archive-org.com » ORG » O » OEFFA.ORG

Total: 1274

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • OEFFA Testimony, Comments, and Sign On Letters | OEFFA News | Page 3
    form of individual identification on their animals the USDA estimated that the rule s requirements would cost only 1 2 50 for the chutes the equipment used to isolate and hold a cow to enable the tag to be attached to the ear and only 0 18 for the labor to attach the ear tag for each animal ISSUES 1 The equipment needed for tagging cattle can cost several thousand dollars Purchasing chutes for a small herd will cost far more than a few dollars per head If producers do not have the necessary chutes and are forced to take their animals to another property to be tagged they will incur significant expense in the travel costs as well as the fees that would undoubtedly be charged by the tagging business 2 As discussed above the claim that it costs only 18 cents in labor to tag a cow is an extreme underestimate The labor costs more likely range from 5 40 to 8 10 per animal 3 The agency s estimate also does not take into consideration the administrative oversight needed to assure accuracy of the procedure 4 Even for those producers who are large enough to afford the necessary equipment the USDA s cost estimates severely underestimated the potential for shrink and injury USDA estimated these cost as between 0 50 2 00 yet a study conducted at the North Dakota State University that estimated that the cost of shrink alone would range between 10 and 20 per head 5 In total the North Dakota study estimated that the cost of tagging animals even excluding the cost of tags would range from 17 to 27 per head as compared to USDA s estimate of 1 68 to 4 68 per head Assuming that USDA is correct that 35 of the cattle that would be subject to the rule are already using official identification that means that at least 19 5 million cattle will be subject to new regulatory requirements under the rule Based on the North Dakota study that would mean a cost of 331 million to 526 million for cattle owners not including the cost of the tags or the tag applicator The North Dakota study did not include the costs from the risk of injury to people so the true costs would be even higher II USDA did not account for the costs to ancillary businesses ASSUMPTION The USDA assumed that there would be no costs imposed on sale barns from the new tagging requirements ISSUES Since many cattle owners do not have the equipment to tag cattle sale barns will undoubtedly be placed in the position of having to offer this service prior to sales as many already do for breeder cattle In order to address the new requirements for the large number of feeder cattle that are currently not ear tagged the sale barns will need to purchase more equipment and hire more staff Because of the additional time spent working the animals the sale barns will also have higher premiums for workers compensation Some of these costs will be passed on to cattle owners but the experience with existing programs in that the sale barns will be required to shoulder some of the cost in order to remain in business ASSUMPTION Sale barns will be subject to long term record keeping and retrieval requirements under the proposed rule but the USDA did not even attempt to quantify the costs because it claimed that sale barns are already required to keep records on the cattle sold ISSUES 1 The agency ignored the fact that many states have phased out or are phasing out the requirements from the existing programs Indeed the phase out of these programs is a significant part of USDA s justification for the new rule Yet the agency then effectively pretends that these programs are continuing and ignores the fact that sales barns in several states would no longer be subject to these recordkeeping requirement were it not for this new rule 2 The agency ignored that the current record keeping requirements do not require long term separate documentation for feeder cattle while the proposed rule would do so vastly expanding the sheer quantity of paper or data that must be maintained by the sale barns ASSUMPTION The USDA did not account for the costs that will be incurred by veterinarians because the agency anticipated that veterinarians will charge producers for the costs of issuing and keeping such records and then failed to address what those costs are likely to be ISSUES Whether vets pass on the costs to the producers or absorb it themselves someone must pay those costs In addition the agency s assumption about the costs for veterinary services failed to include the typical charges for having a vet come out to the farm or in the alternative for hauling animals to the vet which can range from 30 to over 100 for each visit III USDA completely failed to address the costs to poultry owners Under the proposed rule poultry moving interstate must be official identified either through group identification or with a permanent sealed and numbered leg band There are no exceptions to the ID requirement and they apply to both the person who sends and the person who received the animals Group identification is defined so that it only applies when a unit of animals is managed together as one group throughout the preharvest chain This definition describes the management practices at large vertically integrated facilities but does not apply to the majority of small scale poultry owners who frequently commingle poultry of different ages and from different sources In part because of the issues discussed below the USDA Secretary s Advisory Committee on Animal Health recommended that no new regulatory requirements be imposed on poultry owners ASSUMPTION The agency made the false assumption that incremental costs for most poultry enterprises are expected to be minimal This assumption appears to be based on the claim that the new requirements would not result in any additional costs for poultry enterprises that participate in NPIP the National Poultry Improvement Plan ISSUES 1 While the agency is probably correct that poultry businesses that are already participating in the NPIP will face few additional costs most poultry owners are not part of the NPIP 2 The primary businesses that participate in NPIP are commercial breeders For example the USDA lists only thirty eight participants in the NPIP in the entire state of Texas although the state has over 14 500 farms with laying hens 3 The vast majority of people who own poultry have only a few birds do not breed commercially and are not part of the NPIP According to the NASS 2007 Census of Agriculture out of the 145 615 farms that have laying hens in this country 125 195 have them have fewer than 50 hens Thousands more people in both rural and urban settings own a few birds for food show or as pets but were not included in the NASS survey 4 Most of these small laying hen farms and personal operations buy day old chicks from hatcheries scattered across the U S or from local businesses that have in turn purchased the chicks from these same few hatcheries Because there are only a few hatcheries that are willing to sell to small independent producers tens of thousands of these farms buy day old chicks from out of state operations 5 These small scale and pasture based laying farms will often commingle multiple batches of birds from different locations over a period of many years culling individuals in the flock only as needed 6 In addition many people have to cross state lines to process