Adds new Article 70A, Local Market Access Assistance, to GS Chapter 106, providing as follows. Sets out the NCGA's findings and purpose. Establishes the GAP Expenses Cost Share Program (Program) is in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (Department) to provide cost-sharing for GAP expenses. Defines GAP expenses as expenses incurred by farms in obtaining food safety certification and changes and upgrades to practices and equipment to improve food safety; excludes third-party audit expenses eligible for funding under the GAP Certification Cost Share Program. Requires funding priority be given to disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and beginning farmers and ranchers. Requires the Program to provide no more than 75% of the average cost for each GAP expense, with the participating farmer providing 25%. Sets out limitations on the amount awarded per year to a participating farmer, on the amount awarded over the farmer's lifetime, on the number of applications allowed per farm per year, and requires that participating farmers have an average annual adjusted gross income for the previous two years that is at or below $250,000 (with the listed exception). Establishes the GAP Expenses Cost Share Fund to support the Program, consisting of NCGA appropriations and other funding made available to the Department from federal government programs, the State, or other public and private sources. Requires the Department to report annually to the specified NCGA committee and division on Program activities and Fund disbursements, including specified information. Requires the Department to establish temporary and permanent rules to implement the program.
Appropriates $1 million for 2021-22 and $1 million for 2022-23 from the General Fund to the Department with: (1) $600,000 in nonrecurring funds for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years to the GAP Expenses Cost Share Program and (2) $400,000 in nonrecurring funds for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years to the GAP Certification Cost Share Program. Effective July 1, 2021.
LOCAL FOOD MARKET EXPANSION ACT.
|View NCGA Bill Details||2021|
AN ACT TO SUPPORT INCREASED ACCESS TO LOCAL FOOD MARKETS FOR NORTH CAROLINA FARMERS.Intro. by Gillespie, Penny, Dixon, Ager.
Status: Ref to the Com on Appropriations, if favorable, Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House (House action) (May 3 2021)
Wed, 28 Apr 2021 House: Filed
Mon, 3 May 2021 House: Passed 1st Reading
Bill H 737 (2021-2022)Summary date: Apr 28 2021 - View Summary