• 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!…

  • General

    The Sequel is Better: CFAP 2 is Available Now

    Guest post from Jeff Schahczenski, National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist Like many of our favorite movies, the sequel to the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program (CFAP 2) is an expansion and improvement of the original. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) began taking applications for CFAP 2 on September 21, 2020. The program will end on December 11, 2020. About $14 billion has been made available to fund this relief effort for U.S. agriculture producers impacted by COVID-19. For Judy Owsowitz, owner and founder of Terrapin Farm in Whitefish, Montana, CFAP 2 is welcome help for the significant losses she experienced…

  • Climate Change

    Growing Support for Farmer Solutions to the Climate Crisis

    A growing number of farmers are making the connection between more frequent, extreme weather events and the climate crisis. Last year, OEFFA, as a member of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), began circulating a letter written by and for farmers: the Farmer and Rancher Letter on Climate Change and Agriculture. The letter expresses deep concerns about climate change impacts on U.S. agriculture and calls for solutions that invest in rural and agricultural communities. As a result, more than 150 OEFFA farmers joined thousands more farmers from across the nation in a clarion call for investments in sustainable agriculture. Agriculture is on the Front Line of the Climate Crisis Agriculture…

  • State Policy

    Opportunity in a Time of Crisis Report Details Recommendations for Building a More Resilient Ohio Food System

    OEFFA, the Ohio Farmers Market Network, Produce Perks Midwest, and the Ohio Food Policy Network released a new report, Opportunity in a Time of Crisis: Recommendations for Building a More Resilient Ohio Food System, which captures the landscape of small- to mid-scale agriculture in Ohio and how local and regional food systems were impacted by COVID-19. While farmers and farmers’ markets have risen to the challenge posed by a national pandemic and disruptions in the global food supply chain and adapted their operations to feed Ohio families, those adaptations are not sustainable without state and federal leadership. Investment is needed to increase the resilience and stability of the food system.…

  • Climate Change

    Agriculture Underscored in House Climate Committee Report

    This blog is from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), written June 30 following the release of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis report and provides detailed analysis and resources on the recommendations in the report related to agriculture and related programs and legislation. Major comprehensive federal legislation to deal with the global climate crisis is long overdue.  While no bills are likely to become law this year, the time is ripe for piecing together the key components of a new law for consideration in the 117th Congress (2021-22).  Even before next year, the House of Representatives will engage in a trial run, voting on climate-related bills yet…

  • Climate Change

    Answers to Your Questions About Agricultural Carbon Markets

    Understanding voluntary private carbon markets can be confusing. Will selling carbon credits generated by farmers help mitigate climate change? Will new legislation creating a certification program for carbon markets solve existing problems and confusion? Thankfully, one of our partner organizations in the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has some answers. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) works locally and globally on fair and sustainable food, farm, and trade systems and IATP’s Tara Ritter wrote the article below to help us understand this complicated issue. With Tara’s permission we are republishing her blog post about carbon markets and a new bill called the “Growing Climate Solutions Act.” Senate Climate Bill…

  • General

    Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis: A Faltering Start and an Uncertain Future

    While the highly consolidated global food supply chain has broken under the pressure of the COVID-19 crisis, our diverse and distributed local and regional food system has proven more resilient. Many OEFFA farmers have been able to adapt to the market disruptions that occurred as restaurants and schools closed, by pivoting to other strategies like online pre-ordering and taking advantage of strong customer demand. Farmers’ markets moved quickly to adapt to the new reality of social distancing by implementing drive-thru markets, online ordering systems, and other market modifications. While these adaptations helped keep local food flowing, they did not come without cost, both financial and human. These changes included things…