their birds because so few slaughterhouses accept poultry from independent producers 7 The costs of raising poultry on a small scale from one bird to a few hundred are very high and there are no economies of scale The profit margin is extremely slim perhaps 1 on an entire bird or 25 cents on a dozen eggs 8 Very few of these individuals have employees to care for the birds and almost none have employees to handle administrative functions Thus the paperwork involved in tracking groups even dynamic groups as is done in the vertically integrated hog operations would impose significant costs in time and effort The farmers would have to develop database or paperwork systems capable of tracking the merging and divided groups and then enter and maintain all of the information ASSUMPTION Although acknowledging that the new rule would impose costs on people selling birds at live bird markets the USDA provided no estimate of such costs ISSUES The USDA has in fact done several studies on the costs that would be imposed if people are required to tag birds at live bird markets At a meeting of the USDA Secretary s Advisory Committee on Animal Health a USDA official stated that the agency had conducted several studies on the issue of tagging poultry in the context of the live bird market system Dr Hegngi s testimony indicates that there simply is no cost effective reliable way to individually tag poultry on this scale Yet the USDA ignored the work conducted by its own staff in proposing the new requirements for poultry under the ADT rule Conclusion The USDA has failed to conduct the required comprehensive cost benefit analysis of the ADT rule At numerous points in its analysis the agency failed to consider available data showing that the scope of the rule and its impact on the industry would be far broader and its costs far more extensive than the agency admitted We urge the OMB to return the rule to USDA for a thorough and complete analysis which must acknowledge that the rule is economically significant For more information please contact Judith McGeary Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance at 254 697 2661 or Judith FarmAndRanchFreedom org Make the Farm Bill A Real Jobs Bill June 14 2012 OEFFA Testimony Comments and Sign On Letters Lauren Dear Senator As the floor debate on the Agriculture Reform Food and Jobs Act continues the undersigned groups representing millions of farmers ranchers farmworkers businesses and consumers write to urge you to support key amendments that will spur rural economic development and invest in the next generation of family farmers and ranchers including socially disadvantaged beginning veteran and limited resource producers While the committee passed bill does take some positive initial steps to address the specific needs of veteran farmers the bill undermines future job growth in American agriculture and the vitality of rural communities by failing to make a significant investment in new socially disadvantaged and veteran producers More must be done to strengthen programs that provide critical support training and technical assistance to these groups to enable their long term success in agriculture and participation in federal programs Senators Brown SA 2362 Harkin SA 2239 and Tom Udall SA 2417 have filed amendments that will restore critical funding for two important training programs aimed at beginning socially disadvantaged and veteran producers the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program and the Outreach and Technical Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program also known as the Section 2501 Program which while being deeply cut has now been expanded to serve veteran farmers and ranchers as well Additionally the committee passed bill fails to adequately invest in proven job creating rural development programs by providing no funding at all for the Rural Development Title Small business grant and loan programs such as the Value Added Producer Grant and Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program have been funded in every previous farm bill and have established a proven track record of spurring economic development in rural America Yet they receive no funding at all in the committee passed bill which claims to be a true jobs bill Senators Sherrod Brown SA 2362 and Harkin Casey SA 2245 have filed amendments that will spur job creation through investment in rural economic development and help small beginning and veteran farmers access the credit they need to get their operations off the ground We also urge you to oppose an amendment filed by Sen Toomey SA 2218 which removes long standing protections pertaining to FSA farm loan deferrals and foreclosures including civil rights protections worked out carefully over the course of many farm bills We urge you to oppose this amendment if offered Below is a list of specific amendments we urge you to support or oppose Rural Development and Beginning Socially Disadvantaged Veteran Farmer Amendments Brown OH SA 2362 Rural Economic Development and Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Producers SUPPORT Creating jobs in rural America and ensuring the success of the next generation of farmers are national priorities yet the committee passed bill fails to make an adequate investment in rural economic development and in the future of American agriculture This amendment would fund critical rural development and beginning and socially disadvantaged farmer and rancher programs Udall NM SA 2417 Disadvantaged Producer Training SUPPORT The Outreach and Assistance Program for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Rancher also known as the 2501 Program is a historic program that provides competitive grants to educational institutions Extension and community based organizations to assist African American American Indian Asian American and Latino farmers and ranchers in owning and operating farms and participating in USDA programs The committee passed bill expands program eligibility requirements to include veteran farmers and ranchers and cuts funding for this program by 75 percent to 5 million per year The amendment would restore funding in order to serve both the traditional and new producers now eligible for the program Harkin SA 2239 Beginning Producer Training SUPPORT The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program provides training and technical assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers through competitive grants to land grant institutions community organizations and other farm organizations The committee passed bill adds a new priority on veteran farmers but cuts funding for this small but successful program by almost 50 percent to 10 million per year This amendment would restore funding of 20 million per year Harkin Casey SA 2245 Microloans to Beginning and Veteran Producers SUPPORT Young beginning and veteran farmers face obstacles when trying to secure loans from USDA s Farm Service Agency This amendment would allow FSA to make small loans of up to 35 000 to meet the unique needs of those producers streamline the application process and provide discretionary authority to FSA to establish intermediary lender pilot projects Toomey SA 2218 Termination of FSA and RD Foreclosure Policy OPPOSE This amendment would remove existing policies on deferrals and foreclosures including civil rights protections worked out carefully over the course of many farm bills pertaining to FSA farm loans and rural development loans