Bill to ease regulations on small-scale food operations

 Posted By: Newsroom

   LINCOLN, Neb. (AP)   Members of Nebraska’s local food movement say bakers and gardeners are being choked out by rules meant for larger businesses.

        A legislative committee heard public testimony Tuesday on two measures to ease regulations on small-scale food operations.

        A bill by Senator Burke Harr of Omaha would allow cities, states and counties to designate vacant land for community gardens. It would also exempt free seed exchanges from regulations that apply to commercial seed operations.

        Advocates say the measure is about making agriculture accessible to low-income families.

        A measure by Senator Rick Kolowski of Omaha would allow for potentially non-hazardous foods like fresh produce, baked goods and jams to be prepared in personal kitchens and sold on a small scale.