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Farm Policy Matters

Monthly News Bulletin
August 2014

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If Only We Could All Choose Not To Do Our Work...
Instead of setting the 2015 federal agriculture budget prior to October—when its supposed to go into effectword inside the Beltway is that Congress will pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government funded and wait until after the November elections to make the tough decisions.

In the meantime, we need you to take action against the bad Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Act (GIPSA) rider that is currently attached to the House's 2015 agriculture appropriations draft. The rider denies poultry and livestock farmers the most basic protections under the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921.
Read more about this damaging rider, an attempt to legislate through the appropriations process.
A "Dear Colleague" letter that supports stripping the rider out of the final appropriations bill has been released and yesterday, OEFFA sent out an alert about how you can contact your senators and ask them to sign on. Congress is leaving for their summer break today! Take action now!

Farm Bill Opportunities Continue to Roll Out
Organic farmers, processors, and handlers can receive a rebate on their 2014 certification costs through the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program (NOCCSP). OEFFA is administering the program in Ohio.
Applications must be postmarked by November 15.

Underserved farmers, including minority, tribal, and veteran producers, can apply for outreach and technical support from the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program. Hurry though. The deadline is August 25.

Up to eight states will get the green light to use a portion of their U.S. Department of Agriculture foods dollars to purchase locally-grown unprocessed fruits and vegetables through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Pilot Program. The deadline to apply is September 30.

Information Delay Shows Crack in Fracking Regulation
A fire on June 28 at a Monroe county fracking well pad resulted in a spill that stretched 5 miles along Opossum Creek (a tributary of the Ohio River) and killed more than 70,000 fish and other animals. It took five days for federal and state Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials to get a complete list of chemicals used in fracking at this location. Haliburton, which was hired to frack this well, only submitted a partial list the day of the spill, omitting chemicals shielded by Ohio's trade secrets law.

The Best Is Yet to Come?
Oil and gas explorers are still trying to find Ohio's Utica shale's "sweet spot," with drilling results pointing toward the Belmont and Monroe county area.

Drought and Injection Wells Don't Mix
On July 7, the California Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources ordered stoppage of the use of seven injection wells
, over concern that waste is being pumped into fresh water aquifers. California had approved some aquifers for waste disposal, given their depth, poor quality, or other factors. A Propublica investigation, however, has found exempted aquifers were poorly defined and ambiguously outlined.

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