Sincerely AFGE LOCAL 3354 St Louis MO Agriculture and Land Based Training Association ALBA Salinas CA AgriSystems International Wind Gap PA Alabama State Association of Cooperatives Forkland AL American Indian Mothers Inc Shannon NC American Raw Milk Producers Pricing Association Kendall WI Ashtabula Geauga Lake Counties Farmers Union Windsor OH Assn for the Advancement of Hmong Women in Minnesota Maplewood MN Black Farmers Agriculturalists Association Tillery NC Black Workers For Justice Rocky Mount NC Bountiful Cities Asheville NC California Climate Agriculture Network Sacramento CA California Farm Link Santa Cruz CA Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Pittsboro NC Center for Rural Affairs Lyons NE Center on Race Poverty the Environment Delano CA The Center for Social Inclusion New York NY Church Women United in New York State Rochester NY Community Alliance for Global Justice Seattle WA Community Farm Alliance Frankfort KY Community Food Security Coalition Portland OR Concerned Citizens of Tillery Tillery NC Cultivating Community Portland ME Dakota Rural Action Brookings SD Damascus Citizens for Sustainability Milanville PA Delaware Local Food Exchange Wilmington DE Educator in Public School System Hendersonville NC Family Farm Defenders Madison WI Farm Aid Boston MA Farms Not Arms Petaluma CA Farmworker Association of Florida Apopka FL Fay Penn Economic Development Council Uniontown PA Feast Down East Wilmington NC Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund East Point GA Federation of Southern Cooperatives Rural Training and Research Center Epes AL Florida Certified Organic Growers Consumers Gainesville FL Food Field Detroit MI Food Water Watch Washington DC Food System Economic Partnership Ann Arbor MI Friends of Batiquitos Lagoon Encinitas CA The Giving Garden Ypsilanti MI Grassroots International Boston MA Growing Potential Groton CT Illinois Stewardship Alliance Springfield IL Intertribal Agriculture Council Billings MT Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Minneapolis MN Just Food New York NY Kansas Rural Center Whiting KS Land Stewardship Project Minneapolis MN Local Food Hub Charlottesville VA Lower Shore Land Trust Berlin MD Maine Rural Partners Orono ME Michael Fields Agricultural Institute East Troy WI Michigan Young Farmer Coalition Detroit MI Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service MOSES Spring Valley WI Minnesota Food Association Marine on St Croix MN Missouri Rural Crisis Center Columbia MO National Catholic Rural Life Conference Des Moines IA National Family Farm Coalition Washington DC National Hmong American Farmers Inc Fresno CA National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association Washington DC National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Washington DC National Young Farmers Coalition Tivoli NY National Wildlife Federation Washington DC Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society Ceresco NE New Mexico Acequia Association Santa Fe NM New York Small Scale Food Processors Association NY North Carolina Assn of Black Lawyers Land Loss Prevention Project Durham NC Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Deerfield MA Northeast Organic Farming Association Interstate Council Stevenson CT Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides Eugene OR Northwest Farm Bill Action Group Seattle WA Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association Columbus OH Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project Oklahoma City OK Partners for Rural America Hollandale WI PCC Farmland Trust Seattle WA Pesticide Action Network San Francisco CA Practical Farmers of Iowa Ames IA Rural Advancement Foundation International USA Pittsboro NC Rural Advancement Fund Orangeburg SC Rural American Network Washington DC Rural Coalition Coalicion Rural Washington DC Rural Development Leadership Network New York NY Slow Food West Michigan Belmont MI Social Justice Task Force Mount Sinai United Church of Christ Mount Sinai NY Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Fayetteville AR Taos County Economic Development Corporation Taos NM Texas Mexico Border Coalition CBO San Isidro TX Tilth Producers of Washington Seattle WA United Farmers USA Manning SC University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs Seattle WA Virginia Association for Biological Farming Lexington VA Wild Orchard Farm Essex NY Winston County Self Help Cooperative Louisville MS World Farmers Lancaster MA Letter in Support of Soil and Wetlands Conservation June 13 2012 OEFFA Testimony Comments and Sign On Letters Lauren June 13 2012 Dear Senator As the Senate begins debate on the Agriculture Reform Food and Jobs Act of 2012 S 3240 the undersigned groups representing millions of members across the country urge you to support the Soil and Wetlands Conservation Amendment S A 2219 introduced by Senator Cardin This amendment would renew the long standing conservation compact with farmers by re attaching basic soil and water conservation measures to premium subsidies for crop insurance In exchange for a publicly funded safety net farmers have for decades committed to adopt land management practices that have successfully reduced soil erosion and protected wetlands By shifting subsidies away from direct payments and towards a strong crop insurance safety net this new farm bill creates a loophole in the longstanding requirements that those who receive subsidies take some minimal steps to protect the public good This amendment would help protect what we already have from being lost due to the changes in the safety net The Soil and Wetlands Conservation Amendment closes that loophole and ensures that taxpayer funds are not rewarding agricultural producers who are draining wetlands or farming highly erodible land without conservation measures Without these key protections the estimated 95 billion to be spent on crop insurance over the next ten years under this bill will subsidize damaging soil erosion that chokes our waterways increase the cost of water treatment and dredging and reduce the long term productivity of farmland It will also allow for the destruction of tens of thousands of acres of valuable wetlands resulting in increased downstream flooding loss of wildlife habitat and decreased water quality These soil and wetland conservation measures would be linked only to the taxpayer funded premium subsidy for insurance and would not affect the ability of farmers to purchase crop insurance The amendment does not in any way affect indemnity payments in the case of a disaster Additionally the measures retain the good faith exemptions graduated penalty and one year grace period provisions from current law ensuring that farmers would not be penalized for natural disasters such as flooding The amendment also provides that producers who would be subject to these basic conservation requirements for the first time due to this provision would be granted five years to develop and implement their conservation plan As you work to reauthorize the Farm Bill over the coming days we strongly urge you to support the Soil and Wetlands Conservation Amendment Doing so will save money but more importantly ensure long term farm productivity by protecting vital natural resources Sincerely 1000 Friends of Iowa Alabama State Association of Cooperatives Alliance for the Great Lakes American Farmland Trust American Indian Mothers Inc American Public Works Association American Rivers Arkansas