Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124
02/16/2018 01:00 PM RESOURCES
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|Presentation(s): Pebble Mine Status Update|
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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HB 217-RAW MILK SALES; FOOD EXEMPT FROM REGS 2:43:35 PM CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON announced that the final order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 217, "An Act relating to the Alaska Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; relating to the sale of milk, milk products, raw milk, and raw milk products; and providing for an effective date." CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON handed the gavel to Co-Chair Tarr. CO-CHAIR TARR informed the committee an amendment provided in the committee packet [related to labeling Alaska food products (raw milk), and discussed at the hearing of 2/14/18] would not be moved for adoption. 2:45:22 PM CO-CHAIR TARR moved to adopt Amendment 2, labeled 30-LS0593\J.3, Wayne, 2/15/18. CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON objected for discussion purposes. CO-CHAIR TARR said due to the growing interest in farm tours and visits, there is a need to protect farmers who seek to host tours on their farms. Currently, AS 09.65.290(e)(3), limits liability related to sports or recreational activities, and the bill seeks to add farm touring to the list of activities in this statute. Further, Amendment 2 adds the definition of farm touring on page 2, lines 1-3, which read: (4) "farm touring" means briefly visiting a farm to observe or experience aspects of raising, growing, producing, cultivating, harvesting, or processing an agricultural product as a tourist, without receiving pay. CO-CHAIR TARR explained the amendment would also allow a tourist to pick fruit or flowers on a farm. REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND asked whether dinners served on a farm would be considered farm touring as defined by the amendment. CO-CHAIR TARR said yes. 2:47:50 PM WAYNE FLOYD, Co-owner, Cool Cache Farms, said his farm in Nikiski specializes in peonies and food products. He expressed his support for the amendment because the agricultural industry is now expanding into [farm touring] which is a new industry; agriculture in Alaska is becoming known and is attracting visitors. Farms carry liability insurance, but insurers raise rates on policies for tourism activities such as selling U-pick products. Thus, the amendment would help farmers keep their expenses down, so they can compete with products from the Lower 48. Mr. Floyd pointed out because the tourism industry already has protection, adding farm tourism is logical and would help small farms grow. REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked how often injuries are associated with U-pick activities. MR. FLOYD explained farms with beehives may have bees on flowers that can lead to stung noses, but farmers want to have insurance against reasonable and valid claims. 2:52:08 PM CHRIS FLICKINGER, Spokesperson, Kodiak Chapter, Alaska Farm Bureau, Inc., said people stop by at his ranch and want to help brand the animals, which could lead to injuries. 2:52:51 PM CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON withdrew his objection. There being no other objection, Amendment 2 was adopted. CO-CHAIR TARR reviewed HB 217, as amended, which includes provisions to allow the Department of Natural Resources to market the Alaska Grown trademark; provides product procurement preference permissive from 7 percent to 15 percent; creates consistent statewide policy for the cottage food industry with informed consumer consent; included a provision for farm touring. 2:54:16 PM CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON moved to report the committee substitute for HB 217, labeled 30-LS0593\J, Wayne, 2/6/18, as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO objected for discussion purposes. He stated his interest in an amendment previously discussed [but not moved for adoption related to labeling food products (raw milk)] which addresses an issue critical to local producers. He urged for continued work on this issue. CO-CHAIR TARR suggested a subcommittee representing all areas of the state could continue hearing testimony from farmers on the [labeling of food products and] raw milk issue. REPRESENTATIVE PARISH directed attention to the bill on page 2, lines 26-28, which read [in part]: "THIS PRODUCT WAS MADE IN A PRIVATE FACILITY THAT IS NOT SUBJECT TO STATE OR MUNICIPAL REGULATION"; REPRESENTATIVE PARISH stated his preference for the language in the original version of the bill, which read: This product was made in a private kitchen that is not inspected by a state or local agency. CO-CHAIR TARR said the change in language was suggested by Legislative Legal Services, Legislative Affairs Agency. 2:57:35 PM REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO removed his objection. There being no further objection, CSHB 217(RES) was reported out of the House Resources Standing Committee.