• 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,  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.  

  • Climate Change,  Conservation,  Soil Health

    Protecting Ohio’s Most Valuable Natural Resource

    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

    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

    Cultivating Care—and Policy Change: 7 Conference Workshops You Don’t Want to Miss

    February is quickly approaching and our policy team is preparing for another action-packed OEFFA Conference!

    We’ve put together a series of great workshop offerings focusing on a variety of policy-based topics. If you want to see how policy can bring real change in our food and farming system, you’re going to want to make time for these seven workshops at the 45th annual OEFFA conference, Cultivating Care.

    Online registration closes on February 1, so be sure to secure your three days of learning, sharing, connecting, and shopping today!

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

    Historic Amount of Funding Available for Conservation

    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).

  • Farm Bill,  General

    2023 In-District Recap

    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.  

  • 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.

  • Soil Health,  State Policy

    State Soil Health Policy: An Update

    Pictured (left to right): Amalie Lipstreu, Dave Brandt, Lauren Hirtle

    It’s been a while since we’ve shared in-depth updates on our soil health policy efforts in Ohio. But rest assured, behind the scenes and at the Statehouse, OEFFA’s policy team, the Ohio Soil Health Initiative (OSHI), member leaders, and partners have been working hard to make progress to prioritize soil health in Ohio. 

    This winter, with the previously proposed Soil Health Task Force Bill (HB 669) on pause and the legislative session heading towards a state budget review process, OSHI saw an opportunity. We set forth a budget proposal for the Soil Health Pilot Program. The program would fund innovative projects around the state focused on improving soil health, establishing farmer networks to share their knowledge on soil health practice implementation, and helping to increase farm resilience and profitability while alleviating Ohio’s water quality concerns and more.