Senate bill aims to boost local food consumption

A couple of remainders to wrap up the week.

New York's State Senate passed a bill that would direct government agencies to make a list of New York farm fresh products that agencies could buy. Agriculture Committee chairwoman Patty Ritchie of St. Lawrence County said the bill would help farmers access institutional markets:

The benefits of putting more locally grown foods in our hospitals, prisons and other state facilities are obvious—healthier, more nutritious meals for consumers and a ready-made market for hardworking local farmers. My bill aims to strengthen the partnership between farmers and state agencies so that its easier for them to find and procure locally produced foods, strengthening farmers’ bottom lines and keeping more state tax dollars in the community.

Picked fresh at Strawberry Ridge in N. Granville, NY. Photo: Derek Liebig

Picked fresh at Strawberry Ridge in N. Granville, NY. Photo: Derek Liebig

The goal is to increase institutional purchases of local food by 20% by 2020. The bill now goes on to the Assembly.

Finally, responding to my post about the upcoming strawberry season, The Dirt reader Derek Liebig found the berries in this photo at right at Strawberry Ridge Farm in North Granville, near Queenbury. U-pick started there on Wednesday.

Ready, set, pick! Have a great weekend!

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