect local producers and processors with state purchasing entities to facilitate marketing local foods. Strategic and technical assistance will also be made available to local producers and processors to create or enlarge facilities necessary to expand sales to the state and other markets. [Although this is a broad direct marketing bill, it does encourage farm to school initiatives, as schools are considered “other markets.”]
HB 91 (Act # 24 of 2007)
HB 91 makes the mini-grant farm to school program created by Act #145 of 2006, also referred to as HB 456, permanent. Each grant awarded is not to exceed $15,000.
$110,000 was designated for this Act in the 2008 session. $85,000 will go to farm to school mini grants, and another $25,000 will go to training and technical assistance for schools to develop their farm to school programs.
To search for Virginia state legislation text: http://leg1.state.va.us/
SB 797 (Chapter #352 of 2007 Virginia Laws)
SB 797 authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services to create a website that promotes Virginia agricultural products to educational institutions. The website should include information such as farmers’ contact information, amount and types of produce available.
The website is available at: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/vagrown-july/index.shtml.
SJ 347 (2007)
SJ 347 authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and the Secretary of Education to establish a Farm to School Task Force that will develop a plan for implementing a farm to school program in Virginia. The task force will study methods for providing information to the Virginia Department of Education, interested schools divisions and institutions of higher education regarding the availability of Virginia products. The task force has been formed.
To search for Washington state legislation text:
HB 2657 (2002 Washington Laws, Chapter #166)
According to HB 2657, the Department of General Administration, through the state purchasing director, shall encourage state agencies and local agencies doing business with the state to purchase Washington agricultural products when available. The Department of General Administration shall work with the Department of Agriculture to identify strategies to increase the purchase of Washington products. This was declared emergency legislation to improve the health of rural economies and the agricultural economy .
HB 2657 is still on the books; however, SB 6483 goes far beyond 2657.
SB 6483 (2008)
This is a comprehensive piece of legislation, requiring the following:
1. The State Department of Agriculture will facilitate the purchase of Washington grown food by schools, by linking school districts and local producers, as well as integrating curricula and programs that demonstrate the benefits of local food.
2. The creation of the Washington Grown Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant Program in the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to facilitate consumption of Washington grown-nutritious snacks to improve student health and expand the market for locally grown fresh produce.
3. Revision of food procurement and food contract procedures to facilitate the purchase of Washington grown food by state agencies and institutions to the maximum extent practicable. A school district may develop and implement policies and procedures to facilitate and maximize purchases of Washington grown food.
4. School districts may operate school gardens or farms as appropriate for the purpose of growing fruits and vegetables to be used for educational purposes.
5. The creation of the Washington State Farmers Market Technology Improvement Pilot Program to lend technological hardware to farmers markets to assist farmers markets and Washington farmers develop the capability to accept electronic payment cards, including electronic benefits transfers.
6. The creation of the Farmers to Food Banks Pilot Program. The Office of Financial Management shall work to develop measures for reporting on changes and trends in the purchasing of Washington-grown food by state agencies, institutions of higher education, and schools. The companion to this bill is HB 2798.
If specific funding for the purposes of this act, referencing this act by bill or chapter number, is not provided by June 30, 2008, in the omnibus appropriations act, this act is null and void.
$1.49 million in funding was appropriated to implement 6483. $600,000 will be used to provide grant funds to elementary schools with high numbers of low-income students to make available a locally-grown fruit and vegetable snack program.
Many thanks to Doug Shinkle who has actively updated state farm to school legislation for the National Conference of State Legislators http://www.ncsl.org/programs/environ/healthyCommunity/healthycommunity_bills.cfm
The Community Food Security Coalition extends grateful thanks to Kim Szeto and Greg Fogel, CFSC interns, for their tenacity in researching this information, and Ilana Blankman, for her editing expertise.
For more information, correction or additions, please contact:
Marion Kalb, Co-Director
National Farm to School Network Community Food Security Coalition 3900 Paseo del Sol
Santa Fe, NM 87507
Fax 505-473-3421 email@example.com www.farmtoschool.org
Last updated: 7/2/08 Greg Fogel, CFSC