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  • Organic farming ends pesticide treadmill | OEFFA News
    the same pattern As a result of the inevitable and inescapable biological facts of genetic variability selection and resistance farmers are caught on a pesticide treadmill using more toxic synthetic chemicals or chemicals in greater quantities to try to stay ahead of pests and weeds Because of the increasing impotency of Roundup in the face of superweeds agri chemical giants like Monsanto and Dow are seeking approval for corn soybean and cotton varieties engineered for resistance to the herbicides 2 4 D and Dicamba which are susceptible to drift and pose a serious threat to sensitive fruit and vegetable crops Weeds pests and disease are significant problems for every farmer Yet some have chosen alternative ways of controlling them that do not lead to superweeds or pollute our air water and soil Organic farmers control pests through agro ecological systems that rely on crop rotations to break pest cycles well nourished soils to grow crops resistant to diseases and management practices that reduce weed pressure This approach not only protects the environment and public health but reduces costs and increases returns per acre Our experience with resistant pests be they insects pathogens or weeds demonstrates the truth of ecologist Paul Ehrlich s observation that nature bats last Organic farmers have chosen to get on the same team as nature rather than attempting to overcome it with synthetic chemicals CAROL GOLAND Executive Director Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Post navigation Nutrient Management Bill Improvements Needed Organic Farmers Bash FDA Restrictions On Manure Use Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1383 (2016-02-17)
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  • Federal food safety laws could cost industry millions | OEFFA News
    equipment would not be a good business plan for their age Instead they re planning for an auction in November Don Bessemer said the farm s workers already followed Good Agricultural Practices designed to keep the food safe Now the Bessemers fear they would need to hire separate staff to fill out the stacks of records and documents being required from the federal government What they want you to do is hire somebody to document this he said We ve been here 117 years we ve never poisoned anybody Common sense Some growers say they ll be prepared for the cost and expect it could be less as the rule is finished At a public listening session April 30 Raymond Yoder of Yoder s Produce Supply in Fredericksburg said most of what s being required is common sense and he doesn t expect much of a burden to the industry Not alone But Bessemer is not the only grower who is concerned The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association says the costs as they stand today could put small farmers out of business Maintaining safe food in this country is essential but it should not create unnecessarily burdensome regulations that put diversified sustainable and organic farms at risk of going out of business MacKenzie Bailey OEFFA s policy program coordinator said during the listening session We just can t compete said Mark Bender an Akron area farmer who has operated a farm market since 1973 The costs just got too crazy Bender still operates a self service farm market but has converted most of his produce farm to raising beef cattle and conventional crops Mike Laughlin of Northridge Organic Farm in Johnstown said as a small farm it could cost him 25 000 27 000 just to come into compliance and about 13 000 annually thereafter He fears it will hurt small growers like himself and favor larger farms that can adapt I can t raise my prices enough to cover that he said That s going to cut right into the money I make in my profit It s already pretty tight He said it s simple math If you re only making 30 000 50 000 a year and they re going to take 10 000 15 000 of that away from you that s a huge pay cut Laughlin said he s not ready to make a decision about the future of his farm until the rule is finalized But if the costs hold up he said it will be a major challenge to staying in business You just have to start thinking is this worthwhile to do he said Serious about safety Laughlin said he s not balking at food safety adding it has always been a huge part of our operation with workers trained on how to handle food and conduct operations But with the new requirements for new equipment and documentation it will become more costly The Bessemers say they want safe food as

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1336 (2016-02-17)
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  • New Food Safety Rules: Too Much for Ohio’s Small Farms? | OEFFA News
    expenses that the farm s owner Mike Laughlin said are higher than they can afford for changes that he sees as excessive The added expense is going to drive an awful lot of farms out of business he warned At a time when people are asking for more and more local food for their tables it s going to mean fewer venders available to sell to farm markets fewer choices for consumers According to FDA estimates a small farm would bear an initial cost of more than 27 000 and then an annual cost of nearly 13 000 figures Laughlin said could wipe out a good chunk of annual profits The FDA is taking public comment on the proposed changes until Nov 15 While he agreed food safety is an important matter Laughlin said smaller operations are already at lower risk due to their size scope and for some alternative farming practices that maintain soil and water integrity He predicted that the new rules would favor larger farms and hurt the smaller growers who will struggle to absorb the costs of new equipment and documentation required under the changes When you have rules and regulations they do need to be size specific he said It can t be a one size fits all Laughlin added it isn t just farmers who need to weigh in on the matter For the consumers who are out there shopping at the farm markets if it s something that s very important to you then you need to get involved and get a hold of the FDA and let em know what you think Post navigation Farm Bill Left Hanging in Congress Federal food safety laws could cost industry millions Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1328 (2016-02-17)
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  • Farm Bill Left Hanging in Congress | OEFFA News
    market promotion programs that help put investments in our local farmers markets the national organic cost share program which helps alleviate the costs of organic certification she said This expiration won t immediately affect food assistance or crop insurance But a safety net program for dairy farmers that keeps down the price of milk support for seniors to shop at farmers markets and international food aid in the bill are among the programs to be suspended If no new bill is passed by Jan 1 2014 consumers could see those changes on the shelves The two houses of Congress had been playing ping pong with the bill after the House stripped out the food stamp program known as SNAP and sent the Senate two separate bills The House version of the SNAP program included 40 billion in cuts rejected by the Senate which proposed around 4 billion in cuts and insisted on keeping the farm programs and nutrition programs in one bill Post navigation Government impasse could have big impact on farming New Food Safety Rules Too Much for Ohio s Small Farms Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1320 (2016-02-17)
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  • Government impasse could have big impact on farming | OEFFA News
    legislative and regulatory policy for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Programs for dairy farmers won t be affected until the end of the year and those for farmers who grow commodities such as grain and cotton next spring However farmers who want to enroll new acreage in agricultural conservation programs will have to wait for new funding from Congress So will farmers who use agricultural export programs The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program which provides low income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for food at farmers markets roadside stands and community supported agriculture programs also has lost its funding Toledo Farmers Market used a grant from the Farmers Market Promotion Program now unfunded to recruit vendors establish and promote an electronic benefit transfer system for food stamp recipients and build relationships with community partners that provided additional funding and support said the Ecological Food and Farm Association s Bailey And a three year 740 096 grant from the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program enabled Ohio State University Extension to help new farmers many of them women minorities immigrants and the disabled to start tilling tracts of abandoned land in and around Cleveland That program stopped taking grant applications on Monday The OSU Extension Cuyahoga County project helped create the 40 acre Stanard Farm and its Cleveland Crops business which employs developmentally disabled people to pick pack and sell produce grown on the farm said Marie Barni the project s director The grant also helped establish an incubator farm to train new farmers build hoop houses that extend growing seasons and set up a food processing center that soon will employ people to process food grown on the farm and sell it to local schools restaurants and institutions Barni said We would be so much farther behind without

