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Full Text of this Amendment

SA 3607. Mr. MENENDEZ submitted an amendment intended to be proposed to amendment SA 3500 proposed by Mr. HARKIN (for himself, Mr. CHAMBLISS, Mr. BAUCUS, and Mr. GRASSLEY) to the bill H.R. 2419, to provide for the continuation of agricultural programs through fiscal year 2012, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

On page 1362, between lines 19 and 20, insert the following:
(a) Study.--The Secretary shall conduct a study on the impacts of local food systems and commerce that shall, at a minimum--
(1) develop a working definition of local food systems and commerce; and
(2) identify indicators, and include an assessment of--
(A) the market share of local food systems and commerce throughout the United States and by region;
(B) the potential community, economic, health and nutrition, environmental, food safety, and food security impacts of advancing local food systems and commerce;
(C) the potential energy, transportation, water resource, and climate change impacts of local food systems and commerce;
(D) the structure of agricultural considerations and impacts throughout the United States and by region;
(E) the interest of agricultural producers in diversifying to access local markets and the barriers and opportunities confronted by agricultural producers in the process of diversification;
(F) the current availability and present and future need of independent processing plants that cater to local food commerce, including difficulty in meeting regulatory requirements;
(G) the key gaps in food processing, distribution, marketing, and economic development, including regional differences in infrastructure gaps and other barriers;
(H) the role of public and private institutions and institutional and governmental buying systems and procurement policies in purchasing products through local food systems;
(I) the benefits and challenges for children and families in the most vulnerable rural and urban sectors of the United States; and
(J) the challenges that prevent local foods from comprising a larger share of the per capita food consumption in the United States, and existing and potential strategies, policies, and programs to address those challenges.
(b) Collaboration.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--The Secretary shall appoint a collaborative study team to oversee and conduct the research necessary to conduct the study described in subsection (a) and the case studies described in subsection (c).
(2) MEMBERSHIP.--The study team shall include representatives of--
(A) the Economic Research Service, Agricultural Marketing Service, and other appropriate agencies of the Department of Agriculture or other Federal agencies;
(B) the Environmental Protection Agency;
(C) institutions of higher education, including at least 1 institution of higher education representative from each of the regions studied;
(D) small farmers;
(E) nongovernmental organizations with appropriate expertise; and
(F) State and local governments.
(c) Case Studies.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--The study team appointed by the Secretary under subsection (b) shall carry out case studies in representative production and marketing regions in the United States to address the issues being studied under subsection (a).
(2) REQUIREMENTS.--In carrying out case studies, the study team shall--
(A) identify opportunities for primary research; and
(B) to the maximum extent practicable, use existing surveys, data, and research.
(3) COMPONENTS.--Each case study shall--
(A) identify and, to the maximum extent practicable, evaluate the success of relevant Federal, State, and local policies that are intended to induce local food purchasing and commerce;
(B) examine the agricultural structure in each region to account for the impact of farm size and type of production on local economies and barriers to accessing local markets;
(C) determine regional market trends and the share of the market supplied by current agricultural producers in the region; and
(D) assess the potential for local food system value chains and supply networks and map the supply chain factors in each region involved in agricultural production, processing, and distribution of locally grown produce, meat, dairy, and other products.
(d) Reports.--Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, and thereafter as the Secretary considers appropriate, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report that--
(1) describes the results of the study conducted under subsection (a) and the case studies under subsection (c); and
(2) includes such recommendations for legislative action as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(As printed in the Congressional Record for the Senate on Nov 13, 2007.)