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Thank You Farm Bill Champions!

For the past year, OEFFA members have fought for a good farm bill. Finally, this week, both houses of Congress passed the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill, which the president is expected to sign, includes many wins for sustainable agriculture and beginning farmers, including:
  • Permanent mandatory funding for local and regional food systems programs like the Farmers' Market and Local Food Promotion Program, the Value-Added Producer Grant, and a new local food economy partnership program. These programs will no longer need to fight for funding every year and will become a permanent part of the farm bill
  • Permanent mandatory funding for beginning farmers including money for state beginning farmer coordinators and programs that address land access, succession planning, and food safety
  • Permanent mandatory funding for organic research as well as funding and support for USDA to crack down on fraudulent organic imports
  • No overall cuts to conservation funding, and the inclusion of more funding and priority for conservation on organic farms
While the bill is not all good and ultimately fails to make the real changes to the structure of American farm policy sought by many of our members, we not only held our ground, but saw significant improvement in most areas. This would not have been possible without members of Congress—like Senator Sherrod Brown and Representative Marcia Fudge—who fought for these provisions.
     
Please take a moment to send a message to Ohio's sustainable agriculture Farm Bill champions to thank them for their leadership!    
       

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