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  • A Farm Bill for All Farmers

    We Need to Get the Farm Bill Done!

    The September 30 deadline for completing the 2018 Farm Bill has passed, but now, more than ever, we need a farm bill that invests in a sustainable future, protects our natural resources, and directs taxpayer resources wisely. The bipartisan bill passed in the Senate does just that.
       
    Scroll to the bottom of the page to send a message asking for a fair and effective farm bill!
       

    We need to target support to family farmers and stop the corporate giveaways that make it harder for family-scale farmers and ranchers to succeed. 
        
    Investing in local and regional food systems helps producers reach new markets and expand their operations. Their investments are reinvested back into the local economy, which, in turn, creates stronger communities.

    The average age of farmers is nearing 60, and 100 million acres of farmland will change hands in the next five years. Investing in next generation farmers is a national security issue.

    While many farmers are struggling, we have more demand for organic food that we can supply. This is a real opportunity for farmers to remain viable and to reduce the toxic pesticide loads in our food, our bodies, and our environment but to do so we need to invest in research that will support the integrity and viability of organic seed systems, animal breeding, and more.
        
    Please Take Action Today!
        
    Complete the form below and your email will be sent directly to your members of Congress.
    Please customize this message. Share your personal story and why you support the issues listed above

  • Take Action to Stop Oxford Coal From Mining the Dreams of the Next Generation of Farmers in Perry County!
    Lauren Ketcham and Zack Schultheis work hard for a bright future in farming at Down the Road Farm. Their property borders the Perry State Forest, now being upended by a proposed coal mine. 
          
    Henry Jochem started Primaterra Farm in New Lexington in 2015.
          

    Drone footage from ABC 6 illustrates the clear-cutting of the 60 year-old trees in the Perry State Forest. Clear-cutting began earlier this year, despite the fact that Oxford’s permits have not yet been approved.
        
    Down the Road Farm sells flowers at the Canal Market District in Newark.
        
    Poultry spend all day on pasture at Primaterra Farm.       
    Scroll to the bottom of this page to send an email to your decision-makers and ask them to reject this project!
          
    A proposed plan to extract coal from the Perry State Forest threatens to mine the future of two Perry County farms, Down the Road Farm and Primaterra Farm. It also exposes problems in Ohio's coal mine permitting process and system for funding the remediation of mined land.
         
    Lauren Ketcham and Zack Schultheis of Down the Road Farm moved to Perry County in 2011. They bought the land in part because it is surrounded by the Perry State Forest. When they first walked the property, they immediately saw its tremendous potential, with its trees and private farm field in what they thought was a protected paradise.
        
    They grow a wide variety of flowers and specialty produce, ranging from strawberries and tomatoes to ground cherries and cucamelons, which they sell at markets in Fairfield, Licking, and Perry counties. 
         
    Henry Jochem of Primaterra Farm in New Lexington, started his farm in 2015, and supplies eggs, chicken, and produce to markets in Franklin, Athens, and Perry counties.
         
    Both farms received funding for a Natural Resources Conservation Service high tunnel this spring.
        
    Encouraged with this news that would allow them to grow their businesses, they were heartbroken to learn that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) are reviewing permit applications from Oxford Mining Company, a struggling subsidiary of the Westmoreland Coal Company, to strip mine nearly 550 acres of the Perry State Forest and private land for the next 10 years.
        
    When clearcutting began, the local community demanded a meeting to learn more and talked to ABC 6 about their concerns. At the meeting, ODNR officials explained that local residents would hear and feel explosions up to 1 mile away and that the company can mine within 300 feet of homes and directly up to a property line.
         
    That offers little protection to area landowners and threatens the future of these local farms.
        
    “This is our home. We make a living off the health of our land and its air and water. We moved here to put down roots, start a small business, feed our community, and invest in the land,” Lauren said. “If the project expands, we could have a coal mine in our backyard. That would put us out of business.”
        
    “I am not doing this to get rich. If I can’t enjoy it, I'll look for another farm,” Henry said.
        
