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  • Statement from MacKenzie Bailey, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association | OEFFA News
    farm s yearly profits i e a farm with sales of 450 000 making 45 000 profit per year would see their profits drop to 17 434 in the first compliance year This scenario is only more extreme for the very small farm which is estimated to incur more than 22 000 4 in initial compliance expenses i e a farm with sales of 200 000 making 20 000 profit per year would lose money their first year of compliance If the FDA does not address the cost of the proposed rule many of America s farmers may face the real risk of going out of business and our nation s ability to attract future generations of farmers will only become more difficult Second is that of conflict with the organic standards The Food Safety Modernization Act stated that produce standards should not conflict with the U S Department of Agriculture s USDA National Organic Program NOP regulations for certified organic production For example the NOP allows farms to use raw manure fertilizer if it is applied 120 days approximately four months before harvest if the crop s edible portions come into contact with the soil Under the proposed rule a nine month restriction period would be required which is excessive in comparison to the organic standards 5 Third is that of exemptions The smallest farms those making less than 25 000 will be exempted from the produce safety rule while others fall under a modified requirement status There are many questions about the withdrawal of such statuses as well as the restitution process There need to be clear predictable steps leading to a withdrawal rather than a one strike and you re out approach Finally every farmer I have met strives to provide safe food free of pathogens that

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1176 (2016-02-17)
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  • Statement from MacKenzie Bailey, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association | OEFFA News
    carefully at each comment submitted and made thoughtful adjustments changes that have both simplified and clarified the requirements and which will allow animal owners to more easily comply with the regulations Namely OEFFA was pleased to see a reduction in the fencing requirements for lots more than 1 acre more flexibility in the disposal storage and application of manure and reference to the standards established by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board For us one area of concern remains the restriction on the number of animals allowed on lots larger than 1 acre In our original comments we recommended two dozen birds for every acre of land We stand by that recommendation for two primary reasons 1 The first is that The current allotment is too small for a family to sustain themselves According to Harvey Ussery author of The Small Scale Poultry Flock a family of four requiring two eggs per day per person would need a flock of a dozen laying hens If the same family would like to raise chickens for meat they would need many more animals In our original comments we provided a conservative estimate that if a family of four ate one bird a week they would need 52 birds for the year I spoke with a chicken farmer who explained to me that it wouldn t be unreasonable to expect a family to bring those birds to slaughter on a quarterly basis Meaning at any one point in time this family of four would need a minimum of 25 birds Depending on a family s individual circumstances they may need more birds When OEFFA originally submitted comments the rule appeared to count rabbits separate from birds now it counts all animals on a point system This change would further restrict a family who preferred to produce their own supply of meat and eggs 2 The other point I d like to make is that birds do not require much space and as acreage increases the likelihood that they would create a nuisance or public health concern decreases In fact as a comparison the Ohio Livestock Care Standards allow for as many as 43 560 laying hens per acre Granted those allotments are intended for commercial use but it illustrates just how little space two dozen birds would require For these reasons and because it is important to OEFFA and our members that the rules meet their intent I ask the County to consider raising the number of animals allowed to two dozen per acre I d like to end my comments today on a personal note I am not an Ohio native I transplanted here five years ago from Buffalo NY One of the reasons I ve stayed in Ohio and plan to remain here is that the local food economy is thriving I appreciate the value of keeping my dollars local and even more so I enjoy the strong sense of community that is associated with the local food movement I m

