• 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).

  • Climate Change,  Conservation,  Farm Bill,  General,  Organic

    Historic Amount of Funding Available for Conservation

    A pile of 100-dollar bills

    Because of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the 2018 Farm Bill, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has nearly $5 billion in funding for conservation practices in 2024. Agricultural producers and forest landowners are encouraged to apply now to receive support for participation in voluntary conservation programs and the adoption of climate-smart practices.

    Well suited for a wide variety of producers—including organic and urban producers—USDA is now accepting applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).

  • Conservation,  Farm Bill,  General

    Farm Bill Extension Update

    The US Capitol Building at night

    On November 16, 2023, President Biden signed a short-term spending bill for the government. But what does this have to do with the farm bill? Well, this also included a one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill.

    Farm bill programs and the USDA will now be able to continue operating until September 30, 2024—exactly one year from when the 2018 bill originally expired. This had to happen because the 2023 Farm Bill was not finished being written, debated on, and budgeted for.

    With next year being a big election year, we are hoping that the final farm bill implementation will happen in the springtime. If this does not get moving as soon as the new year comes around, there is a worry that it could get pushed even further.  

  • Farm Bill,  General

    2023 In-District Recap

    State Senator Bill DeMora visiting Foraged & Sown at the Clintonville Farmers' Market

    Every August, members of Congress spend time back in their districts. This is a great time for them to connect with their constituents, support local businesses, and be in their community. Between August and October, we had four in-district meetings with legislators directly, or their local staff. We are so grateful for all our member leaders who helped put these together, participated in the visits, and shared their stories.

    Our Midwest state has a lot to offer regarding agriculture and food markets. All are unique and important for creating a food safety net that is sustainable for generations to come. 

    Below you will find a synopsis of each of our in-district visits, and some quotes from participants.

     

  • Farm Bill,  Marketplace Equity,  Organic

    The Organic Cost Share Program—and its Uncertain Future

    The Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) provides cost-share assistance to organic producers and handlers. This partial reimbursement of certification fees is critical for attracting new farmers to organic—and encouraging the continued certification of existing operations. Currently, eligible producers and handlers can receive a reimbursement of 75 percent (up to $750) of their certification costs.

    Organic cost share incentivizes participation in voluntary practices that protect our natural resources, build farm resilience, and help to meet the growing demand for organic products. Most importantly, this funding is relied upon by many farmers to support their businesses and provide the organic crops they are so proud of.

  • Farm Bill

    Farm Bill Update: October 2023

    The US Capitol Building at sunset

    Has it been a busy couple of weeks or what? With the government continuing to work towards funding resolutions, the 2023 Farm Bill timeline has been up in the air. The current version expired at midnight on Saturday, September 30, but we do have some idea of when we can expect a draft of the new farm bill.  

    Currently, the government is funded through November 17 and more resolutions will need to be made to avert another potential government shutdown. So, what does this mean? Well, programs through the USDA have been said to be viable until the end of the crop year (December 31).  

  • Climate Change,  Conservation,  Farm Bill,  Marketplace Equity,  Organic,  Soil Health

    Holistic Needs to Address in the 2023 Farm Bill

    Marbleseed logo

    This post was written by OEFFA Grassroots Policy Organizer, Nicole Wolcott, and originally appeared on the Marbleseed blog.

    A sustainable and resilient agriculture system is built from the ground up: from the grassroots. Our food system has a foundation in the soil, the very base of the earth. Keeping with this theme, our support building, education, and advocacy must be centralized in our communities.

    The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has done deep work to cultivate a narrative that is centered in this thinking.

  • Farm Bill,  General

    Working Together, Moving Forward: Reflections from Farm Aid 2023

    Willie Nelson and his band at Farm Aid 2023

    It’s not often that you get to enjoy locally grown food and listen to some of rock’s greatest legends while knowing that you’re contributing to a better food system. That’s why the Farm Aid festival is so meaningful. As John Mellencamp pointed out during the pre-concert press conference, “I don’t think any of us, in our wildest dreams, believed that 38 years later we would still be doing—and need to do—this.” The fight for family farmers will continue after a new farm bill is drafted, but the autumn air was crisp and full of hope and potential for the 22,000 who descended upon Noblesville, Indiana from September 22-23.

  • Farm Bill,  General

    Farm Bill Deadline and Stranded Programs

    OEFFA Policy Intern, Amanda Hernandez, in her high tunnel

    Guest blog post by Amanda Hernandez, OEFFA Policy Intern

    Earlier this month, the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Glenn “GT” Thompson, announced that Congress will have to temporarily extend the 2018 Farm Bill because it will miss the September 30 deadline for enacting its successor. If you are someone who produces or eats food, this extension is extremely vital.

    In brief, the farm bill is a piece of legislation that is renewed every five years and affects our entire food system. It encompasses a variety of programs, from farm subsidies to food assistance. There are two deadlines within the farm bill—the first being September 30, which is the end of the fiscal year (FY), and the second is December 31 which is the end of the crop year. These dates are of high importance because some programs may expire after the FY deadline, while others expire after the crop year.