Text: S.2758 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (11/09/2009)

 
[Congressional Bills 111th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 2758 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

111th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 2758

To amend the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act 
   of 1998 to establish a national food safety training, education, 
extension, outreach, and technical assistance program for agricultural 
                   producers, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            November 9, 2009

 Ms. Stabenow (for herself, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Merkley, Mr. Sanders, 
Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Bingaman, and Mr. Leahy) introduced the following bill; 
  which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, 
                        Nutrition, and Forestry

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act 
   of 1998 to establish a national food safety training, education, 
extension, outreach, and technical assistance program for agricultural 
                   producers, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Growing Safe Food Act of 2009''.

SEC. 2. NATIONAL FOOD SAFETY TRAINING, EDUCATION, EXTENSION, OUTREACH, 
              AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--Title IV of the Agricultural Research, Extension, 
and Education Reform Act of 1998 is amended by inserting after section 
404 (7 U.S.C. 7624) the following:

``SEC. 405. NATIONAL FOOD SAFETY TRAINING, EDUCATION, EXTENSION, 
              OUTREACH, AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

    ``(a) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) Agricultural producer group.--The term `agricultural 
        producer group' means a group--
                    ``(A) the mission of which includes working on 
                behalf of agricultural producers, grower-shippers, 
                packers, distributors, and processors; and
                    ``(B) a majority of the membership and board of 
                directors of which are agricultural producers, grower-
                shippers, packers, distributors, and processors.
            ``(2) Beginning farmer.--The term `beginning farmer' means 
        a farmer who, as determined by the Secretary--
                    ``(A) has not operated a farm or who has operated a 
                farm for not more than 10 years;
                    ``(B) materially and substantially participates in 
                the operation of the farm; and
                    ``(C) provides substantial day-to-day labor and 
                management of the farm.
            ``(3) Conservation systems.--The term `conservation 
        systems' means conservation practices, activities, and 
        management measures that are based on local resource conditions 
        and the standards and guidelines contained in the Natural 
        Resources Conservation Service field office technical guides.
            ``(4) Market value of agricultural products.--The term 
        `market value of agricultural products' means gross income 
        derived from--
                    ``(A) the production of agricultural commodities 
                and unfinished raw forestry products;
                    ``(B) the production of livestock and products 
                produced by, or derived from, livestock;
                    ``(C) the production of farm-based renewable 
                energy;
                    ``(D) the processing, packing, storing, and 
                transporting of farm and forestry commodities, 
                including renewable energy;
                    ``(E) the feeding, rearing, or finishing of 
                livestock (exclusive of the cost or other basis of 
                livestock purchased for resale); and
                    ``(F) any other similar market activity related to 
                farming or forestry, as determined by the Secretary.
            ``(5) National integrated food safety initiative.--The term 
        `national integrated food safety initiative' means the 
        integrated research, education, and extension competitive 
        grants program carried out under section 406.
            ``(6) Small and medium-sized farm.--The term `small and 
        medium-sized farm' means a farm on which the market value of 
        agricultural products, averaged over the most recent 3-year 
        period for which data are available (including the market value 
        generated by all of the individuals or legal entities that 
        operate or have an ownership interest in the farm) does not 
        exceed $1,000,000.
            ``(7) Small food processors.--The term `small food 
        processor' has the meaning given the term by the Secretary.
            ``(8) Small fruit and vegetable merchant wholesaler.--The 
        term `small fruit and vegetable merchant wholesaler' has the 
        meaning given the term by the Secretary.
            ``(9) Socially disadvantaged farmer.--The term `socially 
        disadvantaged farmer' has the same meaning given the term 
        `socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher' in section 355(e) of 
        the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 
        2003(e)) with respect to a farmer.
            ``(10) Sustainable agriculture.--The term `sustainable 
        agriculture' has the meaning given the term in section 1404 of 
        the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching 
        Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3103).
    ``(b) Establishment.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Secretary shall establish a 
        competitive grant program to provide food safety training, 
        education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance to--
                    ``(A) owners and operators of farms;
                    ``(B) small food processors; and
                    ``(C) small fruit and vegetable merchant 
                wholesalers.
            ``(2) Applicability.--Food safety training, education, 
        extension, outreach, and technical assistance provided under 
        this section shall relate only to foods under the authority of 
        the Commissioner of Food and Drugs and not to foods under the 
        authority of the Secretary.
            ``(3) Integrated approach.--To the maximum extent 