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1173 (2016-02-17)
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  • Over One Hundred Organizations and Businesses Unite to Oppose Controversial Agricultural Biotech Rider in Senate Spending Bill | OEFFA News
    reality that American farmers and our economy will face if the upcoming funding bill includes the biotech rider that U S seed crops and foods contaminated with GE material cannot and will not be sold in many international markets Both conventional non biotech and organic farmers have suffered substantial losses in the past due to contamination episodes If this provision were to become law USDA would be forced to immediately approve all permits for continued planting of an unapproved biotech crop exposing more farmers to substantial damage risk This would further damage the ability of American farmers to compete in foreign markets and would put our nation s delicate agricultural markets at risk Far from safeguarding farmers the only parties whose interests are assured by this rider are those of the agricultural biotech industry The facts are important is weighing this issue GE crop developers have misled Congress with this false and self serving provision Every court that has reversed a USDA decision to approve a GE crop has carefully weighed the interests of all affected farmers as is already required by law The unimpeachable fact is that no farmer has ever had his or her crops destroyed USDA already has working mechanisms in place to allow partial approvals and the Department has used them making this provision completely unnecessary This agricultural biotech provision would set a dangerous precedent for congressional intervention in the judiciary Our federal courts have long been the last resort for people seeking to challenge illegal actions by the government or its officials including actions that may threaten freedom from discrimination access to education access to health care property ownership and other important social benefits including clean air clean water and the fair distribution of government resources If this provision were to become law it would harm not only those who would otherwise challenge illegal government actions but also all people and communities who benefit from efforts to root out government abuse and unlawful action The ability of U S courts to review evaluate and judge an issue that impacts the nation s public and environmental health is a strength not a weakness of our legal system For the foregoing reasons we oppose the biotech rider Sec 735 in the Senate Continuing Resolution and collectively call for it to be eliminated from the bill Respectfully submitted Business Trade and Farming Associations Alaska Trollers Association Albert s Organics Annie s Inc California Certified Organic Farmers Clif Bar and Company CROPP Cooperative Organic Valley Del Cabo Inc EConsulting Eden Foods Equal Exchange Federation of Southern Cooperatives Good Earth Natural Foods High Mowing Organic Seeds Independent Natural Food Retailers Association Jacobs Farm Lundberg Family Farms Nature s Path Foods Inc Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Northeast Organic Farming Association Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association Interstate Council Organic Farmers Agency for Relationship Marketing Inc Organically Grown Company Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association Organic Trade Association PCC Natural Markets San Francisco Crab Boat Owners Association Stonyfield Farm Straus Family Creamery

