NCSL Report on How States Strengthen Local Food Systems


NCSL NewsWashington, D.C.—Nine states passed legislation appropriating funds for farmers’ markets. California and Missouri allowed local governments to establish tax incentives for vacant property to be used for urban agriculture. New Mexico provided funding for farmers’ markets to offer financial incentives to public assistance recipients to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets.

These were among dozens of laws enacted by 36 states from 2012 to 2014 aimed at strengthening various components of local food systems, according to a report released by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

The report, “Harvesting Healthier Options: State Legislative Trends in Local Foods 2012-2014,” examines state legislation in all 50 states regarding local food production and access. NCSL has tracked this information since the mid-2000s.

A few of the policy areas the report examines include:

  • Local food system approaches
  • Farm to school.
  • Farmers’ markets.
  • Community gardens and urban agriculture.
  • Healthy grocery retail.
  • Food policy councils.

The report resulted from a partnership created by NCSL and the Johns Hopkins Center for Livable Futures.

View the report “Harvesting Healthier Options: State Legislative Trends in Local Foods 2012-2014”

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.