Legislature(2011 - 2012)BARNES 124

03/26/2012 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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01:07:21 PM Start
01:07:44 PM Presentation(s): Canada's Federal Northern Pipeline Agency
01:27:13 PM HB191
02:48:22 PM HJR40
03:08:39 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Discussion w/Canada's Federal Northern Pipeline TELECONFERENCED
Agency by Chrystia Chudczak, Asst. Commissioner
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
           HB 191-DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD                                                                        
1:27:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SEATON announced  that the next order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 191,  "An Act establishing a  state department                                                               
of agriculture  and food and  relating to its powers  and duties;                                                               
relating  to  the   powers  and  duties  of   the  Department  of                                                               
Environmental   Conservation  and   the  Department   of  Natural                                                               
Resources; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
1:28:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FEIGE  moved to adopt the  proposed committee substitute                                                               
(CS),  Version 27-LS0458\B,  Bannister,  2/7/12,  as the  working                                                               
document.   There being  no objection, Version  B was  before the                                                               
1:29:11 PM                                                                                                                    
LYNETTE  BERGH,  Staff,  Representative  Steve  Thompson,  Alaska                                                               
State   Legislature,   informed  the   committee   Representative                                                               
Thompson  sponsored HB  191 at  the  request of  the Alaska  Farm                                                               
Bureau.   As  a businessman,  Representative Thompson  supports a                                                               
strong  and  diversified  Alaska  economy, and  the  Alaska  Farm                                                               
Bureau  sparked his  interest in  maintaining and  broadening the                                                               
agricultural economy  of the state  to provide a  safe, long-term                                                               
food supply.  In the  1970s, Governor Jay Hammond established the                                                               
following goals:  broaden the  economic base of the state through                                                               
agricultural production; stabilize real  food costs by increasing                                                               
local  food;   provide  alternative  job   opportunities  through                                                               
expanded  agriculture; and  improve rural  life by  developing an                                                               
economic  base through  agriculture.   In  addition, the  current                                                               
trend is  to eat locally.   Alaska has  seen a surge  in Farmer's                                                               
Markets, Alaska's disease-free potatoes  are in demand, Fairbanks                                                               
has a garden-in-the-schools program,  and greenhouses are showing                                                               
potential for success.  Representative  Thompson sponsored HB 191                                                               
in order to  hear about these and other ideas  on how to enhance,                                                               
maintain, and grow the health of  agriculture in Alaska.  At this                                                               
time most states have a  department of agriculture, with only the                                                               
exceptions of  Rhode Island and Alaska.   The proposed bill  is a                                                               
work in  progress, and she  said Representative  Thompson invited                                                               
the committee to assist in  strengthening agriculture in order to                                                               
help all Alaskans.                                                                                                              
1:32:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  inquired  whether  provisions  regarding                                                               
horticulture would be included in the bill.                                                                                     
1:32:58 PM                                                                                                                    
JANE PIERSON, Staff, Representative  Steve Thompson, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  said horticulture  is  included in  the  bill as  a                                                               
component of farming.                                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR  SEATON  noted   on  page  1,  line  13   of  the  bill,                                                               
horticulture  is listed  with other  fields  of the  agricultural                                                               
1:33:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BERGH  provided a sectional  analysis beginning  with Section                                                               
1, which amends AS 03.05.010,  dealing with agriculture and food,                                                               
to  change the  responsible commissioner  to the  commissioner of                                                               
agriculture and  food, add some  responsibilities to the  list of                                                               
responsibilities,  and exempt  retail  food establishments,  food                                                               
processing,  and fish  or fisheries  product establishments  from                                                               
its coverage.   Section 2  amends AS 03.05.011(a),  which relates                                                               
to certain powers  over animals and animal  products, and exempts                                                               
retail food establishments from its coverage.                                                                                   
1:34:35 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI asked whether Section  1 pulls all of the                                                               
responsibilities dealing  with agriculture from  the commissioner                                                               
of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).                                                                                   
MS. PIERSON replied yes.                                                                                                        
1:35:12 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BERGH,  continuing the  review  of  the sectional  analysis,                                                               
explained  that  Section 4  would  amend  statute such  that  the                                                               
proposed  Department  of  Agriculture  and Food  (DOAF)  and  its                                                               
commissioner  would be  responsible for  appointing or  employing                                                               
the state  veterinarian for animal  products over which  DOAF has                                                               
jurisdiction.   Section 5  would make  DOAF and  its commissioner                                                               
responsible  for employing  or appointing  the state  coordinator                                                               
for  noxious   weed,  invasive   plant,  and   agricultural  pest                                                               
1:35:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SEATON asked whether Section  4 is the only provision in                                                               
which a  power or  duty is  being taken  from a  department other                                                               
than DNR.                                                                                                                       
MS. PIERSON  answered no,  explaining that  the duties  are mixed                                                               
between   DNR    and   DEC.      Therefore,    there   are   many                                                               
[duties/responsibilities] that DOAF will take from DEC and DNR.                                                                 
1:36:37 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BERGH, returning to the  sectional analysis, pointed out that                                                               
Sections 6 and 7 amend the  statute relating to elk farming.  The                                                               
