Senate BillNo. 1247


Introduced by Senator Jackson

February 18, 2016


An act to amend Sections 564 and 566 of, and to add Section 563 to, the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to food and agriculture.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 1247, as introduced, Jackson. Environmental farming: agricultural innovation zones.

Existing law requires the Department of Food and Agriculture to establish and oversee an environmental farming program that provides incentives to farmers whose practices promote the well-being of ecosystems, air quality, and wildlife and their habitat.

This bill would also include practices that promote public health, water quality, and soil health and would require the department, as part of that program, to establish agricultural innovation zones, as defined, and to give priority to agricultural innovation zones for incentives to farmers, with special priority for agricultural innovation zones in disadvantaged communities. The bill would state the Legislature’s intent relating to environmental farming practices and the establishment of agricultural innovation zones, as specified.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P1    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 563 is added to the Food and Agricultural
2Code
, to read:

3

563.  

The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:

P2    1(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to support farmers in
2adopting environmental farming practices near schools and day
3care centers that are more resilient to the unavoidable consequences
4of climate change and that offer other societal and ecosystem
5benefits.

6(b) It is further the intent of the Legislature that the department
7establish agricultural innovation zones and prioritize incentives to
8farmers who maintain or intend to adopt an agricultural innovation
9zone to ensure the health and learning of future California
10generations and that the establishment of agricultural innovation
11zones in disadvantaged communities should be the highest priority.

12

SEC. 2.  

Section 564 of the Food and Agricultural Code is
13amended to read:

14

564.  

Unless the context otherwise requires, the following
15definitions govern the construction of this article:

16(a) “Agricultural activities” means those activities that generate
17products as specified in Section 54004.

begin insert

18(b) “Agricultural innovation zone” means an area within one
19mile of a school or day care center where farmers follow
20environmental farming practices, including organic farming
21practices, that promote the well-being of ecosystems, air quality,
22public health, water quality, soil health, and wildlife and their
23habitat and that do not rely on synthetic inputs.

end insert
begin delete

24(b)

end delete

25begin insert(c)end insert “Department” means the Department of Food and
26Agriculture.

begin delete

27(c)

end delete

28begin insert(d)end insert “Panel” means the Scientific Advisory Panel on
29Environmental Farming.

begin delete

30(d)

end delete

31begin insert(e)end insert “Secretary” means the Secretary of Food and Agriculture.

32

SEC. 3.  

Section 566 of the Food and Agricultural Code is
33amended to read:

34

566.  

(a) The department shall establish and oversee an
35environmental farming program. The program shall provide
36incentives to farmers whose practices promote the well-being of
37ecosystems, air quality,begin insert public health, water quality, soil health,end insert
38 and wildlife and their habitat.

begin insert

39(b) As part of the program, the department shall establish
40agricultural innovation zones and shall give priority to agricultural
P3    1innovation zones for incentives to farmers, with special priority
2for agricultural innovation zones in disadvantaged communities.

end insert
begin delete

3(b)

end delete

4begin insert(c)end insert The department may assist in the compilation of scientific
5evidence from public and private sources, including the scientific
6community, industry, conservation organizations, and federal,
7state, and local agencies identifying the net environmental impacts
8that agriculture creates for the environment. The department shall
9serve as the depository of this information and provide it to federal,
10state, and local governments, as needed.

begin delete

11(c)

end delete

12begin insert(d)end insert The department shall conduct the activities specified in this
13article with existing resources, to the extent they are available.



O

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