Governor signs Farm Direct Bill into Law

L-R: Anne Berblinger, Rebecca Landis, Anthony Boutard, Governor Kitzhaber, Representative Matt Winegard and Kendra Kimbirauskas

On August 24th Governor John Kitzhaber was joined by FoFF President Kendra Kimbirauskas, Rebecca Landis of the Oregon Farmers Market Association, Anne Berblinger of Gales Creek Farm and Anthony Boutard of Ayers Creek Farm for the ceremonial signing the Farm Direct Bill into law.

This bill signing represented a huge victory for family scale farmers in Oregon. The Farm Direct Bill, HB 2336, clarifies and codifies many definitions which relate to product sales that are made directly from farmer to consumer. In addition, the bill allows for some minimally-hazardous products to be processed in home kitchens and sold to consumers at farmers markets or directly from the farm.

HB 2336, was just one of three bills which were signed into law with the goal of helping family farmers and ranchers remain economically viable in Oregon. In addition to HB 2336, bills that made it to the Governor’s desk included the Honey Bill and a Poultry Processing Bill.

The Honey Bill directed the Oregon Department of Agriculture to establish rules for the honey sold in in state and the Poultry Processing Bill recognized the 1000 limit federal exemption and allows farmers to raise, slaughter and sell up to 1000 of their own birds.

The 2011 Legislative Session was a great one for Oregon’s family farmers and ranchers.  Many of the issues that went before Oregon’s public officials came directly from the Agricultural Reclamation Act (ARA) – A roadmap for agricultural policy in Oregon. You can read more about the ARA here.

We would like to thank everyone who called their public officials and asked for their support of these bills, and everyone who came to Salem to speak directly to their Legislators. Without your efforts, we would never have seen such progress for family scale agriculture this past Legislative Session.

Particularly, we would like to express our  gratitude to Representatives Matt Winegard, Brian Clem, and Peter Buckley for their leadership on behalf of small farmers and ranchers.  Also,a special shout out goes to Rebecca Landis and Anthony Boutard for their leadership and tenacity in shepherding HB 2336 through the Legislative Process.

You can read more about our adventures in Salem here.