• Farm Bill

    The Path to a New Farm Bill (Regularly Updated)

    It’s GO time! Our federal policy team has been busy at work keeping up to date with the farm bill action in Congress. In this blog, you’ll find all relevant updates, with the oldest news at the bottom and the most recent updates at the top. Stay tuned for more as things are moving. 

  • Farm Bill,  Organic,  Soil Health

    Celebrating Earth Day with Representative Max Miller

    Written in collaboration with the Organic Farmers Association.

    An Ohio Congressman pictured with Ohio farmers and their families.

    There are few more impactful ways to celebrate Earth Day than by inviting a Congressperson to see some of Ohio’s organic farms! It was an honor learning from farmers at Woodlyn Acres Farm in Dalton, Ohio, and County Line Family Farm in Wadsworth, Ohio with Representative Max Miller (OH-7).

    The Organic Farm Day was planned in partnership with the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) and the Organic Farmers Association (OFA).

  • General

    Introducing: Policy Caucuses

    Join us for the official launch of the OEFFA Policy Caucuses! 

    Caucuses are a way for us to work together and amplify the voices of farmers and other OEFFA members to affect change in state and federal policies. OEFFA’s caucuses provide a space for community discussion, planning, and strategizing for policy change.

    Each caucus reflects ongoing policy priorities set by OEFFA members and will replace the previous farm bill workgroups:

  • Climate Change,  Conservation,  Marketplace Equity,  Soil Health

    Conservation, not Consolidation (Take Action!)

    Over the last few weeks, we have been posting an educational ‘Farm Safety Net Fridays’ series on our Instagram page. This has all been leading up to a week of action titled: Conservation, not Consolidation. You may have seen a blog post from us a few weeks back about the farm safety net. In it, we outlined how some folks on Capitol Hill want to use climate-smart agriculture funding to prop up commodity programs.  

    Some lawmakers in Congress are being pressured to raise commodity program subsidies by $20 to $50 billion. These include the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program, which makes payments to commodity farms relative to a price floor, or a “reference price,” fixed in legislation. Just 0.3 percent of farms are projected to benefit most from an increase in PLC reference prices.  

  • General,  Organic

    Amplifying Farmers’ Needs at the 2024 NOC Fly-In

    Ohio farmers in front of the Capitol Building

    Last month, Milo and Nicole on our federal policy team were in DC for the National Organic Coalition (NOC) fly-in. NOC is an alliance of organizations across the country that advocate for organic farmer and consumer needs. During the fly-in, we focused on the following priorities:

    • Supporting the Organic Certification Cost Share Program and producers transitioning to organic
    • Addressing regulatory USDA bottlenecks
    • Advancing equity within agricultural programs and policies
    • Solving the organic dairy crisis
    • Supporting organic research
    • Advancing conservation practices and programs
  • Conservation,  General

    Our Farm Safety Net is Not “One Size Fits All”

    a field of forage with an organic dairy farm in the background

    Did you know that Ohio is home to 76,009 farms and 731 organic farms? Even though we are all consumers of food, its production is even more prominent here in Ohio. One might think that the needs of farmers who are doing vital work by feeding their communities are prioritized. However, this is not always the case.  

    Organic grain and dairy producers, vegetable farmers, small meat producers, small and mid-size producers, local food advocates, and many more remain underrepresented in mainstream government, academic, and industry spaces. Instead, agriculture voices are largely dominated by policy experts, researchers, and educators. It is important to get all perspectives, but having farmers at the center of our work is critically important to achieve a farming system that is sustainable for all. 

  • Climate Change,  Conservation,  Soil Health

    Protecting Ohio’s Most Valuable Natural Resource

    Ohio Soil Health Week banner

    It is impossible to overstate the importance of what is under our feet. Healthy soil is at the root of healthy water, food, economies, and communities. When taken care of, soil has the potential to store carbon and help mitigate the climate crisis. Yet, even with all that relies on healthy soils, this natural resource is increasingly becoming lost or degraded. The value of soil is simply overlooked and those who do recognize the importance of healthy soils are without the support to preserve them.

    There is a need to educate the public on the importance of healthy soils while celebrating this natural resource. That’s why OEFFA and the Ohio Soil Health Initiative (OSHI) are planning an Ohio Soil Health Week—a weeklong celebration that will bring together farmers, community members, organizations, state leaders, and legislators to amplify different voices and share how powerful and important Ohio’s soils are.

  • General

    NSAC 2024 Winter Meeting Recap

    a group of farmers and advocates in front of the US Capitol Building

    Our federal policy team is feeling extremely motivated and connected after joining fellow NSAC members in DC at the end of January. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) puts on a summer and winter meeting each year where its members join to strategize, build relationships, and learn about agriculture policy. This winter meeting was the largest to date!  

  • General

    Food Chains Follow-Up

    Food Chains movie poster

    The sign of a good documentary is that it leaves you with more questions than answers.

    If this is the case, then Food Chains did exactly that. There was hardly enough time to cover all of the thoughts, ideas, and questions that arose during the Sunday film screening and the panel discussion that followed. 

    That said, we’d like to elaborate on some of the points and programs that were brought up by our panelists and engaged members of the audience.

    For those who couldn’t brave the cold on January 14 (we don’t blame you), you missed 86 minutes of a look into the lives of farmworkers in Immokalee, Florida. Known as the tomato capital of the U.S., Immokalee’s population is largely comprised of migrant farmworkers who plant, pick, and process the popular fruit. It’s been reported that a whopping 28% of the town’s residents are people from Central America, Haiti, and Mexico who play this vital role in our food system.

  • Climate Change,  Conservation,  Organic

    New Year, New Organic Rules

    a sign in front of a farm that reads "do not spray - organic"

    Welcome to 2024! To help us ring in the new year, we wanted to highlight some recent changes to the USDA organic standards and share what’s on the horizon. There have been some notable updates to the standards, some of which will go into effect in 2024. While we still have significant room for improvement, these updates help to strengthen the USDA organic label and foster more consumer trust.