FAMILY FARMS AND LOCAL FOODS EDUCATION DAY
Citizens Gather at the Capitol to Speak with Legislators
AUSTIN, TX (February 8, 2011) – Local food supporters from all over Texas will gather at the State Capitol on Monday, February 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to meet with legislators about issues concerning family farms and local foods. The education day is a free event, open to the public, and organized by the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA), a Texas-based non-profit that advocates for independent agriculture and citizens who support local foods.
“We are mobilizing citizens from across the state who support their local food community, purchase foods locally, and value their relationship with their farmers, ranchers, and food producers,” said Judith McGeary, director of FARFA and a leader in local food advocacy in Texas and nationally.
The Family Farms and Local Foods Education Day is an opportunity for Texas citizens, farmers, and ranchers to speak up for local food systems. Participants will have the chance to learn about the legislative process, meet legislators and their staff, and work together in support of improved access to local foods. Prior to the event, participants are asked to make an appointment with their legislators. On the day of the event, the group will convene for a short meeting about citizen activism, communicating effectively with legislators, and the specific bills that the Legislature is considering.
Topics that will be discussed at the education day include:
HB 75/SB 237, (the “Raw Milk Bill”) to increase access to licensed raw dairy products;
Reducing unnecessary regulation of farmers’ markets;
Allowing “cottage food” producers to sell directly to consumers;
Reducing fees on small-scale cheese-makers; and
Fair property tax treatment for urban farms, community gardens, and sustainable producers.
“We need laws like these that allow local farmers and rural economies to thrive,” McGeary said. “Texans have already been voting for local foods with their dollars, buying direct from farmers in ever increasing numbers. Now it’s time for our legislators to catch up. If you care about what you eat, come tell your legislators.”
FARFA invites all concerned citizens to join in the conversation by attending this free event. For more information about how to participate and to RSVP, visit www.farmandranchfreedom.org/upcoming-meetings.
About Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA)
FARFA advocates for farmers, ranchers and homesteaders through public education and lobbying to assure their independence in the production and marketing of their food, and to prevent the imposition of unnecessary regulatory burdens that are not in the public interest. FARFA also advocates for consumers’ access to healthy foods of their choice. For more information, please visit www.farmandranchfreedom.org.