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Iowa Food Policy Council

Prof. Neil D. Hamilton, Chair
Drake Agricultural Law Center
2507 University Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50311
515/271-2065; 515/271-2530 fax

Executive Order Number Sixteen

WHEREAS, the economy and social fabric of this state are inextricably linked to food production and food production-related activities; and

WHEREAS, food production accounts for more than twenty-five percent of the state's gross annual product; and

WHEREAS, the expansion of global markets for agricultural products have failed to keep pace with increased agricultural productivity in recent years, leading to a reduction in the amount of income earned by local producers; and

WHEREAS, unacceptable numbers of people from across the state and around the world do not have reliable access to Iowa's abundant food supply; and

WHEREAS, the state of Iowa contains some of the most productive farmland found around the world, and the potential to feed hungry people and generate sustainable income for local producers is virtually unlimited; and

WHEREAS, this administration is confident that the State of Iowa can become a world leader in the new economy by creating an efficient food production infrastructure that links producers, processors, distributors, and marketers to vibrant and sustainable world markets; and

WHEREAS, the development of these linkages will enable this state to establish itself as the Food Capital of the World by creating new opportunities to increase profitability for Iowa producers through product diversification, local processing, enhanced distribution, and direct marketing; and

WHEREAS, it is imperative for policy-makers to develop a common working knowledge of Iowa's overall food production system by collecting and analyzing information about the state's food production infrastructure, including consumer patterns, in an effort to improve food policy-related decisions; and

WHEREAS, a state food production policy that is designed to produce a safe, nutritious, and adequate food supply stock for world consumption, must also balance economic, environmental, and social considerations that are important to the people of this state.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Thomas J. Vilsack, Governor of the State of Iowa, by the power vested in me by the laws of the constitution of the State of Iowa do hereby order the creation of the IOWA FOOD POLICY COUNCIL.

I. Purpose. The Iowa Food Policy Council shall advise this office on all aspects of the food production system in Iowa. The Council's advice shall include, but should not be limited to, a discussion of the following items:

  1. The state's baseline agricultural production output (this assessment shall include data on: the amount of food produced annually in this state; the amount of food that is purchased and consumed by state residents; and the extent to which the food produced in Iowa is processed, distributed and marketed by local individuals and businesses);
  2. barriers that limit the access of local businesses to production, distribution and consumer markets both inside and outside of the state. This assessment should include, but shall not be limited to, an examination of the manner in which state and local policies may impede the ability of local individuals and businesses to engage in food production, processing, distribution, and marketing activities;
  3. barriers that limit the access of hungry consumers to available food stocks;
  4. innovative local food system activities, including an assessment of the state's capacity to replicate these activities across Iowa;
  5. Strategies to expand training and assistance programs for local individuals and businesses, including methods that will link actors at each stage of the local food production infrastructure together in a working system.