    Local landowners, farmers, and everyone who uses the Perry State Forest will be affected, if this permit is approved, in addition to the customers and larger foodshed that Primaterra Farm and Down the Road Farm serve throughout central and southeast Ohio. It also affects every Ohio taxpayer, as they may be the ones left holding the bill if Westmoreland Coal fails to remediate the land.
     
    That's because the company seeking the permit declared bankruptcy in October.  
         
    While the company is required to pay a bond of $2,500 per acre in advance for reclamation, state reclamation efforts between 2000-2016 averaged more than $7,000 per acre according to recent reporting
        
    In July, the Sierra Club and the Ohio Environmental Council issued a complaint against ODNR because Ohio’s Reclamation Forfeiture Fund (the pool of money that holds these bond payments, which covers the costs of reclamation should a company forfeit its permits) is severely underfunded and Westmoreland already has 63 permits which would cost the state up to $150 million if the company becomes insolvent and forfeits its obligations. The fund has only $15.1 million available to cover these and other unreclaimed permits, after Ohio transferred $5 million out of the fund for use in the state's general fund last fall.
         
    “This leaves little reassurance to the people of Perry County that Westmoreland Coal will follow through on their promises of remediation,” said Henry.
         
    Help protect these budding entrepreneurs and hold this company accountable! These permits have not yet been approved, so there's still time to stop this! 
          
    Please take action today! Complete the form below and an email will be sent to ODNR, OEPA, State Senator Jay Hottinger, State Representative Larry Householder, and Governor John Kasich. Tell them you do not want this permit approved!
           
    Personal messages are best. If you have time, please add your own thoughts and concerns to the message before sending. Thank you!
              
          

  • Support Local Agriculture in the Next Farm Bill
    Show your support for family farms and local and regional food systems today!
       
    Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), along with Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), and Sean Maloney (D-NY) recently introduced the Local Food and Regional Market Supply Act (the Local FARMS Act).
      
    The Local FARMS Act helps communities prosper through farm-to-fork investments. This legislation supports job creation by improving programs and policies that grow local and regional food economies, help family farmers reach new markets, and improve consumer access to fresh, healthy food.
      
    This legislation will continue positive investments in local food systems that began in 2009. Since then, more than $7 million of investments have been made in Ohio to support marketing and promotion of local foods, creation of regional food processing and distribution infrastructure, promote farm to school programs, and much more.
      
    These vital programs are set to expire in September 2018. Without your support of these programs, they will no longer exist!
       
    Sign our petition today and tell Congress you support the Local FARMS Act.  Let's help create new economic opportunities for farmers that contribute to the health of our communities!

       

        

  • Contact Your Representatives Today!

    Editable text about legislation that is good or bad and requires immediate action.

  • Tell Lawmakers: If GE food is safe for the table, put it on the label!

    People across Ohio and the country are increasingly concerned about eating genetically engineered (GE) foods. The large corporations responsible for GE technology tell us and our lawmakers to trust their science.The truth is,there is very little independent research on the health implications of GE foods. But here is what we do know:

    • The use of herbicides has increased since GE crops, such as Roundup ready corn and soybeans, have been introduced. The increased use of the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is a real health and environmental concern.
    • GE technology is not "feeding the world." Studies have shown that GE crop yields are not increasing to the point where we are decreasing world hunger.
    • When it comes to our health and the health of our families, most people prefer to use caution as opposed to being test subjects for big chemical companies.

    Did you know?

    Right now GE foods can be labeled as "natural." Inserting a foreign gene (from another plant or animal) into the genetic code of an existing plant does not resemble a natural process. While we trust farmers who have worked with cross-breeding and hybridization over thousands of years, that same trust does not extend to multi-national chemical companies engineering food that facilitates the increased use of chemical herbicides.

    Stop the Deception- Now is the time to take action:

    If you want to know which foods contain GE ingredients, sign the petition to the Ohio Legislature today. This petition will show lawmakers that you care about GE food labeling and encourage them to pass state labeling legislation.  

  • A Food Fight You Need to Join!