sections  would  change  the   responsible  commissioner  to  the                                                               
commissioner of DOAF  who shall provide the  Alaska Department of                                                               
Fish & Game  (ADF&G) with copies of elk  farming applications and                                                               
1:36:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SEATON asked if beyond  merely providing the application                                                               
and  license to  ADF&G, there  is consultation  in terms  of when                                                               
DOAF would issue a license.                                                                                                     
MS. PIERSON offered to check that.                                                                                              
1:37:43 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BERGH, continuing  the  sectional  analysis, explained  that                                                               
Section 8 amends statute such  that the fencing standards for elk                                                               
will be  established under DOAF.   Section 9 places the  power to                                                               
regulate elk farming in DOAF.                                                                                                   
1:38:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  surmised   that  currently  the  fencing                                                               
standards for  elk are regulated by  DNR and HB 191  would change                                                               
who regulates them but doesn't introduce a new responsibility.                                                                  
MS. BERGH replied yes.                                                                                                          
1:38:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BERGH  moved on to Section  10, which amends the  statute for                                                               
criminal  penalties  for  violations  of  regulations  under  the                                                               
chapter made by  the DOAF and DNR.  Section  11 establishes civil                                                               
fines for violations of quarantines  or embargos made by DOAF and                                                               
DEC.   Section 12 states  that DOAF, DEC,  or a court  may impose                                                               
civil  fines authorized  by the  chapter.   Section 13  redefines                                                               
"animal"  to exclude  fish  or fisheries  products  and adds  new                                                               
definitions to  include "commissioner"  and "department"  as DOAF                                                               
for the chapter.  Section 14  directs the commissioner of DOAF to                                                               
appoint  an employee  of DOAF  as the  director of  the Board  of                                                               
Agriculture and  Conservation to oversee the  daily operations of                                                               
the  agricultural  revolving  loan   fund  (ARLF).    Section  15                                                               
specifies  that  the  commissioner  of DOAF  will  establish  the                                                               
regulations for  disposal of  property acquired  by the  Board of                                                               
Agriculture  and  Conservation  in   order  to  ensure  that  the                                                               
property is disposed of in a  manner that maximizes the return to                                                               
the  state.   Section 16  amends statute  such that  DOAF is  the                                                               
department  responsible  for  establishing  and  maintaining  the                                                               
plant materials center and Section  17 specifies that DOAF is one                                                               
of  the agencies  that appoints  the administrator  of the  plant                                                               
materials  center.   Section 18  identifies  the commissioner  of                                                               
DOAF as  the commissioner to whom  a district judge sends  a copy                                                               
of an order related to  the establishment, addition, elimination,                                                               
or dissolution of a controlled livestock district.                                                                              
1:40:19 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   P.  WILSON   related   her  understanding   that                                                               
currently  invasive animal  species are  addressed by  the Alaska                                                               
Department of  Fish & Game.   She asked if that  would remain the                                                               
case or would DOAF address such issues.                                                                                         
MS. PIERSON  answered that [per  HB 191] invasive  animal species                                                               
would be addressed by DOAF, except for fish and fish products.                                                                  
1:41:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SEATON  asked  whether the  responsibility  to  address                                                               
invasive plant species would be transferred to DOAF.                                                                            
MS. PIERSON said  she will get back to the  committee with regard                                                               
to  invasive  plant species,  as  it  was  not addressed  in  the                                                               
legislation because it isn't part of Title 3.                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR  SEATON  questioned  whether the  definition  of  "fish"                                                               
under Title 3  would include aquatic plants and  animals or would                                                               
it  include  what's  commonly   considered  commercial  fish  and                                                               
fisheries products.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI related  his understanding  that aquatic                                                               
plants are regulated under ADF&G.                                                                                               
MS. PIERSON told  the committee that the intent was  for ADF&G to                                                               
maintain the  oversight of [aquatic  plants], but she  offered to                                                               
check to be sure that is the case.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  mentioned that  there was  an invasive                                                               
species in  a harbor near  Sitka to  which the Division  of Sport                                                               
Fish  responded.   Although it's  the division's  responsibility,                                                               
the staff isn't  accustomed to such issues  and responded poorly,                                                               
she  opined.   Therefore, she  expressed interest  in moving  the                                                               
responsibility of invasive species elsewhere.                                                                                   
1:44:07 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BERGH,   returning  to  the  sectional   analysis,  directed                                                               
attention  to Section  19, which  identifies the  commissioner of                                                               
DOAF  as  the person  to  whom  one  applies  for a  brand  mark.                                                               
Section  20 specifies  that DOAF  is responsible  for determining                                                               
whether apiary  inspectors are qualified.   Sections  21-24 amend                                                               
statute such  that DOAF  is the  responsible department  for bees                                                               
and  beekeeping.     Section  25   amends  the   definitions  for                                                               
commissioner and department to DOAF.   Section 26 establishes the                                                               
role of DOAF  in assisting in the  development and implementation                                                               
in  the   farm-to-school  program.    Section   27  provides  the                                                               
commissioner of DOAF  the power to regulate food  except for fish                                                               
