Testimony given in support of HB 249 – Growing of Food

As a conservative policy organization, Sutherland Institute believes Utah law should protect private property rights and encourage self-reliance through the maintenance of a home economy. Since the Industrial Revolution, mega farms and modern factories have largely replaced family farms. Industrial agriculture often relies on government subsidies and has learned to use state regulations to drive small farms out of business and discourage new competitors. At the local level, zoning laws can inhibit families from operating small-scale farms or planting robust family gardens. Despite this, family gardens and farms, farmers markets, and community-supported agriculture have regained traction in recent years. This trend is encouraging because families that grow their own food are more able to be self-reliant, particularly during times of temporary unemployment or other exigent circumstances that may unexpectedly arise, and they can help members of their community do the same. Family-centered, community-based agriculture, rooted in a culture of private property ownership and self-reliance, promotes strong families, productive homes, and economic security. For these reasons, we ask you to support HB 249, which encourages self-reliance and protects the productive use of private property while also striking a balance with the need of local government to enact reasonable rules for land use. We commend Rep. Herrod for bringing this bill forward and ask you to support it. Thank you.