• State Policy

    Ohio House Passes HB 95 to Help Farmers Overcome Land Access Challenges

    On June 28, by a vote of 96 to 1, the Ohio House passed the Family Farm ReGeneration Act, which could clear a major hurdle for the next generation of Ohio farmers and create greater resilience in our local food system! Thank you to everyone who has helped us get this far, by signing our petition, attending a hearing, or contacting a legislator. Your action really does make a difference! Access to—and secure tenure on—affordable, high quality farmland is the number one challenge young farmers face. At the same time, millions of acres of farmland is being lost to development or changing hands as older farmers retire. House Bill 95—sponsored…

  • Organic

    Organic Animal Welfare Rule to Move Forward

    Animal welfare rules for organic livestock farmers have been in limbo for more than a decade. In 2017, the Obama administration published the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule, which the Trump administration subsequently withdrew. When the Biden administration took office, many organizations, including OEFFA, asked that three pending organic rules be first on the list of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) actions. OLPP was key among them. In mid-June, USDA Secretary Vilsack announced that the agency plans to reinstate animal welfare standards. Organic Farmers Want Animal Welfare Regulation It is important to note that organic farmers want regulation. The OLPP policy received more than 120,000 supportive comments, representing…

  • General

    New Pandemic Cover Crop Program is a First Step

    June 10, 2021 This blog a re-posting from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), which will offer a $5 per acre premium discount to producers who planted qualifying cover crops during the 2021 crop year and enrolled in eligible federal crop insurance policies. The PCCP is administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and funds for this program are coming from the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers (PAP) program.  To receive this premium benefit, eligible farmers must file their acreage report with FSA by next Tuesday, June 15, 2021. For additional details about the…

  • Conservation,  General

    Unpacking Land Policy and What is Needed for a More Equitable Farming Future

    This guest post was written by Holly Rippon-Butler, Land Campaign Director with the National Young Farmers Coalition. The Coalition is a national advocacy network of young farmers fighting for the future of agriculture. Editor’s Note: To begin helping to address the challenges identified in this report, OEFFA is working to pass the Family Farm ReGeneration Act. The bipartisan House Bill 95, which would help beginning farmers access farmland and provide greater resilience to Ohio’s food system, has cleared its House committee hurdles and awaits a full House floor vote. If you care about these issues and would like to get involved, complete this petition to the Ohio legislature and call…

  • Climate Change

    Tell the USDA Investments in Organic and Regenerative Agriculture Will Help Address the Climate Crisis

    Time is running out! Comments are due by Thursday, April 29! The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now requesting input on agricultural solutions to climate change through this open docket. We know that organic and regenerative farmers use the kind of holistic, systems-based practices necessary to limit greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions, sequester carbon, and mitigate the damaging effects of increasingly severe weather. Certified organic agriculture has a 20-year track record as the only USDA-accredited, voluntary, system-based approach to ecological agriculture that has soil health at its foundation and limits outside inputs that contribute to GhG emissions. As sustainable farmers and organic advocates, this is our opportunity to support organic…

  • Climate Change

    Can a Carbon Bank Help Solve the Climate Crisis?

    By Guest Blogger Eve Gleeson With the new Biden administration comes the emergence of fresh ideas to tackle climate change and environmental degradation. A potential “carbon bank” for farmers has begun to gain traction, which would be able to reward farmers for sequestering carbon into soils by selling the resulting credits to corporations who wish to offset their emissions. While well-intended, there is no shortage of obstacles to creating a carbon bank that is as equitable, sustainable, and effective as its proponents suggest. A carbon bank would be a product of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), a U.S. Department of Agriculture program responsible for financing agricultural support programs like subsidies…

  • Conservation,  State Policy

    Family Farm ReGeneration Act Heads to House Floor

    The Ohio House Agriculture Committee has unanimously passed House Bill 95, the Family Farm ReGeneration Act, putting us one step closer to achieving much-needed support for beginning farmer land access and providing greater resilience to Ohio’s food system! Sponsored by Representatives Susan Manchester (R-84) and Mary Lightbody (D-19), the bill now heads to the full House for a floor vote. The Family Farm ReGeneration Act provides an important bridge between landowners and land seekers, authorizing tax credits for those who sell or rent farmland, livestock, buildings, or equipment to beginning farmers. It also provides a credit for beginning farmers who attend a financial management program. Because farmland is so hard…

  • State Policy

    Prosperous Soil Health Solutions

    An Old Topic Getting New Attention While good soil health practices date back to indigenous cultures, the green revolution shifted the focus away from working within natural systems toward the use of high yielding seed varieties, irrigation, mechanization, fertilizers, and pesticides. We are seeing the unintended consequences of this approach and its limitations, leading many to advocate for these old ways, while bringing in new scientific insight and understanding. Past land use practices and intensive forms of agriculture that have not focused on good soil management, have led to a tremendous loss of soil organic matter worldwide. These vulnerable soils have less resilience to drought and flooding, and during heavy…

  • General

    What Does a Biden Administration Mean for Sustainable Agriculture?

    We recently survived one of the most contentious elections in recent memory. Whomever your preferred candidate, we now have a declared winner in Joe Biden. But what does that mean for sustainable and organic agriculture, local food systems, and conservation policy? One of the priorities of President-Elect Joe Biden’s agricultural agenda is to strengthen anti-trust enforcement. According to the campaign website, “American farmers and ranchers are being hurt by increasing market concentration. Biden will make sure farmers and producers have access to fair markets where they can compete and get fair prices for their products—and require large corporations to play by the rules instead of writing them—by strengthening enforcement of…

  • General,  State Policy

    Find Our Where Your Local Candidates Stand on Food and Farm Issues

    The election season is well underway.  As you ponder who will get your vote in the upcoming election, OEFFA, in partnership with the Ohio Farmers Market Network, Produce Perks Midwest, and the Ohio Food Policy Network, compiled an Ohio Candidate Questionnaire—a list of seven questions you can use to find out where each candidate stands on important food and farm issues related to climate, food access, and local food systems.  There is an urgent need to help candidates understand the challenges Ohioans face every day in accessing healthy food, as well as those faced by farmers working to provide that food. Hold your candidates accountable this season and ask them to champion your priorities!…