Governor Pence signs bill aiding smaller farmers in “farm-to-fork” program

Governor Mike Pence signed a bill that represents a compromise between small farmers and consumers worried about food safety.

House Bill 1267 was signed into law at the Joseph Decuis farm in Columbia City on Tuesday afternoon. The bill creates a “scale-appropriate” regulation of farms in the “farm-to-fork” program while also allowing the state Board of Health conduct microbial testing at farms.

Pence says fixing this bill will ensure the “farm-to-fork” program continues. “We now have 360 farmers and producers who are working now with supermarkets all across the state of Indiana to take what we grow here and make it available to Hoosiers while also letting them know it’s from Indiana.”

A previous bill made smaller farms subject to the same inspection requirements as larger farms. Senate President Pro Tem David Long says now-former Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann had a big hand in getting the bill done before she left office, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.