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AB-1348 Farmer Equity Act of 2017.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/21/2017 04:00 AM
AB1348:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 20, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 30, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1348


Introduced by Assembly Member Aguiar-Curry
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Caballero, Eggman, Limón, and Mathis)

February 17, 2017


An act to add Article 6 (commencing with Section 510) to Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to the agricultural industry.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1348, as amended, Aguiar-Curry. Farmer Equity Act of 2017.
Existing law requires the Department of Food and Agriculture, headed by the Secretary of Food and Agriculture, to promote and protect the agricultural industry of the state.
This bill would enact the Farmer Equity Act of 2017 and would require the department to ensure the inclusion of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, as defined, in the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of food and agriculture laws, regulations, and policies and programs, as specified. The bill would require the secretary to create a position within the department’s executive office to support the department’s efforts to include socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in its policies and programs, as specified.
The bill would require the department on or before January 1, 2020, to submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature on efforts to serve socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and female farmers and ranchers in California and include recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature on how to improve processes to include socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Article 6 (commencing with Section 510) is added to Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Food and Agricultural Code, to read:
Article  6. Farmer Equity Act of 2017

510.
 This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the Farmer Equity Act of 2017.

511.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) California recognizes the importance in of investing in the long-term prosperity of our food and farming system, starting with our farmers.
(2) Farmers of color have historically not had equitable access to land and other resources necessary to conduct farming in California, and that legacy of prejudice persists.
(3) Female farmers represent less than a quarter of all farmers in the state. Only 2 percent of California farmers are women of color, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture.
(4) Socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers tend to farm fewer acres but have a greater diversity of crops in California.
(5) According to the United States Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture, on average, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in California receive less in federal payments than their White counterparts and also earn less.
(6) Despite the barriers, an increasing number of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers are attempting to farm throughout California, across rural and urban settings.
(7) Existing federal agricultural policies have failed to provide sufficient and appropriate technical assistance and financial support, including farmer cooperative creation, for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
(b) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature that the secretary should support socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and include this support in the department’s vision and its relevant policies.

512.
 For purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Secretary” refers to the Secretary of Food and Agriculture.
(b) “Socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher” means a farmer or rancher who is a member of a socially disadvantaged group.
(c) “Socially disadvantaged group” means a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. These groups include all of the following:
(1) African Americans.
(2) Native Indians.
(3) Alaskan natives. Natives.
(4) Hispanics.
(5) Asian Americans.
(6) Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.
(d) “Urbanized area,” as used by the United States Census Bureau, refers to a population of at least 50,000 people.

513.
 (a) The department shall ensure the inclusion of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, including socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in urbanized areas, in the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of food and agriculture laws, regulations, and policies and programs.
(b) The secretary shall create a position within the department’s executive office to support the efforts of this section and Section 514. The person appointed to that position shall report to the secretary.
(c) The department shall do all of the following:
(1) Consult with the Secretaries of the California Environmental Protection Agency, the Natural Resources Agency, the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, and the California Health and Human Services Agency, and all other interested members of the public and private sectors of the state on opportunities for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and to coordinate state programs.
(2) Disseminate information regarding opportunities provided by, including, but not limited to, the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the General Accounting Office, the Office of Management and Budget, and other federal agencies for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
(3) Evaluate boards, committees, commissions, and advisory panels created pursuant to this code for opportunities for inclusion of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. ranchers, except those established pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 58841) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 21, Article 7 (commencing with Section 59721) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 21, and Division 22 (commencing with Section 63901).

514.
 (a) On or before January 1, 2020, the department shall submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature on efforts to serve socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and all female farmers and ranchers in California. The report shall include recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature on how to improve processes to include socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
(b) The report to be submitted to the Legislature pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.