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Engaging Matters

It matters to the small farmers and organic growers on the frontlines of our local food movement. It matters to everyone who wants access to safe, local, and sustainably-raised food. There are many state and federal policies, programs, and actions that shape our environment, communities, and family health.

Too often, the livelihood of sustainable and organic family farmers—and those of us who count on them—are under threat from policies that support farm concentration and a sytem of industrial agriculture.

OEFFA works to counter the special interest influence over our decision-makers, give voice to the needs of small- and mid-sized producers, and work toward policies that are truly in the interest of the family farmers who enhance our rural communities and safeguard the environment.

Read OEFFA's 2018 state and federal policy priorities.

    

Organic Agriculture

Soil is the foundation for life on earth. The management of a diverse community of living microorganisms is a basic tenet of organic agriculture, as are directive to promote biodiversity and protect water quality. OEFFA works with the National Organic Coalition to maintain and improve the integrity of organic agriculture. We have resources to help OEFFA members provide written comments to the National Organic Standards Board, which advises the National Organic Program. The organic industry has grown to more than $40 billion per year, providing an opportunity for new and existing farmers to prosper at a sustainable scale, but only as long as organic agriculture represents the best in sustainable agriculture.


Marketplace Equity

The farm share of the food dollar continues to shrink every year. This makes it exceedingly difficult for farmers to survive and thrive as more money goes to processing, packaging, delivery, and marketing than to the people who grow our food in concert with nature. Often, government supports go to people who do not live or work on a farm and incentivize industrial agriculture over sustainability. As we build our understanding of how things are often stacked against farmers and good conservation, of who represents us and the positions they take, and how we can move things in a better direction, we have the power to change the system, one step at a time. 
     

Farm Bill

The farm bill is legislation that governs food and agriculture policy for the country about every five years. OEFFA advocates for programs in the farm bill that support beginning farmers, local food systems, organic agriculture, and healthy food access, and removes disincentives to ecological stewardship and farm viability for small- to mid-scale farmers. We fight for these programs to continue, be funded at full capacity, and ensure they are implemented in ways that work for sutainable and organic farmers. We also work toward positive changes to improve the farm safety net, provide greater funding for organic research, and promote effective farm conservation. 
    

Genetic Engineering

The public has supported clear and transparent labeling of food produced using genetic engineering (GE) inputs and techniques. Several states took the lead in doing so, after which our members of Congress established a federal labeling law. OEFFA has been involved in this issue since the beginning and is continuing to push for the highest level of transparency in labeling. More than 90 percent of the corn, soybean, cotton, sugar beets, and canola grown in this country is GE. When pollen or pesticides from these crops drift onto an organic farm, it is the organic farmer that loses. The government and biotech industry have looked the other way for decades leaving sustainable farmers bearing all of the costs and burdens that come with biotechnology. It is time to turn this equation around.


In the Statehouse

There are real actions we can take at the state level to grow local food systems, increase access to land for beginning farmers, to support organic agriculture, and protect the land base we depend on. OEFFA is working to educate policy-makers about the real economic, environmental, and social benefits to investing in policies and programs that support these efforts. 

        

Dirty Energy

Unconventional oil and gas extraction, commonly known as "fracking," is impacting the environment, farmers, and communities. This is one of many forms of "dirty energy" that struggle to remain viable as the markets move toward renewable energy. Dirty energy causes waves of impact as it spreads through pipeline infrastructure, injection wells, acid mine-tainted streams, waste pits, and more. Dirty energy contributes to climate destabilization affecting farmers who have increasingly struggled with severe and unpredictable weather. OEFFA works to mitigate the damages caused by the dirty energy industry and to incentivize a food and agricultural system that can feed the world, sequester carbon, promote diversity and resilience, and support true sustainability through ecological farming practices.  

      


Find Resources for Action and OEFFA's Farm Policy Matters Monthly News Bulletin.
Read OEFFA's 2018 state and federal policy priorities.

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