and fisheries products.   Section 28 specifies the  duties of the                                                               
commissioner  of DOAF  to regulate  fish and  fisheries products,                                                               
including seafood  raising and processing, and  to inspect retail                                                               
food establishments.   Sections  29 and 30  direct DOAF  to adopt                                                               
regulations   relating   to   definitions   and   standards   for                                                               
agricultural food  and to establish a  mobile canned agricultural                                                               
food products inspection  service.  Sections 31 and  32 place the                                                               
duty to regulate  hormone labeling in milk under  DOAF.  Sections                                                               
33 and  34 amend statute  to make changes  to conform to  the new                                                               
division of  responsibilities between  the departments.   Section                                                               
34 also makes stylistic and  clarifying changes.  Sections 35 and                                                               
36 separate  the responsibilities for  the sales and  labeling of                                                               
frozen meat, fish, and poultry between DOAF and DEC.                                                                            
1:46:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DICK  requested further  clarification  regarding                                                               
Sections 35 and 36.                                                                                                             
MS.  PIERSON  offered to  provide  information  to the  committee                                                               
after she is able to review Title 17.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE DICK related  his thought that DOAF  would be more                                                               
amenable to  getting the sales  and labeling in motion  while DEC                                                               
would seem to be more reluctant in that area.                                                                                   
MS.   PIERSON   responded   that  she   doesn't   disagree   with                                                               
Representative Dick's thought.                                                                                                  
1:47:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SEATON  interjected  that  the  aforementioned  may  be                                                               
because  DOAF  hasn't taken  over  the  food safety  inspections.                                                               
Some cooperation between the departments may be necessary.                                                                      
MS.  PIERSON agreed,  adding that  food is  currently covered  by                                                               
both DNR and DEC.                                                                                                               
1:48:37 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  related  his understanding  that  there                                                               
will be no diminishment of  the current regulations or health and                                                               
safety standards  established by DNR  and DEC.  He  surmised that                                                               
this legislation  basically takes statutes from  DEC and statutes                                                               
from DNR and more appropriately places them within DOAF.                                                                        
MS. PIERSON stated her agreement with Representative Kawasaki.                                                                  
1:49:23 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BERGH, continuing  her  sectional  analysis, explained  that                                                               
Section  44  allows  DOAF  to  adopt  regulations  for  efficient                                                               
enforcement of its respective portions  of AS 17.20.180.  Section                                                               
45 amends  AS 17.20.200(a) such  that it limits the  food covered                                                               
in the subsection  to fish and fisheries products  over which DEC                                                               
has responsibility.  Section 46  adds an inspection equivalent to                                                               
AS 17.20.200(a) to cover DOAF's  access and inspection authority.                                                               
Section 47  amends statute to add  DOAF as a department  that may                                                               
issue reports.  Section 48  limits the food-related subjects over                                                               
which  DEC  has jurisdiction  to  fish,  fisheries products,  and                                                               
retail   establishments.     Section  49   adds  an   information                                                               
dissemination  equivalent  to  AS 17.20.200(a)  to  cover  DOAF's                                                               
information dissemination  authority.  Section 50  amends statute                                                               
that relates  to DEC's power  to detain  or embargo fish  or fish                                                               
products  that are  dangerous or  fraudulent.   Section 51  gives                                                               
DOAF the  power to  detain or embargo  agricultural food  that is                                                               
adulterated  or  misbranded  in  a  manner  that's  dangerous  or                                                               
fraudulent.   Section  52 adds  DOAF to  the list  of departments                                                               
that can petition for condemnation of  a food.  Section 53 allows                                                               
DOAF  to  destroy  adulterated  or  misbranded  goods  under  its                                                               
purview and Section 54 provides  DOAF the oversight of relabeling                                                               
of misbranded food items under  its purview.  Section 55 provides                                                               
DOAF oversight  of destruction of  contaminated food  items under                                                               
its purview.   Section 56 gives DOAF the ability  to apply to the                                                               
superior   court  for   injunctions  against   persons  violating                                                               
provisions of  the chapter.   Section 57 amends statute  to limit                                                               
the  food-related acts  to fish,  fisheries products,  and retail                                                               
food  establishments.   Section  58  adds  an enforcement  action                                                               
equivalent to AS 17.20.290(b) to  cover DOAF's enforcement action                                                               
authority.   Section 59 amends  AS 17.20.315(c) to give  DOAF the                                                               
power  to  impose  civil  fines for  serious  violations  of  the                                                               
chapter.  Section 60 amends statute  to state that nothing in the                                                               
chapter requires  DOAF to  report minor  violations.   Section 61                                                               
makes  changes to  conform the  section  to the  new division  of                                                               
responsibilities  between  the  departments.    Section  62  adds                                                               
definitions to AS  17.20 for "agricultural food."   Section 63 is                                                               
a conforming  change.  Section  64 amends statute such  that DOAF                                                               
food inspection  receipts are in  a specific category  of program                                                               
receipts   and   reflects  the   change   in   the  division   of                                                               
responsibilities  under AS  17.20.   Section  65 amends  statutes                                                               
that relate  to the  clearing and  draining of  agricultural land                                                               
such  that  the  statute  changes  the  responsibility  to  DOAF.                                                               
Section 66  lists the new DOAF  as a principal department  of the                                                               