Wildlife Federation Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies Association of Northwest Steelheaders Audubon Society of New Hampshire Cannon River Watershed Partnership Center for Rural Affairs Central Ohio Anglers Hunters Club Clean Water Action Clean Water Network Clean Wisconsin Committee on the Middle Fork Vermilion River Community Food Security Coalition Conservation Council for Hawai i Defenders of Wildlife Endangered Habitats League Environmental and Energy Study Institute Environmental Law and Policy Center Environmental League of Massachusetts Environmental Working Group Farmworker Association of Florida Friends of Blackwater Friends of the Upper Delaware River FSC Rural Training and Research Center Epes AL Great Lakes Committee of the Izaak Walton League Gulf of Maine Restoration Coalition Gulf Restoration Network Illinois Stewardship Alliance Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Iowa Environmental Council Iowa Farmers Union Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation Iowa Wildlife Federation Iowa s County Conservation System Izaak Walton League of America Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future Kansas Chapter of the Wildlife Society Kansas Rural Center Kansas Wildlife Federation Kentucky Waterways Alliance Lake Erie Waterkeeper Inc Land Stewardship Project Mid South Fly Fishers Midwest Environmental Advocates Milwaukee Riverkeeper Minnesota Conservation Federation Missouri Coalition for the Environment MN Division Izaak Walton League of America National Association of Clean Water Agencies National Audubon Society National Committee for the New River National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition National Wildlife Federation Nature Abounds Nebraska Wildlife Federation Northern Great Plains Working Group Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association Ohio Environmental Council Ohio Farmers Union Ohio River Foundation Passaic River Coalition Pollinator Partnership Potomac River Association Rural Action Sustainable Agriculture Rural Advancement Fund Rural Coalition Coalición Rural SC VOF Sierra Club Sierra Club Delta Chaper Slow Food Columbus Soil and Water Conservation Society South Carolina Coastal Conservation League South Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society South Dakota Grasslands Coalition South Dakota Wildlife Federation Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation Theodore Gordon Flyfishers Inc Trout Unlimited Union of Concerned Scientists Virgin Islands Conservation Society Water Advocates Water Environment Federation Wege Foundation WhyHunger Wildlife Forever Wisconsin Wetlands Association World Wildlife Fund Statement of Support for Harkin Casey Microloan Amendment June 13 2012 OEFFA Testimony Comments and Sign On Letters Lauren Dear Senator We the undersigned organizations endorse Senator Harkin and Senator Casey s microloan amendment SA 2245 to the Farm Bill The amendment would authorize micro lending opportunities within the Department of Agriculture If adopted this amendment would allow USDA s Farm Service Agency to make small loans up to 35 000 tailored to meet the needs of small young beginning and veteran farmers and ranchers The new loan program would be funded out of the existing direct and guaranteed operating loan portfolios and would streamline the application process to facilitate participation This amendment would also give FSA discretionary authority to establish intermediary lender pilot projects in collaboration with non governmental or community based organizations Capital is the number one need of young and beginning farmers in the United States The microloan program would enable small and beginning farmers to access capital that meets their needs and reflects the scale of their operations These farmers are often looking for smaller loans when they re first getting started in agriculture and have faced significant hurdles in obtaining loans through existing federal credit programs We strongly encourage members to support this amendment and to include this provision in its entirety in the final Senate bill Sincerely National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Land Stewardship Project National Young Farmers Coalition Friends of Family Farmers Michigan Young Farmer Coalition Fay Penn Economic Development Council Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Illinois Stewardship Alliance Center for Rural Affairs Iowa Environmental Council Just Food Center for Land Based Learning California FarmLink Angelic Organics Learning Center Land For Good Organic Valley Zipparo Associates New Entry Sustainable Farming Project Food Works Rogue Farm Corps Western Sustainable Agriculture Working Group R Constantine Family Farm Root n Roost Farm Montgomery Countryside Alliance Fayette Broadcasting Corporation Agriculture and Land Based Training Association ALBA New England Farmers Union The Food Trust Farm Business Development Center Liberty Prairie Foundation Food Democracy Now Oregon Rural Action Farmer Veteran Coalition Community Food Security Coalition Oregon Farmers Market Association Adelante Mujeres Virginia Association for Biological Farming Seacoast Eat Local Tilth Producers of Washington Sustainable Living Systems Leopold Group S E Iowa Chapter Iowa Sierra Club Sustainable Living Project Local Living Venture Oregon Tilth NuRelm Foodshed Alliance Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society Sundhill Farm Local Food Hub New CT Farmers Alliance New Farmers of the Central Coast National Catholic Rural Life Conference BeeWench Farm Food System Economic Partnership nCASE New Farmers of the Central Coast Ramah Farmers Market Jardine Meadows With The Grain CAMEO California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association Windrose Farm Practical Farmers of Iowa Southeastern Young Beginning Farmers Alliance Good 4U Inc Georgia Organics Oklahoma Farm and Food Alliance The Greenhorns U S Senate Open Letter In Support of Rural Development and Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers June 6 2012 OEFFA Testimony Comments and Sign On Letters Lauren Tuesday June 5 2012 Dear Senator Creating jobs in rural America and ensuring the success of the next generation of farmers are national priorities Earlier this spring the Senate Agriculture Committee passed the bipartisan Agriculture Reform Food and Jobs Act of 2012 We applaud Chairwoman Stabenow Ranking Member Roberts and members of the Committee for moving ahead with reauthorizing this wide ranging and critical piece of legislation While the Committee passed bill takes modest steps to fulfill these priorities the bill fails to make an adequate investment in rural economic development and in the next generation of farmers One of the proven job creating titles of the farm bill is the Rural Development title which authorizes essential grants and loan programs targeted at leveraging local initiatives to spur growth and opportunity in rural areas Since 1996 Congress has provided an average of 413 million per farm bill for the Rural Development title while the new bill as reported by the Committee includes no funding at all We urge you to correct this deficiency by providing robust funding for the following successful Rural Development programs Value Added Producer Grants VAPG Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program RMAP Rural Energy Savings Program and Water Wastewater Backlog In addition to investing in the future