On Monday, a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) to create the New York State Council on Food Policy was passed by the New York State Assembly. The bill, established as the “Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Act,” will establish the council at the forefront of New York’s efforts to support local farms and ensure residents of the state can depend on the accessibility of fresh and healthy food. The council will be tasked with identifying legislative, regulatory, and budget plans to expand local agriculture production, establish benchmarks for achieving objectives, and remove legal barriers that hinder New York’s agriculture and food economy. Additionally, this bill would establish a method for farmers and schools to utilize the state’s farm directory for the purpose of connecting students to farm fresh products and meals.
“In an agricultural state like New York, it is crucial that our laws and regulations are in full alignment with the wellbeing of our farms and farmers. That is exactly what the Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Act sets forth,” said Assemblyman Thiele. “Now more than ever, it is imperative that the gears of government work simultaneously to promote a food economy that works for all New Yorkers. As a longtime sponsor of this bill, I am grateful for its support in the Assembly and look forward to its passage in the Senate.”