      

    Why would anyone want to hide the truth about what is in our food? 

    This September,  the House Energy and Commerce Committee will likely be  holding a hearing on an anti-labeling bill, H.R. 4432 introduced by Representative Pomeo (R-KS). Also known as the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know), this proposed legislation would prevent Ohio and other states from labeling genetically engineered (GE) foods, prevent the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  from ever requiring GE labeling, and allow GE food to be labeled as natural. 

    Food designed in a laboratory is about as far from natural as you can get!

    This is a real opportunity to voice your support for your right to know what is in the food you eat and feed your family. The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act (H.R. 1699) would require any food item with at least one GE ingredient to have a label.  It would also give all parties an opportunity to be heard during hearings and comment periods. This is THE Federal GE food labeling bill to support. 

    The next two weeks is a critical time to contact your representatives and let them know that this isssue is important to you. GE food technology was introduced with a promise: To feed the world and decrease the use of harmful chemicals. Studies are now showing that promise was an empty one.

    To make the most impact:

    Use the zip code box below to find your legislator. Call or email the office, using this sample script. Personalizing this message makes it more effective, so please make it your own!

    "Hello, my name is _____ and I am a constituent of Representative ___________ and an active voter. (Let them know your occupation and any affiliations you have, such as a member of a professional association, community group, or congregation). I would like to leave a message about an upcoming hearing on the labeling of genetically engineered food. Can you relay a message for me?"

    The message can include information that is important to you from the following talking points:

    Please support H.R. 1699,  Representative De Fazio's Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act.  

    • This bill would require GE labeling on any food with at least one GE ingredient. 
    • It would provide a fair and open process for comments on all sides of the issue. 

    Please OPPOSE the DARK ACT, H.R. 4432, because it will:

    • Prevent Ohio and other states from having the authority to label GE foods.
    • Prevent the FDA from GE labeling when it is not seen as a "dangerous food."
    • Allow GE food to be labeled as "natural" which it clearly is not. 
    • Ignore the environmental impacts of GE crops, such as increased herbicide use.
    • Not allow me the freedom to choose the type of food I want to eat.

    "Thank you very much for considering how important this issue is to me and my family."

    For additional talking points, click here.

    If you call your legislator, please take a moment to fill out this form and let us know how things went!

  • Take Action Today!

    Do you want to know whether the food you eat and feed  your family is produced with Genetically Engineered ingredients?  

    There are growing concerns about the health implications of these new food organisms created in a laboratory and produced with increased pesticide use each day.  May argue that these foods are safe.  The truth is that most of the research being referenced has been produced by the very companies selling GE foods. We do need more independent research.  But in the meantime,we are the guinea pigs when we do not have the basic choice of knowing when and where GE ingredients are in our food.  

    Right now, GE foods can be labeled as "natural". This technology inserts foreign genes (genes from other plants or animals) into the genetic code of an existing plant or animal. This would not occur in nature and is most definitely not a natural process. The fact that food constructed in a laboratory can be called natural is a testament to two things: a desire by companies to tap into the growing consumer demand for natural and organic food and the influence of large, well-funded food and beverage companies.

    If you want to know which foods contain GE ingredients, please take a minute to sign our petition to the Ohio Legislature in support of GE labeling.

  • A Food Fight You Need to Join!

    Why would anyone want to hide the truth of what is in our food? 

    This September the House Energy and Commerce Committee will likely be  holding a hearing on the anti-GE labeling bill, H.R. 4432. Also known as the Pompeo Bill, this proposed legislation would prevent Ohio and other states from establishing GE labeling, prevent the FDA from ever requiring GE labeling, and allow GE food to be labeled as natural. 

    Food designed in a laboratory is about as far from natural as you can get!

    This is a real opportunity to voice your support for your right to know what is in the food you eat and feed your family.   The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act (H.R. 1699) would require any GE food item with at least 1 GE ingredient to have a GE label.  It would also give all parties an opportunity to be heard.   This is THE Federal GE food labeling bill to support. 