of rural America we must invest in the future of American agriculture The average age of an American agricultural producer today is 57 and if we let current trends go unchecked that number will only increase Providing training and technical assistance to the next generation of farmers can help buck the trend and ensure future food security The Committee passed bill falls far short of maintaining current investment in the training tools that new and diverse farmers need to succeed We urge you to provide robust mandatory funding for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program BFRDP and Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers program Section 2501 OASDFR We recognize the severity of our country s fiscal situation During the Committee mark up it was unclear without a Congressional Budget Office score whether there was funding available for these programs and Senators agreed to continue the conversation about funding these key priorities before the floor debate The final CBO score indicates that the Senate Agriculture Committee exceeded its commitment of 23 billion in savings We urge you to take advantage of this important opportunity to reinstate mandatory rural development funding and to improve investments in the future of American agriculture Thank you for your attention to these important matters We strongly encourage you to reach out to and work with Senator Brown of Ohio Senator Nelson of Nebraska and other interested colleagues prior to the floor farm bill debate These Senators are working on a possible amendment to fund these priorities By ensuring continued investments in rural economic development and in the next generation of farmers we can ensure that the Farm Bill is a jobs bill that underpins and enables economic growth in communities throughout America We look forward to working together on this important matter for American agriculture and America s rural communities Sincerely National American Planning Association American Public Works Association American Sustainable Business Council Center for Rural Affairs ChangeLab Solutions Community Food Security Coalition Corporation for Enterprise Development Environmental Working Group Evangelical Lutheran Church in America FoodCorps Food Democracy Now Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy ISED Solutions National Association of Counties National Association of Development Organizations National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils National Center for Appropriate Technology National League of Cities National Rural Development Council National Rural Housing Coalition National Rural Health Association National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Organic Farming Research Foundation Partners for Rural America Rural Advancement Foundation International USA Rural Community Assistance Partnership Senior Entrepreneurs Slow Food USA WhyHunger Women Food and Agriculture Network Alabama University of Alabama Environmental Council Arkansas Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group California California FarmLink ChangeLab Solutions Organic Farming Research Foundation Pesticide Action Network Connecticut Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association Northeast Organic Farming Association Interstate Council District of Columbia ISED Solutions Environmental Working Group Iowa Iowa Environmental Council Practical Farmers of Iowa Quad Cities Food Hub Women Food and Agriculture Network Illinois Angelic Organics Learning Center Illinois Stewardship Alliance The Land Connection Liberty Prairie Foundation Kansas Kansas Rural Center Maine Senior Entrepreneurs Maryland Future Harvest CASA Massachusetts New Entry Sustainable Farming Project Michigan Lansing Urban Farm Project Michigan Young Farmer Coalition Minnesota Growing Our Own Naturally Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Land Stewardship Project Montana Alternative Energy Resources Organization Community Food and Agriculture Coalition FoodCorps National Center for Appropriate Technology New York Catskill Mountainkeeper GardenShare North Carolina Rural Advancement Foundation International USA Silver Lining Institute Nebraska Center for Rural Affairs Nevada The Western Sustainable Agriculture Working Group New York Field Goods Hunger Action Network of NYS Just Food Slow Food Hamilton College The Sustainable Restaurant Corps West Side Campaign Against Hunger WhyHunger Ohio ACEnet Inc Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Rural Action Sustainable Agriculture Oregon Adelante Mujeres Central Oregon Locavore Friends of Family Farmers North Coast Food Web Oregon Rural Action Rouge Farm Corps Think Local Umpqua Pennsylvania Fay Penn Economic Development Council The Reinvestment Fund Texas CASA del Llano Virginia Appalachian Sustainable Development Virginia Association for Biological Farming Washington PCC Farmland Trust Tilth Producers of Washington WA Sustainable Food Farming Network Letter to Ohio House Public Utilities Committee Substitute Senate Bill 315 May 23 2012 OEFFA Testimony Comments and Sign On Letters Lauren Wednesday May 23 2012 Chairman Stautberg and Committee Members House Public Utilities Committee Ohio House of Representatives Re Substitute Senate Bill 315 Dear Chairman Stautberg and Members the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee I write to you today on behalf of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association OEFFA in regards to oil and gas regulations in substitute Senate Bill 315 For more than 30 years OEFFA has worked to build a healthy sustainable food and farming system Today OEFFA represents more than 3 000 organic and sustainable farmers small business owners and consumers There are nearly 600 certified organic farm operations in Ohio and much of the organic pasture and cropland is located in areas of the state containing shale deposits While the organic sector continues to grow on average 7 5 percent annually water and soil contamination resulting from fracking threatens to jeopardize farmers organic certification If farmers lose certification due to contaminated land or water that land will be taken out of organic production for at least three years causing economic harm to the farmer who will lose market access while working to regain certification on the affected land Ohio legislators have a responsibility to put strong protections in place against the dangers of fracking in order to uphold the integrity of our food system and farmland and ensure that this growing sector of Ohio s agricultural economy continues to thrive Water contamination is the single greatest threat to our local food and farming systems Farmers rely on their water supply to keep their produce and livestock healthy Unconventional fracking requires up to 300 times more water than conventional hydro fracturing Each well can be fracked up to 18 times using millions of gallons of water each time Waste water or brine that contains chemicals used in the fracking process as well as naturally occurring heavy metals and toxic gases can contaminate ground and surface water supplies through underground fissures surface spills and blowouts The Environmental Protection Agency EPA has linked water contamination to chemicals used in fracking in Pavillion WY Since 2008 Pennsylvania has identified more than 700 violations of state law related to water with fines totaling 1 5 million Additionally livestock are attracted to the toxic and salty brine