state.   Section  67 removes  agriculture  and soil  conservation                                                               
from DNR's responsibility.  Section  68 limits the application of                                                               
certain  provisions   because  DOAF   will  be   performing  some                                                               
activities in  the same  general categories as  DEC.   Section 69                                                               
amends statute relating  to DEC's powers such that  it limits the                                                               
application of certain  provisions to reflect DEC's  new food and                                                               
animal-related  responsibilities under  AS  03.05  and AS  17.20.                                                               
Section  70  adds  a  new  chapter to  establish  the  new  DOAF.                                                               
Section 71 amends  statute to add DOAF to  the agencies enforcing                                                               
AS  17.20 and  that  are subject  to  the general  administrative                                                               
adjudication provisions  of AS 44.62.330- 44.62.630.   Section 72                                                               
amends  statute to  change DOAF  to be  the agency  identified as                                                               
subject to the general  administrative adjudication provisions of                                                               
AS  44.62.330-AS 44.52.630  concerning the  Alaska grain  reserve                                                               
program.   Section  73 repeals  certain laws  and per  Section 74                                                               
those repeals  are effective  immediately under  AS 01.10.070(c).                                                               
Section  75 is  the effective  date of  July 1,  2014, except  as                                                               
provided in Section 74.                                                                                                         
1:54:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SEATON requested  a synopsis and a list  of the statutes                                                               
being repealed.                                                                                                                 
1:54:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P.   WILSON  observed  that  many   fiscal  notes                                                               
accompany HB  191 and requested  a total  of the amount  of funds                                                               
being taken from one department to another.                                                                                     
MS.  PIERSON offered  to provide  the committee  with a  side-by-                                                               
1:55:29 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  pointed out  that the  sponsor statement                                                               
specifies  that the  intent  of  HB 191  is  to  use the  current                                                               
Division of Agriculture's budget for the proposed DOAF.                                                                         
MS. PIERSON confirmed that would be the idea.                                                                                   
1:56:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SEATON,  referring to  page 27,  line 21,  asked whether                                                               
the  soil and  water conservation  districts would  be under  the                                                               
DOAF rather than under DNR as is currently the case.                                                                            
MS.  PIERSON  replied  yes.   In  further  response  to  Co-Chair                                                               
Seaton, Ms.  Pierson said that at  this time there have  not been                                                               
conversations  with  the   districts  or  district  organizations                                                               
regarding this matter.                                                                                                          
1:57:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SEATON, referring  to the  new subsection  added to  AS                                                               
17.20.230 in Section  51, asked if the  ability/authority in that                                                               
provision currently exists and is being moved from DEC or DNR.                                                                  
MS.  PIERSON related  her belief  that because  DEC would  retain                                                               
some of the  powers [specified in the proposed  new subsection in                                                               
Section 51,  the proposed  new subsection]  adds DOAF.   However,                                                               
she  expressed   the  need  to   review  Title  17   and  provide                                                               
information on that to the committee.                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR SEATON expressed the need  to identify those things that                                                               
are   renaming  and   changing  authority   between  departments,                                                               
repealing statutory powers, or creating new statutory powers.                                                                   
1:59:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SEATON, referring  to page 21 of HB 191,  inquired as to                                                               
why the sponsor didn't include aquatic farms in agriculture.                                                                    
MS. PIERSON responded that the sponsor  felt it was best to leave                                                               
aquatic farms with ADF&G and  have DOAF address mostly land-based                                                               
agriculture.    In  further  response  to  Co-Chair  Seaton,  Ms.                                                               
Pierson recalled that [maintaining  aquatic farming in ADF&G] was                                                               
[desired by] the Farm Bureau.                                                                                                   
2:01:04 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  POIRRIER, Alaska  State Grange,  began by  relating support                                                               
for HB 191.   He opined that  in general HB 191  wouldn't add any                                                               
more government, but rather  would consolidate existing functions                                                               
into a single entity.   The aforementioned, he further opined, is                                                               
an action necessary to move  the state toward self-sufficiency in                                                               
terms  of the  ability to  feed the  state's citizens  long term.                                                               
The DOAF  would be better  able to  attract more people  into the                                                               
industry.    The whole  idea  of  agriculture relies  heavily  on                                                               
passing  an agriculture  business  down to  the next  generation.                                                               
The  hope  is to  create  more  opportunities for  those  seeking                                                               
employment  in  the  agriculture   industry,  which  he  said  he                                                               
believes HB 191  will move in that direction.   By elevating [the                                                               
Division of Agriculture] to a  department level, it would provide                                                               
it  more visibility  and  a more  balanced  approach to  managing                                                               
agriculture in Alaska.  As  was mentioned earlier, there are only                                                               
two states in  the nation without an agriculture  department.  He                                                               
highlighted  that  of  those  two  states,  one  is  the  largest                                                               
geographic state and one the smallest geographic state.                                                                         
2:04:24 PM                                                                                                                    
MARIE  RICE,  Rancher,  told  the committee  that  she  has  been                                                               
involved in ranching  and agriculture in Alaska since  1963.  She                                                               
then informed  the committee  that she  has become  involved with                                                               
