|Start Date: ||6/22/2012|| Start Time: ||12:00 AM|
|End Date: ||6/22/2012|| End Time: ||11:59 PM|
Each year members of the Indiana General Assembly are assigned to summer study committees that are charged with studying various topics affecting Hoosiers across the state. These committees give us a chance to delve deeper into issues that came about over the legislative session, and because Indiana’s state legislature is only part-time, it is helpful to have committees work throughout the interim to further study issues that we may further address during the actual legislative session.
Each summer study committee is assigned 12 members, six from both the House and Senate. It includes equal members of each political party. One of the 13 summer study committees assigned tasks this year is to discuss a bill I authored last year, House Enrolled Act 1312, the sale of poultry at farmer’s markets.
The bill allows farmers to sell more food items at farmer’s markets or roadside stands. This includes food items grown not just from their home, but also from other property they lease or own. Poultry may now also be sold at a farmer’s market or roadside stands if it is prepared following federal guidelines and statute.
The bill also requested that a summer study committee be created to research the obstacles that farmers face in producing, processing and distributing locally grown food. The end-goal of the committee is to find ways for the General Assembly to encourage farmers and local residents of communities to distribute locally grown products to more Hoosier consumers.
Hoosier farmers are a fundamental part of our economy, both locally and across the state. They are entrepreneurs, and by helping them sell their homegrown food products, we can promote both the growth of their businesses and the overall health of Hoosiers.
I know the summer study committee will hear from many local farmers and advocates for the growth the locally grown food market. If you have any suggestions of how to encourage this economic growth, please contact me at 317-232-9769 or by email at H74@in.gov. I look forward to hearing the innovative solutions that will emerge from the committee.
Rep. Sue Ellspermann (R-Ferdinand)
Ellspermann Edition, Encouraging growth of the locally grown food market, 6-22-12.doc