used in fracking and therefore are particularly vulnerable if there is contamination of soil or water Air pollution near fracking sites can have a significant impact on a farm s production For instance elevated levels of ground level ozone from an increase in traffic can lower soybean crop yields one of Ohio s largest agricultural commodities Other crops that can be affected include spinach tomatoes beans alfalfa and other forages On behalf of our members I implore you to protect Ohio s farming community small business owners and rural landowners by Requiring full public disclosure of chemicals by name used in fracking prior to injection This is necessary to protect the health of Ohioans and help to establish clear lines of traceability if contamination were to occur Without the release of the chemical names prior to injection citizens will not know what to test for Property owners whether they live inside of the mandatory testing area or not should have the ability to conduct independent baseline testing Protecting company trade secrets should not come at the expense of the health and welfare of our communities Additionally the gag order on physicians must be removed so firefighters public health agencies and first responders have the information they need in order to respond to emergency situations Providing more opportunities for citizen participation by establishing periods of public notice and comment and a citizen appeals process Although substitute Senate Bill 315 blocks a citizens right to appeal a permit that is granted to an oil and gas company it allows a company to appeal a permit denial Corporate interests should not be favored over an American citizens constitutional rights Additionally the bill provides little opportunity for members of the public to participate in the permitting process prior to the issuance of a permit Overall the permitting and appeals processes must be transparent and the lines

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?cat=12&paged=3 (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • OEFFA News | Ecological Food and Farm News | Page 8
    Agriculture and Senior Scientist at the Center for Food Safety in Washington D C He is the founding co director and former science director for the biotechnology project at the Center for Science and the Public Interest From 2006 to 2014 he served as senior scientist in the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists Previously Gurian Sherman worked at the Environmental Protection Agency where he examined the human health impacts and environmental risks of genetically engineered plants He also worked in the biotechnology group at the U S Patent and Trademark Office and he served on the Food and Drug Administration s inaugural advisory food biotechnology subcommittee He is a respected scientist widely cited expert on biotechnology and sustainable agriculture and author of dozens of articles papers and reports including the landmark Union of Concerned Scientists report Failure to Yield Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops In addition to Gurian Sherman this year s conference will feature syndicated agricultural writer Alan Guebert on Saturday February 14 nearly 100 educational workshops three in depth pre conference workshops on Friday February 13 a trade show activities for children and teens locally sourced and organic homemade meals and Saturday evening entertainment The OEFFA conference will be held at Granville High School 248 New Burg St in Granville For more information about the conference or to register go to www oeffa org conference2015 Past conferences have sold out in advance so early registration is encouraged to avoid disappointment Some Ohio Communities are Not Pleased About Proposed Pipelines January 19 2015 Sustainable Agriculture in the News Lauren Ohio Public News Service By Mary Kuhlman 1 8 15 COLUMBUS Ohio Dozens of Ohioans including farmers are teaming up to fight pipeline projects that could run through their property Almost 40 000 miles of new pipelines are being proposed around the state to transport oil and gas Sheryl Billman is working to get organic certification for her Lorain County farm which is in the proposed path of the Nexus pipeline It s just a whole devastating idea a 42 inch diameter pipeline says Billman It would only be anywhere from two to six feet below ground You couldn t put trees in you could not use the land really Besides the impact on agriculture Billman says the local public benefit of the development is questionable since the pipeline would transport natural gas from shale gas supplies produced in eastern Ohio up to Canada Groups are forming to try to get the pipeline it rerouted to areas where existing pipelines already are in place The Nexus pipeline is in early planning and its developer has said it is possible it could be moved or its path could be shifted It s not just the pipeline that Billman says is a nuisance but also its construction maintenance and accompanying compressor stations She says the possibility of accidents spills or explosions poses a real risk to organic farmers whose land could be compromised by chemicals or toxins The people who are close to these things their air quality water quality and soil is just being devastated says Billman That s food and it comes up in the food and it just draws right from the soil and from the air Supporters say the pipelines will help drillers get a better price for their gas by carrying it to areas north where there is greater demand While Billman says she understands the need for natural gas for energy she says there are other ways We know how to do things differently and there are the alternative fuels coming along solar and wind primarily and we are taking our farm in that direction she says We will be petroleum free on our farm by 2020 Other proposed projects in Ohio include ANR East Pipeline a 500 mile line to Michigan and the 800 mile Rover Pipeline which would run to Canada Genetically Modified Crops Continue to be Controversial January 14 2015 Annual Conference Farm Policy OEFFA in the News Lauren All Sides with Ann Fisher 1 14 15 Ohio farmers have now joined a nationwide lawsuit against a Swiss agriculture company for selling genetically modified corn before it was approved by China a major corn importer Ann explores the larger issue of genetically engineered crops the concerns over health and environmental risks and the role they play in feeding the world with guests Ellen Deason professor at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Doug Gurian Sherman Director of Sustainable Agriculture at the Center for Food Safety and Featured Keynote Speaker at OEFFA s 36th Annual Conference on Sunday February 15 Douglas Southgate professor in the Department of Agricultural Environmental and Development Economics at The Ohio State University Listen to the hour long conversation here Award Winning Journalist to Keynote Ohio s Largest Food and Farm Conference Alan Guebert to Discuss Future of Farming January 7 2015 OEFFA Press Releases Lauren FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 7 2015 Contact Renee Hunt Program Director 614 421 2022 Ext 205 renee oeffa org Lauren Ketcham Communications Coordinator 614 421 2022 Ext 203 lauren oeffa org Award winning agriculture journalist Alan Guebert will be a featured keynote speaker at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association s OEFFA 36th annual conference Sustainable Agriculture Renewing Ohio s Heart and Soil on Saturday February 14 in Granville Ohio Licking County For more than 20 years Alan has had his finger on the pulse of American agriculture offering keen insights into the politics money and technology behind our nation s food and farm system said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt Guebert will speak as part of the state s largest sustainable food and farm conference an event which draws more than 1 200 attendees from across Ohio and the country In his Saturday February 14 keynote address presented by Northstar Café Farming s Future Faces Shaping the Course of Our Food System Guebert will explore the ways in which science technology and big