sustainability.   In  fact,  this  is her  third  year with  hoop                                                               
houses.  By the end of 2012, the  goal is to have 300 hoop houses                                                               
in  the Kenai/Kodiak  area.   There have  been some  difficulties                                                               
getting a  nonagricultural community  to develop some  codes, and                                                               
therefore they need help.  The  DOAF would provide an entity that                                                               
would   more  clearly   define  agriculture.     The   geographic                                                               
challenges in Alaska support the  need for organizing and helping                                                               
people  grow their  own food.   Ms.  Rice noted  that the  Alaska                                                               
Native Claims  Settlement Act (ANCSA) took  a lot of land  out of                                                               
agricultural production, and therefore  she expressed interest in                                                               
working  with Native  Alaskans to  create a  viable use  of their                                                               
land.   In conclusion,  Ms. Rice  stated support  for HB  191 and                                                               
recalled that when  the Department of Agriculture  was reduced to                                                               
a  division  there was  concern  that  the agricultural  emphasis                                                               
would be somewhat lost, which was the case.                                                                                     
2:07:44 PM                                                                                                                    
BRYCE WRIGLEY,  President, Alaska Farm Bureau,  remarked that for                                                               
the  last  30   years  agriculture  has  been   [stagnant].    He                                                               
acknowledged  that in  some of  his prior  testimony he  has been                                                               
fairly critical  of DNR and  the Division of  Agriculture because                                                               
as important  as oil and  gas is there is  only so much  time for                                                               
planning  and agriculture  often is  a footnote  in the  reports.                                                               
The  importance  of  agriculture   to  Alaska  isn't  necessarily                                                               
measured  by  the  value  of its  economic  contribution  to  the                                                               
state's  economy  but  rather  in  the  security  and  the  rural                                                               
development it  can provide.   While he  understands the  role of                                                               
DNR  in administering  the state's  oil and  gas resources,  it's                                                               
important  to  understand the  importance  of  food itself.    He                                                               
recalled  disruptions  to  the transportation  system  that  have                                                               
resulted  in food  shortages on  the shelf.   In  looking to  the                                                               
future and learning  from the past, nothing has  changed the role                                                               
or importance  of transportation.   The only way that  Alaska can                                                               
have a food  security system is through  agriculture.  Therefore,                                                               
it's important  for a  department to  be organized  to administer                                                               
the role  of agriculture in  the state.   He noted that  about 95                                                               
percent  of the  food eaten  in Alaska  is imported,  which is  a                                                               
great  risk as  well as  a great  opportunity.   Therefore, there                                                               
needs  to be  a long-term  plan  for developing  a food  security                                                               
system for Alaska  that will accommodate 700,000 for  a period of                                                               
2:12:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WRIGLEY  suggested that  DOAF be  tasked with  developing and                                                               
implementing a long-term plan  for sustainable food independence.                                                               
Such a  plan would  benefit everyone  in the  state not  just the                                                               
farmers  in  the state.    He  informed  the committee  that  the                                                               
Department  of Revenue  reports  that in  fiscal  year 2010  $4.6                                                               
billion  was  brought  in  from   oil  production  revenue.    In                                                               
comparison, Alaskans  spend $2.5 billion  in food, most  of which                                                               
goes out of the state and stays  out of the state.  If 30 percent                                                               
of that  $2.5 billion  money stayed within  the state  and turned                                                               
over in  the economy,  the multiplier effect  would result  in $4                                                               
billion  worth of  economic activity  that  doesn't occur  today.                                                               
Mr. Wrigley emphasized  the need to look beyond the  last drop of                                                               
oil in the  pipeline and determine methods and  processes to keep                                                               
the  state's economy  going.   He  suggested that  $4 billion  in                                                               
economic activity is a start.                                                                                                   
2:13:48 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  WRIGLEY  addressed  why  one  would  want  a  Department  of                                                               
Agriculture  and Food  as opposed  to  a division  is related  to                                                               
access.  When the governor  sits down with his/her commissioners,                                                               
there is  no commissioner for  agriculture yet there are  so many                                                               
aspects of agriculture that could  assist with the development of                                                               
other planning processes in the  various departments.  Again, the                                                               
DNR commissioner does not have  the time to deal with agriculture                                                               
given the hours of his/her time taken up by oil and gas issues.                                                                 
2:15:12 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WRIGLEY acknowledged that HB  191 has an indeterminate fiscal                                                               
note, which  can be  of concern.   However, he  expressed concern                                                               
that an agency that doesn't  want the legislation to move forward                                                               
could  submit  an  exorbitantly  high  fiscal  note  knowing  the                                                               
legislation  won't move  forward because  of it.   He  reiterated                                                               
that the  legislation seeks  direction in  terms of  planning and                                                               
access.    Therefore,   he  indicated  that  the   cost  of  this                                                               
legislation  won't  be  several   million  dollars,  although  he                                                               
acknowledged that a new commissioner would  have to be hired.  He                                                               
then questioned the cost of not doing something.                                                                                
2:15:56 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WRIGLEY  recalled reading that  people are held back  more by                                                               
their lack of  imagination than by their circumstances.   He then                                                               
expressed  concern that  within  the bureaucracy  the same  ideas                                                               
keep circulating  as solutions although  they haven't  worked for                                                               
