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The Urban Farming Bill – Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed – May 13 2010


Establishes the Joint Committee on Urban Farming to study and make recommendations regarding the impact of urban farm cooperatives, vertical farming, and sustainable living communities in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – In a unanimous 30-0 vote, the Missouri Senate passed Senate Substitute to House Bill 1848, the Urban Farming Bill. The Senate made a minor modification to the bill, sponsored by Representative Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City), by changing the task force to a joint interim committee of the Missouri General Assembly. Originally, the task force would have included legislators, farmers, and agriculture experts from across the state, while the version passed by the Senate will create a special, temporary A picture of a conceptual ‘Green Mall’committee of the Missouri House and Senate which will research and hear testimony regarding all facets of urban agriculture.

In addition to the committee, the Senate version includes a special “Urban Farming Advisory Subcommittee” which would include representatives from the Missouri Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Health & Senior Services, and Economic Development, as well as eight citizens with subject matter expertise. The subcommittee would provide technical assistance, analysis, background information, and recommendations to the Joint Committee. The overall goal of the interim committee is to create a report which can ultimately be used as a model for Missouri – as well as other states – to help develop and foster growth of urban agriculture.

“The Missouri House and Senate have proven that our state is committed to moving closer to food independence,” Holsman said. “If both bodies can come to an agreement on the final language of this bill, we can get to work with our study and ultimately move toward creating more jobs and filling more vacant properties in the urban centers of Missouri.”

The bill has received support not only from proponents of urban farming, but from large scale commodity farmers, including several members of the General Assembly who are farmers by trade. Expanding agriculture to the urban areas potentially opens up farming as a possible career choice to thousands of Missourians who would otherwise not have been exposed to the science. Supporters believe that many residents who came from farming backgrounds may return to the fields if exposed to agriculture within the cities. “Farming has been a way of life in Missouri for generations,” said Senator Jolie Justus (D-Kansas City), the bill’s handler in the Senate, “From life sciences, to conservation, to emerging urban agriculture issues; this study celebrates our true Missouri heritage.”

See Bill here.