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?paged=8 (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (OEFFA) Good Earth Guide Product Search
    by OEFFA Turner Farm Profile Cincinnati OH Hamilton Melinda O Briant Certified Organic by OEFFA Turtle Hill Farm Profile Stewart OH Athens Michelle Miller Jen Jones Twin Parks Farm Profile West Salem OH Wayne Dean McIlvaine Certified Organic by OEFFA Twinbill Agricultural Services Profile Burbank Ohio Wayne Doug Billman Two By Two Farm Profile Smithville OH Wayne Steve and Natalie Marty Certified Organic by OEFFA Up The Lane Farm Profile Johnstown OH Licking John Wiley Upland Hills CSA Profile Oxford MI non ohio Ken Webster Valhalla Acres Fiber Farm Profile OH Muskingum Jane Evans Valley Organic Garlic Farm Profile Quarryville PA non ohio Aaron M Certified Organic by OEFFA Valley View Farm Cereal and Grains Profile Huntsville OH Logan Steven Coblentz Certified Organic by OEFFA Valley s Organic Garlic Farm Profile Quarryville PA non ohio Aaron Miller Certified Organic by OEFFA Villa Maria Farm Profile Villa Maria PA non ohio John Moreira Ware Farm Profile Bear Lake MI non ohio Sandee Ware Certified Organic by OEFFA Warnecke Farms Profile Ottawa OH Putnam Marty Warnecke Certified Organic by OEFFA Waucapona Farms Profile Hartington NE non ohio Marvin DeBlauw Certified Organic by OEFFA Wayward Seed Farm Profile Worthington OH Madison Adam Welly and Jaime Moore Certified Organic by OEFFA Webb Valley Farm Profile Wilmington Ohio Clinton Randy and Pamela Moore Wenger Farm Profile Dalton OH Wayne Nelson and Lynn Wenger Certified Organic by OEFFA West Virginia University Organic Research Farm Profile Morgantown WV non ohio Jim Kotcon Certified Organic by OEFFA White House Gardens Profile Sharon Center OH Medina Debbie Fox White Pine Farm Profile North Branch MI non ohio Marian Listwak Certified Organic by OEFFA Whitefeather Meats Profile Creston OH Wayne The Perkins Family Wichert Insurance Profile Somerset OH Perry Sherry Cooperrider Wild Goose Gardens Ltd Profile Oberlin OH Lorain Kim

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/productsearch.php?start=400&productquery= (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Think about your food choices and you might be surprised | OEFFA News
    that neat pyramid that shows the hierarchy of human needs saw fit to put food at the base because without it we d die and thus not need anything What s interesting though is why people seem to regard eating and the impact on our health as less important than say watching tonight s Lost episode We seem content to believe that something sold as food must be good for us or else it wouldn t be for sale Apply that same reasoning to firearms and see where you get Here s another food related logic problem I struggle with I asked myself Who in America makes the big bucks Professionals right Doctors lawyers football coaches CEO s et al What do these folks have in common and why do they get paid so well They all possess a knowledge of incredibly complex concepts and the creativity to use that knowledge toward providing a unique service to the rest of us hence the big paychecks It occurred to me however that one profession is missing from the list the farmer Farmers also possess a knowledge of incredibly complex concepts and they use it creatively to provide us with food that basic human need Seems like a pretty important job right Yet farmers don t generally drive BMWs or own condos in Cocoa Beach On the contrary most farmers throughout America struggle just to break even and put food on their own tables Um This past Valentine s Day weekend my sweetheart and I attended an event that brought food issues into focus The event was the 31st annual OEFFA Conference For those of you who are unaware as I was until very recently OEFFA is the Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association Since 1979 they have committed themselves to bringing visibility to and offering support for sustainable ecologically viable agriculture and healthy eating Now to be clear I m no ostrich my head isn t buried in the sand I have a library card listen to NPR and if forced watch cable news I know what s going on But the conference not only opened my eyes a bit wider it motivated me to consider my own behavior and gave me the means to change it I found myself among a group of people who demonstrated a working knowledge of things as wide ranging as soil ecology renewable energy genetically modified organisms botanical chemistry and yes animal husbandry As a layman I was able to attend workshops in many of these areas and get exposed to cutting edge ideas that can change the current paradigm of corporate food culture At a time when issues such as health care energy consumption and economic turmoil have surged to the fore of political dialogue OEFFA seems uniquely positioned to make an impact By promoting fair treatment for farmers who grow real food and by assisting in the proliferation of local food economies the organization strives to educate and offer positive common sense solutions that

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=25 (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (OEFFA) - Farm Policy Matters
    NEXT you will be taken to our secure server to complete the payment portion of your membership Current Donation Amount Donation Amount Home Join Donate Farm Policy OEFFA Store Good

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/donate_fpm.php?amt=30 (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (OEFFA) - Farm Policy Matters
    farmers to remove wildlife habitat bordering growing areas in stark contract to federal organic standards which require organic farmers to promote biodiversity on their farm Proponents of the proposed NLGMA have stated that the agreement is voluntary implying that small and organic farmers may just opt out However the agreement is only voluntary to the handlers not to the growers that supply those handlers OEFFA has been opposed to the NLGMA since as early as October 2009 when OEFFA Executive Director Carol Goland provided testimony opposing the marketing agreement at a USDA hearing in Columbus As an alternative to the NLGMA the Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association has worked to develop a proposed Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement OPMA a state specific produce safety standard The OPMA includes a set of standards related to four areas of concern the use of compost and manure water worker hygiene and produce traceability This Ohio based standard is designed as a three tier system to be appropriate to the size and distribution plans of each operation although farmers and sellers at all tiers would have to receive training from OSU on Good Agricultural Practices