30 years.   It's the lack  of imagination that keeps  the problem                                                               
from  being solved.    As  long as  people  believe  there is  no                                                               
solution,  they  seek  an  exit  plan  rather  than  a  solution.                                                               
However,  Mr. Wrigley  opined that  there is  a solution  and the                                                               
state can  have a  secure food supply.   Currently,  Alaska grows                                                               
something from all  of the food groups in  the nutrition pyramid.                                                               
Alaska can already grow a balanced  diet in Alaska, it just isn't                                                               
done enough.   In conclusion, Mr. Wrigley  emphasized that Alaska                                                               
can't  keep maintaining  the status  quo if  it is  serious about                                                               
increasing the  state's self-reliance such  that there is  a food                                                               
security system  for the  state that  guarantees people  safe and                                                               
affordable food when transportation is interrupted.                                                                             
2:18:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER   recalled  that  Mr.   Wrigley  mentioned                                                               
agriculture in  terms of  food security  and potential  for rural                                                               
development.  He inquired as to potential examples of those.                                                                    
MR. WRIGLEY said  that Tim Meyers in Bethel is  a good example of                                                               
a  remote  rural  area  that can  benefit  from  an  agricultural                                                               
project, albeit small.  Mr. Meyers  is growing fresh food that is                                                               
sold in  the local stores.   Although there are only  two million                                                               
farmers,  nationwide  agriculture  has  always  been  a  big  job                                                               
creator  as agriculture  accounts  for about  14  percent of  all                                                               
jobs.   Agriculture  isn't just  about growing/raising  the food,                                                               
it's also about processing and selling it.                                                                                      
2:20:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI agreed  that  the administration  hasn't                                                               
put in a  lot of time on agriculture and  thanked Mr. Wrigley for                                                               
his  time working  on this  issue.   He then  inquired as  to why                                                               
agriculture should be a separate department  as it would add to a                                                               
bureaucracy that's already fairly large.                                                                                        
MR.  WRIGLEY pointed  out that  the most  important functions  of                                                               
government or  life are shelter,  food, and water.   However, the                                                               
state isn't providing  food.  He highlighted the  issue of access                                                               
recalling  when the  Port  of  Anchorage froze  in  1989 and  the                                                               
grocery  store  shelves  were  bare.   He  then  highlighted  the                                                               
aftermath  of Hurricane  Katrina when  it took  two weeks  to get                                                               
food into  an area with  an emergency  plan and that  was located                                                               
only 100  miles away  from food  sources.   Alaska, on  the other                                                               
hand, is  much farther  away from its  food sources.   Therefore,                                                               
the question  is what Alaska  would do when  something interrupts                                                               
the  transportation system,  which  will inevitably  happen.   He                                                               
then  expressed  confidence  that  there is  the  opportunity  to                                                               
establish  processes to  address [the  potential interruption  in                                                               
the  transportation  system  that   would  impact  Alaska's  food                                                               
2:24:54 PM                                                                                                                    
BRUCE WILLARD, Willard Farms, informed  the committee that he has                                                               
been involved  in agriculture, beef cattle  commercially in Homer                                                               
since 1959.   As has been mentioned, agriculture seems  to take a                                                               
back seat.   For people  to become involved in  agriculture takes                                                               
money.   He  indicated the  need for  a secure  market for  one's                                                               
product and for  the state to be behind [agriculture].   In terms                                                               
of the  beef industry,  he highlighted that  for years  the rumor                                                               
has  been that  the  slaughter  house is  going  to close,  which                                                               
doesn't entice  folks to enter  the beef industry.   Furthermore,                                                               
there  are  many people  who  have  been  waiting for  years  for                                                               
leases.   For example, after  holding the Fox River  Valley lease                                                               
in Homer  for 40-50 years, Mr.  Willard could only obtain  a one-                                                               
year  renewal  once  it  came   up  for  renewal.    Mr.  Willard                                                               
emphasized the need  for a department of agriculture  so there is                                                               
only one place for people [in agriculture] to go.                                                                               
2:28:31 PM                                                                                                                    
BILL BURTON,  Kodiak Game Ranch;  President, Kodiak  Farm Bureau,                                                               
agreed  that  the  leases  are  a large  problem.    He  recalled                                                               
transitioning  from the  federal [leases]  to the  state [leases]                                                               
when he went without a lease  for nine years, which makes it very                                                               
difficult to  get a  [loan].  A  department of  agriculture would                                                               
make a huge difference in  this regard, particularly since DNR is                                                               
more interested  in oil leases.   A long-term lease would  make a                                                               
huge difference in terms of  livestock.  He then turned attention                                                               
to the  bear predation of cattle  and noted that in  the Lower 48                                                               
ranchers are reimbursed  for predation.  While  he clarified that                                                               
he isn't  advocating for the aforementioned  necessarily, he went                                                               
into game ranching  because of the bear predation  on his cattle.                                                               
Mr.  Burton asserted  that Kodiak  and the  Aleutian Islands  are                                                               
outstanding  locations  to  raise  livestock,  which  are  sorely                                                               
needed in Alaska.   Also, there's the capability  to produce much                                                               
more  livestock  in  Alaska than  is  currently  being  produced.                                                               
Although ANCSA  took quite a  bit of  the ranch lands  in Kodiak,                                                               
potential  remains   in  Kodiak   and  elsewhere.     Mr.  Burton                                                               
