U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has introduced legislation based on a study co-authored by an Athens resident that would expand markets for area farming businesses and increase access to locally grown foods.

Brown announced the introduction of the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act on Tuesday, stating that the legislation will boost Ohio's rural economy as well as improve consumer access to healthy, fresh and local foods.

The Athens County area is a notable hub for the local food movement, with the Athens Farmers Market having a reputation as one of the best open-air food bazaars in the Midwest, and the 30-mile meal movement incorporating more than 100 area restaurants, farmers, dairy producers and ranchers.

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