Nebraska State Senator Sue Crawford wins Platte Institute Legislative Achievement Award
Nebraska state Sen. Sue Crawford is the winner of the Platte Institute’s inaugural Legislative Achievement Award. The Legislative Achievement Award recognizes policy leaders who are making a positive difference for Nebraskans.
Crawford represents Legislative District 45 in the Bellevue area. In 2019, Crawford was the sponsor of Legislative Bill 304, which expanded Nebraska’s cottage food law, the law allowing home bakers and other food entrepreneurs to sell many homemade food items that are not time/temperature controlled for food safety.
In her acceptance speech, Crawford told the story of Barbara, a home baker who supported LB304, because the legislation would help her earn income from home while caring for a family member.
“I’m glad that Barbara now has the ability to bake from her home, so she can be home to care for her loved one, and that so many across the state can pursue their passion and add to their incomes,” said Crawford.
“I also look forward to what new, larger businesses may crop up from successful cottage food start-ups,” said Crawford.
Previously, Nebraska cottage food operators could only sell their products at farmers markets. Under LB304, operators can sell products directly to consumers from home and through online sales without any limit on their annual earnings.
To comply with the law, producers must register with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, take a food safety course, and disclaim to customers that their food is not produced in a commercially inspected kitchen. Operators who use well water must also have their wells inspected.
As of September, more than 200 cottage food producers have registered with the Department of Agriculture.
“Senator Crawford’s forward-looking legislation has helped more Nebraska small businesses get their start in the food industry in an extraordinarily challenging time,” said Platte Institute Chief Executive Officer Jim Vokal.
“Legislation to expand the cottage food law in Nebraska has not always experienced smooth sailing, and Sen. Crawford’s persistent leadership made the difference in advancing the bill through the Agriculture Committee and winning unanimous approval in the Legislature,” said Vokal.