A proposal to create a farm-to-school program encouraging public schools to use locally-grown products in their cafeterias is nearing final legislative passage.

Without objection Tuesday, the House Education Committee advanced the Senate-backed measure by Sen. Francis Thompson, a Delhi Democrat, to the full House for consideration.

Senate Bill 420 would require state education officials and the agriculture department to develop a program that includes an inventory of farms throughout Louisiana to link schools with farmers. Local schools would be encouraged to develop relationships with their local farmers to request crops that work for their school nutrition programs.

When the program would begin isn’t clear, dependent on whether lawmakers set aside money for it or if supporters can tap into available federal funds or grant programs.