Alabama’s 2022 state legislative season was a success for agriculture with the passage of key bills.
“I would say overall we were very happy with how it went. We had some priorities that we called the farm package here at the Alabama Farmers Federation, and all of that was successful,” said Blake Thaxton, a director with the Alabama Farmers Federation. “I feel like it will be beneficial to the farms of Alabama”
The 2022 Farm Package contained several bills, including the Sweet Grown Alabama Act sponsored by Rep. Van Smith (R-Billingsley) and Sen. Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro) which exempts farmers from collecting sales tax on value-added products they grow, process, and sell.
Another bill in the Farm Package, HB 415 by Rep. Gil Isbell (R-Gadsden) and its companion SB 273 by Sen. Tom Butler (R-Madison) prohibits the requirement of a county license or fee for operations when it comes to selling products at places like farmers markets.
The Farm Package also included HB 400 by Rep. Wes Kitchens (R-Arab) and SB 275 by Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia) which eliminated inconsistencies across jurisdictions by clarifying the ad valorem tax exemption for grain bins. It made all grain bin structures and parts used for preparing grain for market exempt.
In addition to the bills in the Farm Package, a number of agricultural programs in the state received new or additional funding. The Sweet Grown Alabama state-wide branding program was funded for another $300,000. The state’s Farm to School program also received $300,000 in funding. Additional funds for FFA and 4-H programs were approved as well.
Another notable bill increased the pay for the state’s agriculture commissioner. The commissioner’s salary will increase from $84,655 to $110,000.
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.
Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.