Email WV Code

Email: Chapter 19, Article 37


§19-37-1. Legislative findings and purpose.

(a) According to the West Virginia Farm Bureau state schools alone currently purchase $100 million of food from out-of-state sources.

(b) Locally grown food is healthier and more beneficial to the environment than food imported from other states and other countries.

(c) This article will:

(1) Stimulate the agricultural economy of the state, especially in its economically depressed areas, and allow small farmers to expand operations as well as act as an incentive to new people to begin farming;

(2) Encourage state-funded institutions to begin growing their own produce, thus enabling people to learn and practice agricultural techniques, as well as lowering operational costs of those institutions; and

(3) Spur self-sufficiency and economic independence of those who learn and engage in agricultural activities.

§19-37-2. State-funded institutions to purchase food from in-state sources; exception.

(a) Beginning July 1, 2019, each state-funded institution, including, but not limited to, schools, colleges, correctional facilities, governmental agencies, and state parks, shall obtain a minimum of five percent of its food from in-state producers.

(b) To satisfy this requirement, state-funded institutions may purchase, either directly or indirectly fresh produce, meat and poultry products, milk and other dairy products, and other foods grown, produced, or processed by in-state producers.

(c) The commissioner shall establish by legislative rules the criteria for a food or food product to satisfy the requirements of this section, and may further identify food and food products that are eligible to be considered for in-state food credit.

(d) The commissioner shall further establish the criteria for determining when exceptions or exemptions should be granted to state institutions, including, but not limited to, situations in which the desired food, such as produce, meat and poultry products, milk and other dairy products, cannot be grown or is not available from in-state producers.

(e) The state-funded institution shall ensure that all contracts for the purchase of food, or that include the purchase of food as a component of the contract, contain provisions to ensure that the institution complies with the provisions of this article and any legislative rule promulgated pursuant thereto.

§19-37-3. Rule-making authority and enforcement.

The Commissioner of Agriculture shall be charged with the enforcement of this article and shall have authority to make and enforce rules and regulations for the administration of this article.