Ohio Food and Farm Policy

OEFFA is a leading grassroots policy voice for organic and sustainable farmers in Ohio. We represent a coalition of nearly 2,000 members and certified organic operations. Our farmers are stewards for future generations, building strong and resilient soils that yield nutritious food for our community. But, Ohio’s leaders must work together to protect our vanishing soil, farmland, and local food and farm system.

OEFFA has worked in the Ohio Statehouse to successfully pass farmland preservation legislation, the Family Farm ReGeneration Act. Currently, we’re building support for soil health-based climate solutions in the state.

Without a doubt, our members are central to this work. They attend meetings and hearings and contact decision-makers to advocate for policies that support farmers and advance climate solutions. Contact us to get involved!

From November 10-16, 2024, OEFFA and the Ohio Soil Health Initiative (OSHI) will recognize Ohio’s most valuable natural resource: soil! The weeklong celebration 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.

Ohio Soil Health Policy

Healthy soil is essential to our future. Soil is the foundation of our food and farm systems and when its health is prioritized, it holds more water, reduces runoff, and protects water quality. They also help combat climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil and building on-farm resilience to withstand the ever-increasing extreme weather events.

This is why OEFFA is working to make sure Ohio’s commitment to soil health is more than just seed-deep. 

Ohio Farmland Preservation Policy

In their Farms Under Threat report, the American Farmland Trust identified Ohio as a priority state in need of land protection. For example, between 2001-2016, Ohio lost 312,200 acres of agricultural land to development. Nationally, 100 million acres of land will change hands in the next few years, putting even more land at risk.

Ohio has many tools in place to stem the tide of this land conversion. They include the Clean Ohio Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program, Agricultural Security Areas, Agricultural Districts, and the Current Agricultural Use Valuation Program.

Despite the success of these programs, they are not enough. Ohio needs to encourage communities to develop comprehensive plans and identify policies to protect agricultural resources. Our state leaders need to continue to incentivize land transfer between farmers to help address rising land prices and farm consolidation.

Representatives Susan Manchester (R-84) and Mary Lightbody (D-19) with farmers from Foraged & Sown and OEFFA staff

Access to affordable, high-quality farmland is the number one challenge young farmers face, which is why OEFFA members spent more than two years meeting with legislators, testifying during hearings, and participating in lobby days to convey the importance of land access for Ohio’s 33,000 beginning farmers.

In April 2022, the OEFFA-backed House Bill 95—the Family Farm ReGeneration Act (FFRGA)—was signed into law. The Beginning Farmer Tax Credit went into effect on January 1, 2023.

The FFRGA encourages those with farmland, livestock, buildings, or equipment to sell to beginning farmers to receive income tax credits. Beginning farmers are also eligible for tax credits. 

Ohio Food and Farm Policy Priorities

OEFFA’s other state policy priorities can help more farmers work in concert with nature, increase profitability, and grow the next generation of farmers.

Making Investments in Regional Food Economies

OEFFA advocates for making investments in Ohio’s local food system, including the Ohio Food Policy Network and institutional purchasing and processing facilities that open up markets for local producers. We support the strategic use of federal farm bill funding, including the Local Food Promotion Program, the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP), the Value-Added Producer Grant Program, and the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP).

Supporting Agriculture That Pays Ecosystem Dividends

Ohio is seventh in the nation in the number of organic producers and second only to California in the amount of land in transition to organic. OEFFA supports investing in Ohio’s growing organic sector by expanding organic research, education, extension services, and resources for farmers transitioning to organic.

Facilitating Agriculture for the Next Generation

OEFFA supports resources for farm succession planning, expanding tax incentives for beginning and BIPOC farmers, continued funding for the Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (AEPP), and helping Soil and Water Conservation District staff to facilitate participation in AEPP.

Ohio Food and Farm Policy News

Protecting Ohio’s Most Valuable Natural Resource

OEFFA and the Ohio Soil Health Initiative (OSHI) are planning an Ohio Soil Health Week.

State Soil Health Policy: An Update

2023 Ohio policy efforts, including Ohio Statehouse visits with the late, great David Brandt.

Introducing: OEFFA Policy Caucuses

Coming Soon: OEFFA Policy Caucuses, a way for us to work together to affect policy change.

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
41 Croswell Rd.
Columbus OH 43214


OEFFA:(614) 421-2022 (614) 421-2022
OEFFA Certification:(614) 262-2022 (614) 262-2022
Fax:(614) 421-2011 (614) 421-2011