FUNDING SOUGHT FOR ELECTRONIC DISPERSAL BARRIER
Contact: Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Forces (202/224-1211).
COSPONSORS SOUGHT FOR FARMERS MARKET LEGISLATION
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) is seeking cosponsors for the Farmers Market Infrastructure Assistance Act of 2004 (H.R. 4558). Direct sales of fresh local farm products are on the rise throughout the country. More than 3,500 farmers markets operate nationwide, bringing together producers and consumers to obtain fresh and wholesome products and serving as important tools for economic development and dietary improvement. The legislation proposes $50 million annually through fiscal 2007 in order to finance grants, loans, and loan guarantees to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for the construction of new farmers markets or the improvement or rehabilitation of existing farmers markets, with the condition that at least 50 percent of the market area must be reserved for the sale of products that are produced locally by farmers, ranchers, or associations of farmers and ranchers..
Reps. Kaptur and Jim Walsh (R-NY) continue to seek cosponsors for H.R. 4446, which would reform funding for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. That program provides eligible senior citizens with wholesome fresh fruits and vegetables, while also providing an additional source of revenue to family farmers who sell at farmers markets and roadside stands. To meet the program’s increasing demand, the bill would raise funding from the current $15 million annually to not less than $50 million in fiscal 2005, not less than $75 million in fiscal 2006, and not less than $100 million in fiscal 2007. It also would allow up to 10 percent of the funds to be used to help cover the program’s operating expenses.
Contact: Roger Szemraj with Rep. Kaptur (202/225-4146).