Governor Walker Signs Community Seed Bank Bill in Palmer
HB 197 improves food security for Alaskans
PALMER, AK—Governor Walker signed HB 197 into law at Alaska’s agricultural research lab, the Plant Materials Center in Palmer. Sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Johnston and carried by Sen. Cathy Giessel, the bill helps establish community seed banks.
Alaska’s unique growing conditions mean that sharing local knowledge and resources are often critical for successful agriculture endeavors, from commercial-scale agriculture to family farms to community and backyard gardens. Creating repositories for seeds that have been tried and tested for success in Alaska will help improve opportunities for Alaskans to grow food, grains, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and other commercially viable plants.
“It has been said that when Alaska became a state, we grew approximately fifty percent of our food. Now, we grow less than five percent,” Governor Walker said. “We have further to go for Alaska’s food security, and this bill will help us move the needle. Promoting and supporting Alaska Grown products is a win-win for our health and our economy.”
Increasing Alaska’s food production reduces Alaska’s dependence on food that arrives by barge, truck, and plane, driving up the cost of food while lowering its quality for many Alaskans. Promoting Alaska grown food helps Alaska’s economy, since the dollars invested in local farmers and businesses stay and circulate in Alaska’s communities. Increasing the production of Alaska grown food improves local food security, and helps ensure all Alaskans have the access to healthy, fresh food that they deserve.