Farm policy matters. It matters to the small family farmers and organic growers who are on the frontlines of our local food movement. And it matters to the consumers who are demanding access to safe, local and sustainably-raised food because they care about the health of their families, their communities and the environment.
Unfortunately, the livelihood and viability of sustainable and organic family farmers--and the consumers who count on them--are constantly under threat from policies which tilt the playing field in favor of large-scale, corporate-controlled, industrial agriculture.
OEFFA works to counter the special interest influence that large commodity groups and factory farms have over our decision-makers, give voice to the needs of small- and mid-sized producers, and demand that policies work in the interest of the family farmers who enhance our rural communities and safeguard the environment.
Passing a Sustainable Farm Bill
The 2014 Farm Bill, signed into law February 7, failed to achieve real reform, but programs that support beginning farmers, local food systems, organic agriculture, and healthy food access were renewed, thanks to a groundswell of support from grassroots farm advocates.
Protecting Ohio's Farmland from Fracking
In the last year, farmers and rural landowners across eastern Ohio have been bombarded with requests to sign natural gas leases. The leasing frenzy is a result of a new and controversial oil and gas extraction technique commonly referred to as "fracking," which extracts natural gas from shale rock formations deep underground. Concerns about the toxic mix of chemicals, enourmous amounts of water and the industrial infustructure used in fracking has Ohio's farmers and consumers speaking out.
Labeling Genetically Engineered Food and Protecting Farmers from Monsanto
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has deregulated genetically engineered (GE) corn, soybean, cotton, sugar beets and alfalfa, opening the door for tens of thousands of acres to be planted with these crops. Once released into the environment GE seed can contaminate non-GE and organic seed. Despite this, Monsanto zealously enforces its patents, investigating and suing farmers for patent infringement when their crop is contaminated. OEFFA is working to ensure legal protection for farmers if their fields become contaminated and protect consumer choice by demanding that GE products are labeled.
Creating Smart Food Safety Regulations
In January, the Food and Drug Administration released two proposed food safety rules aimed at reducing incidences of food borne illness. Once fully implemented, these rules will apply to about 80 percent of the nation's food supply, impacting growers, processors, and food businesses across Ohio and the nation. Many farm advocates are concerned these regulations will impose an unfair burden on our nation's family farms. That's why it's essential for OEFFA members to speak out to ensure new regulations address the needs of local and sustainable farmers, while also protecting the safety of our food.
Protecting Farmers From the Worst Effects of Climate Change
In recent years, farmers across Ohio and the country have increasingly struggled with severe and unpredictable weather, including drought, flooding, and dangerous storms. At the root of these challenges is a progressively warming planet that, if not mitigated, could dramatically transform American agriculture. That's why it's essential that we respond quickly and aggressively to the threat of climate change. A shift toward organic farming methods and away from fossil fuels is necessary to avoid the worst effects of a warming planet.
Explore OEFFA's Advocacy Toolkit, which includes resources for taking action and OEFFA Farm Policy Matters Monthly News Bulletin archives.
The success of our policy work relies on OEFFA's dedicated members, who are leading the way to strong and healthy local food systems. For more information about OEFFA's policy work or to get involved, contact email@example.com or (614) 421-2022 Ext. 208.