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1067 (2016-02-17)
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  • Open Letter to Grant Pingree Waiver | OEFFA News
    critical issues that need her continuing leadership and participation As the 113 th Congress continues the process of reauthorizing the Farm Bill it is critical to have continuity from one Congressional session to the next which Congresswoman Pingree provides as a recent member of the Agriculture Committee during the 2012 Farm Bill debate The Local Farm Food and Jobs Act she sponsored in the House with Senator Sherrod Brown as the lead on the identical Senate bill was a bill we supported and ultimately formed the basis of much of what was good about the Senate passed and House Committee passed farm bills in 2012 American farmers rural communities and consumers would greatly benefit from having Congresswoman Pingree continue to serve on the Agriculture Committee in the 113 th session of Congress Sincerely National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Post navigation Organic Valley CEO to Keynote Ohio s Largest Food and Farming Conference George Siemon to Explore How Cooperative s Model and Organic Farming Can Provide Farmers with a Secure Income and Protect the Environment Statement of Support for a Full and Fair Farm Bill Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=975 (2016-02-17)
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  • National Sign-on Letter to Support Beginning and Minority Farmers and Ranchers | OEFFA News
    urge you to increase the funding level for each program to 100 million over 5 years 20 million annually during negotiations over the final bill We the undersigned organizations request that Congress advance a 2012 Farm Bill before the end of the calendar year which helps foster the next generation of agriculture producers You have the support in the countryside the need is real and the time to act is now Public policy that supports and promotes new farmers and ranchers is an investment worth making Sincerely Adelante Mujeres OR Agriculture and Land Based Training Association CA AgriSystems International PA Alabama State Association of Cooperatives AL Alternative Energy Resources Organization MT American Federation of Government Employees AFL CIO MO American Sustainable Business Council DC Angelic Organics Learning Center IL Ashley Ridge High School SC Beginning Farmers LLC MI BioRegional Strategies NM Black Farmers Agriculturalists Association NC Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living IL California Certified Organic Farmers CA California FarmLink CA Carolina Farm Stewardship Association NC Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas KS Center for Rural Affairs NE Center on Race Poverty the Environment CA Centro Ashé MD Centro Campesino MN ChangeLab Solutions CA Chicago Botanic Garden IL Clemson University New and Beginning Farmer Program SC Community Food and Justice Coalition CA Cultivating Community ME Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship WI Dakota Rural Action SD Delaware Local Food Exchange DE Delta Land Community AR Dreaming Out Loud Inc DC Earth Learning FL Ecological Farming Association CA EcoPraxis DC Empire State Family Farm Alliance Inc NY Fair Food Network MI Family Farm Defenders WI Farley Center WI Farm Aid MA Farm Business Development Center IL Farm Fresh Rhode Island RI Farmer Veteran Coalition CA Farmers Egg Co op MI Farms Not Arms CA Farmworker Association of Florida Inc FL Federation of Southern Cooperatives GA Flats Mentor Farm MA Florida Certified Organic Growers FL Food Water Watch DC Food Democracy Now IA Food Field IA Food Works IL Friends of Family Farmers OR Georgia Organics GA Gorge Grown Food Network OR GrassWorks Inc WI Green Party of Seattle WA Groundswell Center for Local Food Farming NY GrowNYC New Farmer Development Project NY Haitian International Youth Leadership Institute Inc NC Hawthorne Valley Farm NY Healthy Farms Healthy People Coalition DC Hmong National Development Inc DC Housing Assistance Council DC Illinois Stewardship Alliance IL Independent Living Services of Northern California CA Indian Springs Farmers Association MS Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy MN Intertribal Agriculture Council MT Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement IA Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future MD Just Food NY Kansas Farmers Union KS Kansas Rural Center KS Kids At Work NC Land For Good NH Land Stewardship Project MN Latino Economic Development Center MN Latino Farmers Cooperative of Louisiana Inc LA Liberty Prairie Foundation IL Living Agriculture Aquaculture Sanctuary SC Local Food HUB VA Lowcountry Local First SC Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association ME Maine Rural Partners ME Michael Fields Agricultural Institute WI Michigan Land Trustees MI Michigan Land Use

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=936 (2016-02-17)
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  • Farm Bill Letter to Congress | OEFFA News
    uncertainty Both the Senate and the House Committee on Agriculture passed versions of a five year farm bill with strong bipartisan support We urge you to lead your colleagues in passing a new 2012 Farm Bill this year We thank you for your consideration Sincerely 25x 25 Alliance Advanced Biofuels USA American Association of Crop Insurers American Beekeeping Federation American Biogas Council American Corn Growers Institute for Public Policy American Farmland Trust American Feed Industry Association American Forests American Horse Council American Nursery Landscape Association American Sheep Industry Association American Veterinary Medical Association Associated Milk Producers Inc Association of Equipment Manufacturers Biomass Power Association California Cherry Export Association California Fresh Tomato Growers California Grape and Tree Fruit League California Pear Growers California Table Grape Commission Center for Rural Affairs Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage Ecological Farming Association Fair Food Network Farmworker Association of Florida Inc Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Growth Energy Hmong National Development Inc Illinois Stewardship Alliance International Biochar Initiative Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future Land O Lakes Livestock Marketing Association Michigan Apple Association Midwest Dairy Coalition National Aquaculture Association National Association of Clean Water Agencies National Association of Conservation Districts National Association of Counties National Association of Farmer Elected Committees National Association of State Conservation Agencies National Biodiesel Board National Cooperative Business Association National Farm to School Network National Farmers Organization National Farmers Union National Grange National Potato Council National Watermelon Association National Wild Turkey Federation National Woodland Owners Association Nature Abounds ND Association of Soil Conservation Districts New Hampshire Institute of Agriculture and Forestry Northeast States Association for Agricultural Stewardship Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group NESAWG Northern Plains Potato Growers Association Northwest Horticultural Council Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Oregon Association of Nurseries Organic Farming Research Foundation Pollinator Partnership Produce Marketing Association Renewable Fuels