reiterated the difficulty with obtaining leases.                                                                                
2:32:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SEATON interjected that the  hope is to address the long                                                               
timeframes with leases by placing more  staff in DNR to deal with                                                               
the leases and permits.                                                                                                         
2:32:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BURTON, in  conclusion, remarked that the current  DNR is one                                                               
of the most agriculture-minded the  state has had, but that could                                                               
change  with a  different  administration.   Therefore, having  a                                                               
separate  department of  agriculture  would address  many of  the                                                               
2:34:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SEATON  asked whether DNR has  a position on HB  191 and                                                               
whether it would elevate agriculture in Alaska.                                                                                 
2:34:43 PM                                                                                                                    
ED FOGELS, Deputy Commissioner,  Department of Natural Resources,                                                               
related that DNR doesn't have a  position on HB 191.  However, he                                                               
stated that DNR has put a  lot of effort into the agriculture and                                                               
has  made   some  progress,  but  allowed   that  establishing  a                                                               
department of agriculture would  certainly elevate the visibility                                                               
of the agricultural industry.                                                                                                   
2:35:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SEATON noted  that HB  191 wasn't  introduced to  knock                                                               
DNR, but  rather to help  enhance the position of  agriculture in                                                               
the state.   Speaking to Ms. Ryan, Co-Chair  Seaton asked whether                                                               
DEC sees anything in Version  B that would compromise [the health                                                               
of   agriculture]  or   the  cooperation   between  the   various                                                               
regulatory bodies.                                                                                                              
2:37:19 PM                                                                                                                    
KRISTIN  RYAN,   Director,  Division  of   Environmental  Health,                                                               
Department of Environmental Conservation,  pointed out that under                                                               
Version B  the state  veterinarian's office  would be  moved from                                                               
the Division of  Environmental Health within DEC  to the proposed                                                               
DOAF.  The  state veterinarian oversees several  programs for the                                                               
production  of animal  products, primarily  milk and  cheese, for                                                               
human consumption.   The legislation also removes  the ability of                                                               
the  Division of  Environmental Health  to regulate  agricultural                                                               
foods   and  provides   that  authority   to  the   new  proposed                                                               
department,  while  leaving  retail   food  and  seafood  in  the                                                               
Division  of  Environmental  Health.   Ms.  Ryan  identified  the                                                               
processing  of non-agricultural  food as  an area  that's missing                                                               
from  the  legislation.   The  Division  of Environmental  Health                                                               
permits  about 170  food processors  in Alaska,  the majority  of                                                               
which  are non-agriculturally  based  foods.   Such foods  aren't                                                               
covered under DEC or the proposed DOAF.                                                                                         
2:40:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REX  WRIGLEY said  he is  in favor  of the  reinstatement of  the                                                               
[proposed DOAF] because farmers  can realize what's needed better                                                               
since  it's their  livelihood.   He  highlighted that  throughout                                                               
civilizations food has  been one of the  first things considered.                                                               
Therefore, [there should be a department] governing food.                                                                       
2:43:17 PM                                                                                                                    
RUBY HOLLEMBAEK,  Owner & Operator,  Alaska Interior  Game Ranch;                                                               
President, Alaska  Diversified Livestock  Association, summarized                                                               
her  written  statement,  which was  included  in  the  committee                                                               
packet, as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                             
     The  Alaska Department  of Agriculture  and Food  would                                                                    
     work  with officials  on the  local, state  and federal                                                                    
     level  to   benefit  all   Alaskans  involved   in  the                                                                    
     agriculture  industry.     When  Alaska  regains  their                                                                    
     Department  of Agriculture,  they would  regain control                                                                    
     of their own  budget.  No industry can  be supported as                                                                    
     an afterthought.  That is  what Alaskan agriculture has                                                                    
     become over the last 2.5 decades, an afterthought.                                                                         
     "In  a   report  prepared   (February  15,   2010)  for                                                                    
     President  Barack   Obama  and  Secretary  of   the  US                                                                    
     Department of  Agriculture, Tom  Vilsack, and  based on                                                                    
     forums  conducted by  State USADA  Alaska Farm  Service                                                                    
     Agency  Danny  Consenstein  and Alaska  State  Director                                                                    
     USDA  Rural  Development  Jim  Nordlund  the  following                                                                    
     facts  were derived  from meetings  held across  Alaska                                                                    
     (Fairbanks, Kotzebue, Juneau  and Anchorage) to provide                                                                    
     input  on what  works and  what does  not work  when it                                                                    
     comes  to job  creation  and  retention, especially  in                                                                    
     rural  Alaska.   Three areas  for potential  job growth                                                                    
     emerged from all four meetings:                                                                                            
        · Food Systems                                                                                                          
        · Renewable energy/energy efficiency                                                                                    
        · Rural Infrastructure                                                                                                  
     I  see an  Alaska  Department of  Agriculture and  Food                                                                    
     being  able  to provide  economic  growth  in food  and                                                                    