    The next two weeks is a critical time to contact your representatives and let them know that this isssue is important to you.  GE food technology was introduced with a promise: To feed the world and decrease the use of harmful chemicals.  Studies are now showing that promise was a hollow one. 


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     Take Action to Pass a Sustainable Farm Bill

    On October 30, conference committee members kicked off negotiations about the Farm Bill.  Appointed members of the House and Senate, including Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), will work to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill into one final conference report.  During this process, we need to ensure sustainable agriculture programs are protected.

    Reach out to your legislator today!  Tell them to protect and invest in programs that:
    • Foster the next generation of farmers
    • Spur economic development through local foods
    • Support organic farmers

    Below is a letter you can use to send this message.  We encourage you to personalize--tell them why organic food is important to you, how your community has benefited from a particular program, or why you care about the future of farming. 

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     Take Action to Pass a Sustainable Farm Bill

    On October 30, conference committee members kicked off negotiations about the Farm Bill.  Appointed members of the House and Senate, including Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), will work to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill into one final conference report.  During this process, we need to ensure sustainable agriculture programs are protected.

    Reach out to your legislator today!  Tell them to protect and invest in programs that:
    • Foster the next generation of farmers
    • Spur economic development through local foods
    • Support organic farmers
  • (No Title)

    Take Action to Pass a Sustainable Farm Bill

    On October 30, conference committee members kicked off negotiations about the Farm Bill.  Appointed members of the House and Senate, including Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), will work to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill into one final conference report.  During this process, we need to ensure sustainable agriculture programs are protected.

    Reach out to your legislator today!  Tell them to protect and invest in programs that:
    • Foster the next generation of farmers
    • Spur economic development through local foods
    • Support organic farmers
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    Senator Sherrod Brown Introduces Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act

    Thank Senator Brown Today for Standing Up for Ohio's Family Farmers!

    This week, Senator Brown (D-OH) re-introduced the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act (LFFJA) for inclusion in the Farm Bill this year. This bill promotes growth in local and regional food systems by expanding market access for farmers and ranchers and providing research and training in areas that support farm entrepreneur success.

    Enter your zip code in the box provided below to send a thank you message to Senator Brown.

    Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) re-introduced the bill in the House. Representatives Marcy Kaptur and Marcia Fudge from Ohio have co-sponsored the bill. Enter your zip code below to find out if you also live in their district to send a thank you note to them as well.


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    Tell Congress to Dump the Monsanto Rider 


    The biotech industry has quietly inserted a dangerous policy rider into the Agriculture Appropriations bill now being considered in Congress. Though wrapped in a “farmer-friendly” package, this “farmer assurance provision” is simply a biotech industry ploy to continue to plant GE crops even when a court of law has found they were approved illegally. This potentially unconstitutional provision undermines the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) oversight of GE crops and interferes with the U.S. judicial review process.

    There is only a short period of time for Congress to resolve the Appropriations Bill before the end of the lame duck session. Please tell your Representative to support Representative DeFazio’s Dear Colleague letter opposing the biotech rider and ask your Senators to urge Senate Appropriations Chairman Inouye to oppose the rider!

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    Contact your Congressperson today! Demand real reform in the 2012 Farm Bill this year! 

    Make your voice heard! Send a letter now in four easy steps:

    1. Enter your zip code below.
    2. Review the letter we've provided. If you have time, feel free to personalize the message.
    3. Enter your contact information.
    4. Send your message.

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    Contact Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown (D) and Rob Portman (R) today! Demand real reform in the 2012 Farm Bill. 

    Make your voice heard! Send a letter now in four easy steps:

    1. Enter your zip code below.
    2. Review the letter we've provided. If you have time, feel free to personalize the message.
    3. Enter your contact information.
    4. Send your message.

  • (No Title)

    Tell Your Ohio Representative and Governor Kasich that Farmers and Consumers Want Strong Protections on the Fracking Industry!

    Make your voice heard! Send a letter now in four easy steps:

    1. Enter your zip code below.
    2. Review the letter we've provided. If you have time, feel free to personalize the message.
    3. Enter your contact information.
    4. Send your message!

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