Farm Policy Issues that Matter
Passing a Sustainable Farm Bill
Every five years Congress reauthorizes the Farm Bill, a massive piece of legisation responsible for shaping much of our country's food and farming policies. Since the current Farm Bill expired September 30, this summer Congress will decide how we will fund the next five years of farming programs in this country.
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 us 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 seeds 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. 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. OEFFA is working 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.
Ensuring Balanced Ohio Livestock Care Standards
Big Ag spent $4 million campaigning for a Livestock Care Standards Board with the authority to regulate all livestock producers in the state. OEFFA is working to make sure that animal care standards protect diversified livestock producers and backyard farmers.
Protecting a Consumer's Right to Know What's In Their Milk
In 2008, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) placed a gag order on the free speech of dairies and processors by issuing a rule to prohibit labeling dairy products as "artificial hormone free." Since then, OEFFA worked to overturn this controversial and restrictive dairy labeling rule and in 2011 won a victory for consumer choice and transparency when the ODA agreed to withdraw the rule.
Protecting Ohio's Lakes from Toxic Algae
The toxic algae problems at Lake Erie, Grand Lake St. Mary's, and other Ohio lakes are being caused by manure and phosphorus fertilizers washing off conventional farm fields and into our waterways. By transitioning more farmers to sustainable and organic production methods we can begin to protect Ohio's water for future generations.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 421-2022 Ext. 208.