FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2018
HB 217 Encourages the State and Municipalities to Buy More “Alaska Grown” Agricultural and Fisheries Products
Juneau – Tonight, the Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation to increase sales of “Alaska Grown” agricultural and fisheries products. House Bill 217 accomplishes three things; allows the Division of Agriculture to increase “Alaska Grown” marketing, supports farm touring in Alaska, and encourages the State of Alaska, school districts, and municipalities to buy more “Alaska Grown” agricultural and fisheries products.
“This bill opens up opportunities and additional markets for our small but thriving agriculture industry in Alaska by encouraging the government to buy locally produced food before going outside of Alaska for supplies,” said HB 217 sponsor Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage). “I am also pleased that this bill eliminates obstacles to farm touring which allows our small agricultural producers to show off their products at the point of production without fear of liability for injuries and accidents.”
Currently, over 95 percent of the food consumed in Alaska is imported, which leaves Alaska vulnerable to shortages due to supply interruptions. HB 217 seeks to decrease Alaska’s dependence on imports by encouraging and facilitating the increased production of local products.
HB 217 also supports the work of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to manage the “Alaska Grown” label by allowing the Department to sell merchandise and charge fees associated with the label.
House Bill 217 passed the Alaska House of Representatives tonight by a vote of 37-2. The bill will be sent to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.
For more information, please contact Rep. Geran Tarr’s office at (907) 465-3424.