Rep. Tarr: 'Alaskans love Alaska Grown and the opportunity to buy local'
JUNEAU – The House of Representatives on Thursday voted 38-1 to pass House Bill 22, a proposal that strengthens food security in Alaska by adding new opportunities for our dairy farmers.
HB 22 safely increases access to raw milk and raw milk products by moving the successful herd share program from regulation to statute, adding certainty and permanence to the highly successful program. The bill also creates a new business opportunity by allowing value-added products like cheese and ice cream to be sold through a Herd Share Program.
Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), the bill’s sponsor, said, “Alaskans love Alaska Grown and the opportunity to buy local. HB 22 will allow for more products made here in our state. This is a win for Alaskans in general and especially for our farmers, and it will improve food security and offer new economic opportunities. I thank everyone who helped with this bill.”
“The temporary food shortages last year should amply demonstrate Alaska’s need for food security and increased self-sufficiency,” added Rep. Kevin McCabe (R-Big Lake). “HB 22 is the right start down that path and I congratulate Representative Tarr, all the Herd Share groups, and the Mat-Su Farm Bureau for freeing the cheese.”
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.