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  • OEFFA Applauds the USDA’s Commitment to Improve the National Organic Program | OEFFA News
    that the NOP and AMS are embracing the changes called for in this report which will increase the effectiveness of the program said OEFFA Organic Certification Program Manager Lexie Stoia Pierce In general the report outlines specific ideas for improving administration and management of the NOP strengthening enforcement of organic requirements and increasing oversight of accredited certifying agents and organic operations Specifically the report documented the need for NOP officials to improve enforcement tracking review and monitoring of businesses when serious violations have been found such as products labeled as organic when farm practices are under investigation or found in violation The USDA has are already taken steps to bolster public confidence in the organic label through issuance of a long overdue pasture rule for organic ruminants and increased staffing and funding for the NOP said Stoia Pierce President Obama has requested 10 1 million for the NOP a 3 1 million increase over Fiscal Year 2010 and the AMS plans to expand NOP staffing to 31 positions by the end of the year Consumers and farmers can continue to be assured that the organic label ensures the highest level of integrity and will continue to live up to its standards concluded Stoia Pierce To read the OIG s report go to http www usda gov oig webdocs 01601 03 HY pdf The Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association OEFFA is a non profit organization founded in 1979 by farmers gardeners and conscientious eaters who committed to work together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system OEFFA has operated a Certification Program since 1981 In 2002 when the USDA National Organic Program NOP was created OEFFA was among the first group of certifiers to be accredited by the USDA to certify under the new national standards

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=143 (2016-02-17)
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  • Good Earth Guide Moves Local Food from Field to Fork | OEFFA News
    foods said OEFFA Executive Director Carol Goland The Good Earth Guide aids consumers interested in buying wholesome local ecologically produced food and helps ensure the future of Ohio s farmers by helping to increase public awareness of the food being grown in their community You can find just about anything you d want being made right here in Ohio By offering this guide we hope to help Ohioans make the connections they need to find quality local foods and to help ensure the future of a vibrant sustainable food system said Goland Each farm listing includes name and contact information products sold a farm description whether the farm is certified organic and where their products are sold Both the print and online versions include tools that make it easy to search the listings for a specific product farm or farmer by county or by sales method The Good Earth Guide helps provide a blueprint for consumers interested in eating locally and in season Eating locally allows consumers to get to know who raises the food they eat and to find out how it was produced It keeps produce from traveling far distances allowing it to be picked and sold ripe and full of flavor and nutrition Buying locally and directly from the farmer also helps keep our food dollars in the local economy which in turn helps to preserve Ohio s vanishing small farm families farmland and traditions concluded Goland The Good Earth Guide is available free to the public in an easy to use online searchable database at http www oeffa org search geg php The Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association OEFFA is a non profit organization founded in 1979 by farmers gardeners and conscientious eaters who committed to work together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=135 (2016-02-17)
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  • Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board Implementing Legislation and Board Appointments Fail to Protect Small Family Farmers | OEFFA News
    s ODA existing budget Starting in 2011 however SB 233 allows the ODA to fund the board using private donations grants and any civil penalties the Board collects against farmers found to be violating its regulations Funding this board at least partially with private donations creates a conflict of interest the very agricultural interests that the Board is created to regulate could fund its operations said OEFFA Executive Director Carol Goland Imagine what would happen if the Ohio Coal Association funded the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Creating a situation where conventional agriculture special interests can fund their own oversight puts small farms and family farmers at risk Just one week later on April 6 Governor Strickland named his appointments to the Board further cementing its ideological leanings OEFFA along with our partners recommended to the Governor a list of qualified individuals who could represent organic farmers small family farmers and farmers market managers None of these recommendations were accepted said Goland Instead the appointments monolithically represent one form of agricultural practice Nowhere are the interests and expertise of those who represent organic farmers small family farmers and farmers market managers reflected This is a discouraging start for those of us who were told that the board would represent and consider a diversity of perspectives Taken together these actions should deeply concern small farmers and those of us who are working to rebuild local food systems concluded Goland The Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association OEFFA is a non profit organization founded in 1979 by farmers gardeners and conscientious eaters who committed to work together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system For more information go to www oeffa org Post navigation New USDA Pasture Rule Will Give Consumers More Confidence in Organic Meat and Dairy Good

