Everyone knows politics is all about special interests. Now foodies can count themselves among the represented caucuses in the Texas House of Representatives — we're here, we'd prefer organic sea salt if you have it, get used to it.
State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, a Democrat from Austin, has created the Farm to Table Caucus of the Texas House, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The caucus is a bipartisan group that will combine urban and rural food interests, with Republican Rep. Lois Kolkhorst from Brenham serving as the caucus' vice chair and invites mailed to all House members of both parties. It's believed to be the first foodie caucus of its kind in the country.
"Everyone loves their local farms," Springdale Farm's Paula Foore said. "But we need a little bit more than just the lip service."
The caucus will work to advance local food culture and interests, helping local producers expand their markets and availability by increasing awareness and removing government obstacles. Rodriguez and Kolkhorst already have a track record of success working together to help small food producers. They passed HB 2084 in 2011, which makes it easier for individuals to sell food out of their homes.
"Everyone loves their local farms," Springdale Farm's Paula Foore told the Statesman. "But we need a little bit more than just the lip service."
"I look forward to working with this new caucus to create policies that strengthen Texas agriculture and provide continued success for farmers and ranchers in the urban and rural areas of our great state," Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said in a statement. "When agriculture prospers, consumers are the winners."