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Legislation aims to grow local farming economy

(Charleston) According to the West Virginia Farm Bureau, state schools alone currently purchase $100 million of food from out-of-state sources.That may change if a bill that passed the House of Delegates keeps moving through the legislature.

The West Virginia Fresh Food Act passed in the House of Delegates this week.

The legislation aims to make farming more profitable by requiring state-funded institutions to buy at least five percent of fresh produce, meat and poultry from local in-state providers.
Del. Robert Thompson (D – Wayne) is the lead sponsor of the bill. He said, “There’s so much money spent on food in this state and the vast majority of it goes out to other states and other countries. So if we can just tap in to a small percentage of that, which hopefully this bill will do, we can really help develop our agriculture economy in West Virginia. Especially in the southern part of the state that’s been hit hard by a declining economy, the coal economy.”

There are a few caveats in the legislation, the food items have to be available from in-state producers and at a cost equal or less than that of our of state producers.

Haley Brown

Multimedia Journalist

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