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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.91

Introduced by Representatives Johnson of South Hero, Barnard of Richmond, Clark of Vergennes, Jerman of Essex, Kilmartin of Newport City, LaVoie of Swanton, Livingston of Manchester, Mook of Bennington and Potter of Clarendon

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Agriculture; education; local foods; Rozo McLaughlin farm‑to‑school program  

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to establish the local foods mini‑grant program created in Act No. 145 of 2006 as a permanent program and to name it the Rozo McLaughlin farm‑to‑school program.

AN ACT RELATING TO THE ROZO MCLAUGHLIN FARM‑TO‑SCHOOL PROGRAM

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS AND INTENT

(a)  The general assembly finds that Representative Rosemary “Rozo” McLaughlin was a dedicated, hardworking legislator who devoted herself to improving the health and welfare of Vermont’s children.  Representative McLaughlin, working with Representative Johnson of South Hero, was instrumental in developing the ideas for and details of the local foods mini‑grant program which the general assembly enacted into law in No. 145 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006), thanks largely to her persistent shepherding of the bill through the legislative process.

(b)  Therefore, it is the intent of this act to honor Representative McLaughlin’s hard work and dedication by establishing the local foods

mini-grant program as a permanent program and by renaming it the Rozo McLaughlin farm‑to‑school program.

Sec. 2.  6 V.S.A. chapter 211 is added to read:

Chapter 211.  THE ROZO MCLAUGHLIN

FARM‑TO‑SCHOOL PROGRAM

§ 4721.  LOCAL FOODS GRANT PROGRAM 

(a)  There is created in the agency of agriculture, food and markets the Rozo McLaughlin farm‑to‑school program to award local grants for the purpose of helping Vermont schools develop relationships with local farmers and producers.

(b)  A school, a school district, a consortium of schools, or a consortium of school districts may apply to the secretary of agriculture, food and markets for a grant award to:

(1)  purchase equipment, resources, and materials that will help to increase use of local foods in the school food service program;

(2)  purchase items, including local farm products, that will help teachers to use hands-on educational techniques to teach children about nutrition and farm‑to‑school connections; and

(3)  provide professional development and technical assistance to help teachers educate students about nutrition and farm‑to‑school connections.

(c)  The secretary and the commissioner of education shall jointly adopt rules for the specific criteria and application forms for the grants. 

(d)  The secretary shall determine that there is significant interest in the school community before making an award and shall give priority consideration to schools and school districts that are in the early stages of developing farm‑to‑school connections and education and that are making progress toward the implementation of the Vermont nutrition and fitness policy guidelines developed by the agency of agriculture, food and markets, the department of education, and the department of health, dated November 2005 or of the successor of these guidelines. 

(e)  No award shall be greater than $15,000.00.

Sec. 3.  APPROPRIATION

The amount of $500,000.00 is appropriated to the secretary of agriculture, food and markets in fiscal year 2008 for the purpose of awarding grants under the Rozo McLaughlin farm-to-school program established in 6 V.S.A. chapter 211.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us