        practicable, the Secretary shall carry out the program under 
        this section in a manner that integrates food safety standards 
        and guidance with sustainable agriculture and conservation 
        systems.
            ``(4) Priority.--In awarding grants under this section, the 
        Secretary shall give priority to projects that target small and 
        medium-sized farms, small processors, and small fresh fruit and 
        vegetable merchant wholesalers.
            ``(5) Coordination.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The Secretary shall coordinate 
                implementation of the program under this section with 
                the national integrated food safety initiative.
                    ``(B) Interaction.--The Secretary shall--
                            ``(i) in carrying out the program under 
                        this section, take into consideration applied 
                        research, education, and extension results 
                        obtained from the national integrated food 
                        safety initiative; and
                            ``(ii) in determining the applied research 
                        agenda for the national integrated food safety 
                        initiative, take into consideration the needs 
                        articulated by the user community served by 
                        projects funded by the program under this 
                        section.
    ``(c) Grants.--
            ``(1) In general.--In carrying out this section, the 
        Secretary shall make competitive grants to support training, 
        education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance 
        projects to increase understanding and implementation of food 
        safety standards, guidance, and protocols developed under 
        chapter IV of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 
        U.S.C. 341 et seq.), including, as appropriate to the targeted 
        customer group--
                    ``(A) good agricultural practices;
                    ``(B) good handling practices;
                    ``(C) good manufacturing practices;
                    ``(D) produce safety standards;
                    ``(E) risk analysis and preventative control 
                mechanisms,
                    ``(F) sanitation standard operating procedures;
                    ``(G) safe packaging and storage systems;
                    ``(H) recordkeeping for product sourcing and sales, 
                including traceability standards if relevant;
                    ``(I) food safety audits and certification; and
                    ``(J) other similar activities, as determined by 
                the Secretary.
            ``(2) Encouraged features.--The Secretary shall encourage 
        projects carried out using grant funds under this section to 
        include features that provide training, education, extension, 
        outreach, and technical assistance in sustainable agriculture 
        and conservation systems.
            ``(3) Organic agriculture.--The Secretary may make grants 
        under this section to projects that target farms that have, or 
        are transitioning to, certified organic production under the 
        national organic program established under the Organic Foods 
        Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.).
            ``(4) Maximum term and size of grant.--
                    ``(A) In general.--A grant under this section 
                shall--
                            ``(i) have a term that is not more than 3 
                        years; and
                            ``(ii) be in an amount that is not more 
                        than $600,000 each year.
                    ``(B) Consecutive grants.--An eligible recipient 
                may receive consecutive grants under this section.
    ``(d) Grant Eligibility.--
            ``(1) In general.--To be eligible for a grant under this 
        section, the recipient shall be--
                    ``(A) a State cooperative extension service;
                    ``(B) a Federal, State, local, or tribal agency;
                    ``(C) a nonprofit community-based or 
                nongovernmental organization;
                    ``(D) an institution of higher education (as 
                defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act 
                of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a))) or a foundation maintained 
                by an institution of higher education;
                    ``(E) an agricultural producer group;
                    ``(F) a collaboration of 2 of more eligible 
                recipients described in this subsection; or
                    ``(G) such other appropriate recipient, as 
                determined by the Secretary.
            ``(2) Multistate partnerships.--Grants under this section 
        may be made for projects involving more than 1 State.
    ``(e) Project Evaluation Criteria.--
            ``(1) In general.--In making grants under this section, the 
        Secretary shall evaluate proposals based on the extent to which 
        the proposed project--
                    ``(A) demonstrates relevancy, technical merit, and 
                achievability;
                    ``(B) demonstrates knowledge of the goals and 
                requirements of chapter IV of the Federal Food, Drug, 
                and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 341 et seq.) that are 
                directly relevant to the proposed project;
                    ``(C) benefits small and medium-sized farms, small 
                processors, and small fresh fruit and vegetable 
                merchant wholesalers;
                    ``(D) reaches beginning farmers, socially 
                disadvantaged farmers, and underserved geographic 
                areas;
                    ``(E) demonstrates a successful track record in 
                training and outreach programs with the community to be 
                served;
                    ``(F) includes adequate outreach plans;
                    ``(G) demonstrates a capacity to reach a large 
                percentage of eligible participants in the targeted 
                customer group;
                    ``(H) includes adequate plans for a participatory 