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1313 (2016-02-17)
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  • Ohio Farmers Ask for a “Sustainable” Farm Bill | OEFFA News
    are farming in a way that is sustainable it s good for everyone she said You get healthy nutritious products to market you get healthy food systems and economic development in areas where there might not have otherwise been Sen Sherrod Brown D Ohio reintroduced the Local Farms Food and Jobs Act as part of this year s Farm Bill It includes money and reforms for the National Organic Certification Cost Share and Farmers Market Promotion programs both of which have not been funded since October The House Agriculture Committee is to debate funding for these programs today On Tuesday the Senate Agriculture Committee passed its version of the Farm Bill fully funding both programs Farm Bill programs can boost business for the small guys said Turner who used the Value Added Producer Grant to develop a dessert sauce made with goat s milk and take it to a food show in Washington D C She said her product will be launched this fall Just the exposure we got at the national show we have a teeny little manufacturing plant in Kent Ohio and getting national exposure regarding what wonderful products can come out Ohio she said Without the VAPG we never would have been able to do the science or the marketing It s an exciting thing Congress hasn t passed a Farm Bill since 2008 Many Ohio farmers that rely on Farm Bill programs that have been without funding since fall are waiting eagerly to find out which programs and reforms will be included in the final bill Post navigation Statement from MacKenzie Bailey Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Letter to Congress We Want a Full and Fair Farm Bill Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1180 (2016-02-17)
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  • Farmers’ markets, organic producers in line for federal subsidies | OEFFA News
    to fresh local foods we can expand markets for Ohio s agricultural producers while improving health creating jobs and strengthening our economy Ohio had 260 farmers markets in 2011 according to information from the Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association a nonprofit promoting sustainable and healthful food and farming The bill would put 20 million into the Farmers Market Promotion Program which hasn t been funded since October It provides grants to community supported agriculture programs and farmers markets to increase exposure through new marketing ideas and business plans Six Ohio markets received funding in 2012 for a variety of uses including adding electronic benefit transfer system capabilities for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program According to the Food Farm Association the Toledo Farmers Market for example added 1 000 customers and increased total sales by 20 percent by adding EBT The bill also would restart funding for the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program which also has not been funded since October It reimburses organic producers and handlers for 75 percent of certification fees In 2011 251 Ohioans used it about 40 percent of the state s organic growers The bill also proposes investments in research training and information collection including a national program within the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative for local and regional farm and food systems research and for conventional plant and animal breeding research It also would create an insurance product through the Risk Management Agency to ensure organic farms can get adequate coverage Post navigation Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Taken On By Congress In Right To Know Act New Bill Aims At Expanding Local Farms Getting Fresh Produce Into Schools Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1156 (2016-02-17)
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  • Humane Society forms own Ohio farm board | OEFFA News
    Bureau Federation and others proposed a constitutional amendment that created the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board which issued its first set of rules in 2011 The board s comprehensive farm animal rules put Ohio in the forefront of the nation Even the Humane Society was satisfied But in the eyes of Taylor the amendment threatened the livelihoods of small sustainable or organic farmers It galvanized a lot of us in the livestock industry said Taylor who is concerned that the livestock care board could give large scale producers the upper hand in marketing their products I don t see our members looking to do anything to limit big livestock producers with regard to their practices but rather making sure there is a level playing field he said Karen Minton Ohio director of the Humane Society said her organization wants the council to digest laws regulations and policies for how they affect farmers who are good stewards of the land and the environment so they can compete in the marketplace with traditional agricultural practices The Humane Society also is behind a few other agriculture councils in states such as Nebraska and Colorado The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association which is not related to the new council also serves small sustainable food and farming interests It s important that these farmers be a part of the conversation said Renee Hunt the group s educational program director Our food system would look a lot different if people voted with their food dollars to match their ideals The Ohio Farm Bureau however sees the council as another effort by the Humane Society to influence Ohio livestock care Farm Bureau s largest concern is that HSUS has chosen to ignore Ohio s leadership in protecting the well being of farm animals through the Ohio

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1146 (2016-02-17)
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