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=928 (2016-02-17)
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  • Letter to OMB OIRA about Animal Disease Traceability Rule | OEFFA News
    ranching regions The impact on livestock and poultry producers has been devastating The forage and feed situation is the worst this country has seen since the 1930s Depression as producers with parched pastures rangelands and crops face expensive hay grain and shipping costs Increased feed costs have led to a reduction in profits per livestock animal by more than 100 just since June 1 One agricultural economist has estimated that 2013 feed prices could triple the 1990 2004 average Rapidly depleting livestock water is forcing many producers to haul water which is also expensive and time consuming Families who have been the agricultural backbone of this nation are now at the breaking point Many have already sold a large part of their herds and the slaughter of many breeding age cows will mean that it will take a decade of normal rainfall to rebuild the cattle population in America Traceability programs such as USDA s ADT rule also impose costs on livestock related businesses such as sale barns and veterinarians It was recently reported that sale barns in New Zealand have added a new surcharge for cattle sales due to the additional equipment staffing and administrative costs required for their NAIT national animal identification and tracing program It is likely that similar costs under ADT will be passed on to U S farmers and ranchers Like the sale barns those producers who are able to stay in business will have to find a way to pass on the costs which will mean higher prices for consumers who are already facing higher prices at the grocery store In contrast to the clear costs of the program the benefits remain vague The USDA s Regulatory Impact Analysis focused almost entirely on the monetary benefits from exports but this approach is fundamentally flawed for several reasons First the benefits are based on models of varying degrees of traceability yet tagging is not synonymous with traceability an animal with an ear tag attached prior to crossing state lines may become untraceable later through lost tags or poor recordkeeping by state agencies Second as has been shown repeatedly and acknowledged by USDA officials market access often depends more on politics than on traceability or other measures Finally the financial benefits of exports accrue almost entirely to the companies who sell the exports Since the costs of the program will rest almost entirely on livestock producers and related businesses it is inappropriate to justify those costs on the basis of benefits to other entities We urge you not to impose new unnecessary costs during these difficult times The ADT rule should be sent back to the agency for a thorough and comprehensive review of the costs of the rule on American farmers and ranchers Sincerely Signatories as of 9 11 2012 American Grassfed Association Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Cattle Producers of Louisiana Cattle Producers of Washington Cattlemen s Texas Longhorn Registry Central City Co Op WA Certified Naturally Grown Citizens for Private Property Rights MO The

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=876 (2016-02-17)
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  • Support the National Organic Cost-Share Program in the 2012 Farm Bill | OEFFA News
    organic and also helps to maintain jobs here in the U S We also appreciate your leadership and wisdom in advocating for the merging of the two federal organic certification cost share programs Streamlining these two programs under the umbrella of the Agricultural Management Assistance AMA program provides adequate cost share funding for organic farmers and handlers in all fifty states while minimizing program costs and maximizing efficiency The inclusion of this provision in the Senate version of the 2012 Farm Bill is largely due to your leadership and greatly appreciated by organic farmers handlers and consumers in Vermont and nationwide In contrast the bill passed out of the House Agriculture Committee in July completely repeals the National Organic Certification Cost Share program It retains minimal funding for organic certification cost share through the Agricultural Management Assistance AMA but only for farmers in 16 states with NO cost share assistance for organic handlers at all The House approach not only creates unnecessary division within the organic community but it also threatens the growth in certified organic production in this nation at a time when the organic sector is already struggling to keep up with record breaking consumer demand for organic foods and beverages Organic agriculture is a bright spot in our economy With an estimated 527 000 jobs created in 2010 alone it is the fastest growing sector of agriculture These are jobs that can and should be created here at home Rather than relying on imports certified organic farmers in our communities should be supported in their efforts to meet that demand Your leadership on behalf of organic certification cost share assistance through an expanded AMA program plays a critical role in that effort We thank you for your excellent work and that of your excellent staff member Adrienne

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=866 (2016-02-17)
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