                evaluation process and outcome-based reporting;
                    ``(I) leverages cash and in-kind contributions from 
                State, local, and private sources;
                    ``(J) includes substantive, funded collaborations 
                between eligible recipients, including nonprofit 
                community-based or nongovernmental organizations and 
                agricultural producer groups; and
                    ``(K) maximizes other appropriate factors, as 
                determined by the Secretary.
            ``(2) Regional balance.--In making grants under this 
        section, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent 
        practicable, ensure--
                    ``(A) geographic diversity; and
                    ``(B) diversity of types of agricultural 
                production.
    ``(f) Relationship to Other Programs.--
            ``(1) Interagency coordination.--The Secretary shall 
        coordinate implementation of the program under this section 
        with the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to 
        food safety standards, guidance, and protocols developed under 
        chapter IV of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 
        U.S.C. 341 et seq.).
            ``(2) Consistency.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Projects funded by this program 
                shall be consistent with--
                            ``(i) sustainable agriculture;
                            ``(ii) conservation practices (as defined 
                        in section 1240A of the Food Security Act of 
                        1985 (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-1)); and
                            ``(iii) conservation activities (as defined 
                        in section 1238D of that Act (16 U.S.C. 
                        3838d)).
                    ``(B) Organic standards.--With respect to certified 
                organic production, projects funded under this section 
                shall be consistent with the national organic program 
                established under the Organic Foods Production Act of 
                1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.).
    ``(g) Reporting Requirements.--The Secretary shall require grant 
recipients to submit--
            ``(1) annual reports; and
            ``(2) at the completion of the grant period, an evaluation 
        of the project funded under this section.
    ``(h) Curriculum and Training Material Clearinghouse.--The 
Secretary may enter into a cooperative agreement with any entity 
eligible to receive a grant under this section for the purpose of 
establishing a nationwide online clearinghouse of information relating 
to the on-farm production, harvesting, packing, transporting, and 
processing of safe food that makes available educational curricula and 
training materials and programs that further the purposes of this 
section.
    ``(i) Technical Assistance.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Secretary may use funds made 
        available under subsection (k) to provide technical assistance 
        to grant recipients to further the purposes of this section.
            ``(2) Types.--Technical assistance under paragraph (1) 
        may--
                    ``(A) be in the form of a train-the-trainer 
                program; and
                    ``(B) include or be provided by food safety 
                extension teams of the National Institute of Food and 
                Agriculture.
    ``(j) Best Practices for State Programs.--Based on evaluations of 
projects funded under this section, the Secretary shall recommend on an 
iterative basis a set of best practices and models for food safety 
training programs for agricultural producers and small food processors.
    ``(k) Authorization for Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $50,000,000 for each fiscal 
year, of which--
            ``(1) not more than 3 percent may be used for a curriculum 
        and training materials clearinghouse under subsection (h);
            ``(2) not more than 10 percent may be used for technical 
        assistance under subsection (i); and
            ``(3) not more than 4 percent may be used for 
        administrative costs incurred by the Secretary in carrying out 
        this section.''.
    (b) Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive 
Grants Program.--Section 406(c) of the Agricultural Research, 
Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7626(c)) is 
amended--
            (1) by striking ``Grants under'' and inserting the 
        following:
            ``(1) In general.--Grants under''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(3) Emphasis.--In carrying out the food safety initiative 
        under this section, the Secretary shall emphasize integrated 
        projects that address priority research, education, and 
        extension needs relevant to implementing this Act and other 
        applicable agricultural research laws, including projects 
        that--
                    ``(A) aid in the development and repeated 
                improvement of food safety standards, guidance, and 
                protocols, including produce standards and guidance;
                    ``(B) analyze on an iterative basis the most 
                critical points of risk in the food system for fresh 
                produce and other raw agricultural commodities;
                    ``(C)(i) determine conservation and biodiversity 
                standards and practices that positively address food 
                safety concerns; and
                    ``(ii) develop education and decision support tools 
                to assist landowners with those standards and 
                practices;
                    ``(D) investigate methods to reduce the impact of 
                animals of significant risk on contamination of food;
                    ``(E) identify low-cost, effective food safety 
                practices for highly diversified agricultural 
                operations;
                    ``(F) develop decision support tools to aid in the 
                effective implementation of whole-farm food safety 
                plans; and
                    ``(G) address other similar topics, as determined 
                by the Secretary.''.
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