House committee in Missouri approves Urban Agriculture Zones
Video from Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture.
Bill by Rep. Holsman promotes crop, livestock production in cities
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The House Agriculture Policy Committee today voted 11-0 to advance legislation sponsored by state Rep. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, that would allow local municipalities to create Urban Agriculture Zones within their communities.
Urban Agriculture Zones are intended to spur the growth of agricultural production in blighted urban areas. Holsman’s legislation, House Bill 1660, defines a UAZ as an area that grows produce or other agricultural products, raises or processes livestock or poultry or sells food that is at least 75 percent locally grown or raised. Once a UAZ is granted by a municipality, the zone is eligible for certain incentives that would allow for systematic repurposing of blighted areas in our state’s urban core.
HB 1660 is the product of five working sessions throughout the state by the Joint Committee on Urban Agriculture, an informational committee chaired by Holsman to study the emerging industry of urban agriculture.
“The Joint Committee on Urban Agriculture worked diligently since last summer gathering information and putting together a package that will move urban agriculture forward in our state,” Holsman said. “HB 1660 is a great start, and will make a huge impact in the urban core throughout Missouri. I want to thank all of the members of the Joint Committee on Urban Agriculture for their effort throughout this past year, and to the members of the Agriculture Policy Committee for voting the bill out of committee.”
HB 1660 will now be referred to the Rules Committee before moving to the full House of Representatives for debate.