Canyon County farmer Janie Burns, with support from the chairmen of both the House and Senate agriculture committees, introduced a resolution this morning to "encourage healthy, locally grown food production, distribution and consumption in the state of Idaho."
Burns went through a lengthy Idaho food history, recalling her parents' changing attitudes toward food as Americans went to the moon and strove to be modern. She recalled the time when they stopped raising their own chickens and started getting eggs at the supermarket instead.
Burns testified to the dramatic decline in food production and processing in Idaho: in 1953 there were 19 flour mills in Idaho and today there is only one.
"Slowly, almost imperceptible, our food started coming from somewhere else," she said.
House Agricultural Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Trail spoke about the economic impact of the long-standing Moscow Farmers Market, which he said brings in $100,000 a week to producers and even more in terms of community cohesion. Rep. Mack Shirley noted that Idaho Falls started a Farmers Market this year as well and moved to introduce the bill.
The resolution will be available online later today and will be scheduled for a hearing.