In late January, assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) introduced bill AB 199 (or the “Choose California Act”) into the California state legislature. The bill, if passed, would force state-run institutions (schools, prisons, hospitals, etc.) to purchase their agricultural products from California farmers before buying from out-of-state farms.
Diana Rodgers, Manager of Mar Vista Farmers Market:
I’m all for supporting farmers — particularly small farmers. Ideally, the program would focus on local economy and educate and include community in its practical reality. However, it’s very likely — unless a practical methodology is put into place to link local, small, family farmers to their nearest institutions — that Big California Agriculture will get the opportunity.
They’re right to be suspicious.