GAP and on the core standards Tier 1 is designed for farmers who direct market at roadside farm markets farmer s markets and CSAs Compliance is voluntary and inspections are random Tier 2 is designed for intra state sellers of produce like produce auctions Compliance is mandatory and inspections are scheduled Tier 3 is designed for inter state sellers Inspections would be mandatory and unannounced SB 309 which gives the Ohio Department of Agriculture the authority to create a voluntary marketing agreement was signed into law by Governor Kasich in fall 2012 In November 2010 the U S Senate passed Senate Bill 510 the Food Safety Modernization Act FSMA On December 21 2010 the House voted to pass the Senate version of the bill which was signed into law by President Obama later that month The Food Safety Modernization Act significantly increases federal jurisdiction of food by giving the Food and Drug Administration FDA the power to quarantine the movement of food within a state without judicial oversight levy fines against food producers for reasons unrelated to food safety require extensive food traceability systems expand the Department of Homeland Security s authority to include food and require farms to prepare Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points HACCP plans Sustainable agriculture groups succeeded in winning several improvements to S 510 making it significantly better than the companion bill passed by the House of Representatives HR 2749 The following pro sustainable agriculture amendments were a part of the final bill Senator Sanders D VT amendment requires the FDA to write regulations to determine low risk on farm processing activities that can be exempt from regulatory requirement Senator Bennet s D CO amendment reduces unnecessary paperwork and streamlines requirements for farmers and small processors Senator Stabenow s D MI amendment creates a USDA delivered competitive grants program for farmer food safety training Senator

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/farmpolicy_safety.php (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (OEFFA) - Farm Policy Matters
    amended to allow the Ohio Department of Agriculture ODA to fund the board using private donations grants and civil penalties After OEFFA raised objections about the potential conflict of interest that could result from agricultural interests funding their own oversight former ODA Director Boggs committed to seeking legislative changes which would prohibit the board from accepting donations from the regulated entities To date those legislative changes have not been made and Governor Kasich s ODA Director David Daniels has yet to make a similar commitment Additionally as a result of concerns raised by OEFFA language in the legislation explicitly states The Ohio livestock care standards board shall not create a statewide animal identification system The board held its first meeting in Reynoldsburg on April 27 2010 and a series of six regional listening sessions throughout May to solicit public comment Soon after then Governor Strickland brokered an agreement between HSUS and Ohio s agricultural commodity groups including the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation in which the industry agreed to a number of concessions including urging the LCSB to adopt regulations phasing out the use of gestation crates and battery cages in exchange for HSUS dropping their ballot measure The board the Technical Research Advisory Committee TRAC and species subcommittees met regularly for the next year developing animal care standards Here s an update on where things now stand Euthanasia Standards and Civil Penalties Rules for euthanizing and slaughtering livestock and civil penalties for violators of the LCSB s animal care standards went into effect on January 20 2011 The euthanasia standards regulate all on farm and in transport euthanasia and slaughter of livestock in the state outside of inspected slaughter facilities The civil penalties apply to all standards developed by the board and range from 500 for minor offenses to 10 000 for repeated offenses General Considerations Standards and Standards for Disabled and Distressed Livestock The LCSB finalized standards for the treatment of injured or lame animals along with general cross cutting standards and definitions which apply to all standards all of which went into effect on April 28 2011 OEFFA raised concerns about language which would have required all livestock owners including small scale and backyard producers to prepare Standard Operating Procedures emergency action plans attend trainings and offer training programs to employees on a variety of topics As a result of these objections this language was removed Species Standards The board gave final approval to standards for veal calves poultry swine beef dairy goat sheep equine alpaca and llama which became effective on September 29 2011 Whether to restrict or phase out controversial confinment practices including gestation crates battery cages veal tethering and individual veal stalls involved extensive consideration and debate No issue was more contentious than veal housing For example after the LCSB received 4 700 public comments most in favor of allowing veal calves to turn around the LCSB reversed a previous decision and voted to reinsert language in the standards which requires veal housing to enable

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/farmpolicy_olcsb.php (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (OEFFA) - Farm Policy Matters
    practices The agreement follows a September 30 2010 U S Court of Appeals 6th Circuit decision striking down significant parts of the pending rule created by the ODA to prohibit labeling dairy products as rbGH free Critical to the decision was the Court s reliance on an amicus brief filed by The Center for Food Safety OEFFA and other organizations that demonstrated milk produced with synthetic hormones is different than milk produced without it Significantly the Appeals Court recognized the compositional differences in conventional milk compared to rbGH free milk They acknowledged that milk from cows treated with rbGH has elevated levels of IGF 1 higher somatic cell dispersed pus counts and lower quality of milk during certain phases of the lactation cycle As approval for new genetically engineered foods is sought to have a federal court come down on the side of transparency and consumer choice is a broader victory than just rbGH and milk said Goland rbGH a synthetic hormone injected into cows to boost milk production has been linked to an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer in humans and increases the incidence of clinical mastitis and lameness in treated cows Europe Canada Japan and Australia do not allow the hormone to be used in dairy production and organizations such as the American Public Health Association have called for its ban in the U S Yet under the ODA s 2008 rule Ohio s dairy producers could not label their milk rbGH free or artificial hormone free and could not make a statement about rbGH on their packaging without also adding The FDA has found no significant difference between milk from cows treated with artificial growth hormone and those that have not been treated OEFFA opposed this labeling law from the start leading the Ohio based

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/farmpolicy_labeling.php (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive



  •