     agriculture  for our  state in  jobs  with money  being                                                                    
     reinvested in  Alaska.  I  see it working  closely with                                                                    
     the  Department of  Economic and  Community Development                                                                    
     with  efforts  of  increasing  the  industry,  not  for                                                                    
     industry  sake but  for making  our  state stronger  by                                                                    
     providing  agricultural endeavors  that  look at  food,                                                                    
     fiber and fuel.  My husband  and I operate a game ranch                                                                    
     with bison and elk.   A Department of Agriculture would                                                                    
     work with  ranches such  as ours,  to increase  the red                                                                    
     meat  industry for  our state.   A  reinstatement of  a                                                                    
     Department of Agriculture  would promote revitalization                                                                    
     for  Alaska's  livestock  industry.    Not  only  would                                                                    
     producers  provide red  meat, they  would also  provide                                                                    
     jobs for  Alaskans.  Alaskan agriculture  would head up                                                                    
     endeavors such as alternative  fuels like barley burner                                                                    
     stoves, straw pellet  stoves and biomass possibilities.                                                                    
     This  department  would  define  and  nurture  economic                                                                    
     opportunity, including  technology development,  in the                                                                    
     food,  fuel  and fiber  sectors.    A department  would                                                                    
     support growth in Alaskan agriculture  by serving as an                                                                    
     advocate  at  the  local,   state  and  federal  level;                                                                    
     defining   and  nurturing   economic  opportunity   and                                                                    
     enhancing  the  stewardship  of  natural  resources  on                                                                    
     agricultural land.  We are truly a renewable resource.                                                                     
     It's also about food security.   Maybe a person walking                                                                    
     around  Alaska  wearing  an   FAA  (Future  Farmers  of                                                                    
     America) jacket doesn't get the  same head turning as a                                                                    
     jacket from  a petroleum based company,  but it should.                                                                    
     It  should   be  a  real  head-turner.     Agricultural                                                                    
     producers for  our state would influence  job creation,                                                                    
     security and  economic development.  It  would increase                                                                    
     regional  and local  food security.   It  would support                                                                    
     economically  efficient  and  ecologically  sustainable                                                                    
     agriculture.   Family  friendly farming  are not  dirty                                                                    
     words.   We  might get  dirty farming  but we  are very                                                                    
     All  other  states  except  the  largest  and  smallest                                                                    
     (Alaska  &   Rhode  Island),   have  a   cabinet  level                                                                    
     department for  agriculture.  We  had one too  until, I                                                                    
     believe  the  early  1960's,  just  prior  to  the  oil                                                                    
     pipeline.  We  are special, not having  a cabinet level                                                                    
     department  of agriculture  is  not a  good  way to  be                                                                    
     special.   North  Dakota  now surpasses  us  as an  oil                                                                    
     producing  state,  the  boom has  come  and  gone  once                                                                    
     again.  It  is time to apologize  to farmers, ranchers,                                                                    
     producers  and agriculture  operators around  the state                                                                    
     for putting  them on the  back burner as  an economical                                                                    
     viability, for  taking their industry out  of a cabinet                                                                    
     level status and placing them  as a division under DNR.                                                                    
     Our forefathers  never intended that.   They  knew that                                                                    
     Alaska   needed  agriculture.     They   knew  it   was                                                                    
     imperative as a  state, to be able to  feed, clothe and                                                                    
     keep themselves warm was just  as important as any gold                                                                    
     that was sought after.                                                                                                     
     It  is  time  to  reinstate the  Alaska  Department  of                                                                    
     Agriculture.    It  is  time   to  support  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Department of Agriculture and Food, HB 191.                                                                                
2:47:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SEATON then announced that HB 191 would be held over.                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 191 ver. M.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
CSHB 191 ver. B.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
HB 191 - SPONSOR_STATEMENT_HB_191 (Revised _2).pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
HB 191 - Alaska Farm Bureau.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
HB 191 -Alaska's State-Funded Ag Projects and Policy.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
HB 191 - Community Perspective- Carol Lewis.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
HB 191 - DOA Petition.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
HB 191 - Hollembaek LTR of Support.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
HB 191 - Letters of Support.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
HJR040A.PDF HJUD 4/9/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/30/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJR 40
HJR 40 Sponsor.pdf HJUD 4/9/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/30/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJR 40
HJR 40 1866 mine bill.pdf HJUD 4/9/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/30/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJR 40
HJR 40 BLM determination.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/30/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJR 40
HJR 40 DNR Background.pdf HJUD 4/9/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/30/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJR 40
HJR 40 GAO Report.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/30/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJR 40
RS2477 Resources.pdf HJUD 4/9/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/30/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJR 40
CSHB 191 Sectional Analysis.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
CSHB 191 Explanation of Changes.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
HB 191 testimony.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
HB 191 testimony II.docx HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
HJR 40 AG opin (No Print).pdf HJUD 4/9/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/30/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJR 40
House Resources- Qs & As-RE- HB191 DOAF.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
HB 191 Fiscal Note packet.pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
(H) RES ltr DEC re HB 191 3-30-12 (3).pdf HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191
Email from Esther Tempel (DNR) RE- HB 191.docx HRES 3/26/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 191