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=130 (2016-02-17)
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  • small farmers | OEFFA News
    require that the Board s initial costs be funded using the Ohio Department of Agriculture s ODA existing budget Starting in 2011 however SB 233 allows the ODA to fund the board using private donations grants and any civil penalties the Board collects against farmers found to be violating its regulations Funding this board at least partially with private donations creates a conflict of interest the very agricultural interests that the Board is created to regulate could fund its operations said OEFFA Executive Director Carol Goland Imagine what would happen if the Ohio Coal Association funded the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Creating a situation where conventional agriculture special interests can fund their own oversight puts small farms and family farmers at risk Just one week later on April 6 Governor Strickland named his appointments to the Board further cementing its ideological leanings OEFFA along with our partners recommended to the Governor a list of qualified individuals who could represent organic farmers small family farmers and farmers market managers None of these recommendations were accepted said Goland Instead the appointments monolithically represent one form of agricultural practice Nowhere are the interests and expertise of those who represent organic farmers small family farmers and farmers market managers reflected This is a discouraging start for those of us who were told that the board would represent and consider a diversity of perspectives Taken together these actions should deeply concern small farmers and those of us who are working to rebuild local food systems concluded Goland The Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association OEFFA is a non profit organization founded in 1979 by farmers gardeners and conscientious eaters who committed to work together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system For more information go to www oeffa org Archives Select

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?tag=small-farmers (2016-02-17)
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  • Sen. Brown hears local farmers’ concerns on tour | OEFFA News
    increase the development of rural farmland Tony Anderson a Fayette County soybean farmer said he wasn t able to finish getting his crops in the ground until July 1 He said he s about a month behind schedule because of the wet spring season That crop insurance is so important to someone like me especially this year he said Several corn farmers agreed and said safety nets such as the crop insurance programs are important in keeping small farmers operating during years with especially dry or rainy weather Becky Rondy a farmer of Athens County agreed those programs were important but wondered if there could be a way to get help for small farms that doesn t measure their crop outputs in tons or acres We are a small operation providing produce locally she said There s nothing for us to apply for because we can t show our yields in acreage Some wondered whether there could be more incentive programs to encourage younger people to take up farming The average age of a farmer is 57 said 74 year old John Tillis of Meigs County There needs to be something in that bill to encourage our youth to farm Christina Wieg a farmer from Hocking County said it s been a struggle to compete with housing developers when trying to buy additional farmland Why would you want to farm when you can t even afford to buy the land she asked I would love to buy more land I just can t Wieg said she s often only able to find land that s been divided up into smaller parcels or is out of the range she s able to afford as a smaller farmer hoping to grow Brown said urban sprawl often can cause problems for farmers living

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=388 (2016-02-17)
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  • Athens County aiming to be farm-to-table epicenter | OEFFA News
    of the month July 10 16 is Ohio Brew Week which will feature dozens of events focused on beer produced in the state of Ohio Not only will local brews be showcased throughout restaurants and pubs around Athens but some events will feature pairing and cooking with local foods On July 12 the Ohio Craft Brew Cooking Competition and the Athens Cuisine Showcase will be held at 6 p m at Abrio s Brick Oven on East State Street A beer and cheese tasting will be held on the same day at the same time at Casa Nueva in downtown Athens and will feature cheeses from Integration Acres and Laurel Valley Creamery and beers from several Ohio brewers The third week in July is 30 Mile Meal Restaurant Week From July 17 23 at least 20 area restaurants will feature local ingredients in their menu items According to Woodroofe Athens restaurants ranging from O Betty s Red Hot to Zoe and Cutlers at the Ohio University Inn will be using local products in their menu items While some local restaurants such as Casa Nueva use local ingredients as a staple of their business Woodroofe said other restaurants such as Cutlers will be using them for the first time We re really excited about this she said We hope the restaurants discover the benefit of offering local ingredients and expand the use of those ingredients beyond the one week Woodroofe said that by using local ingredients restaurants are supporting local farmers The last week of July will be dedicated to farmer appreciation Events will be held at the Athens Farmers Market and Snowville Creamery will host an ice cream social at the Athens Community Center on July 30 from 1 to 4 p m Throughout the month there will be free

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=381 (2016-02-17)
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  • Field Day: Joseph Swain Turns His City Lot Into Bountiful Urban Farm | OEFFA News
    Jess had a home in Clintonville and they enjoyed spending time at the Clintonville Farmers Market together and getting closer to the local food movement His desire to eat better food and live a more sustainable lifestyle sparked the idea of starting a garden He started with two plots in 2007 and grew the normal plants tomatoes peppers things like that He did more research on Urban Agriculture Systems and how to make a living off of subacre farming He checked out as many books as he could from the library about starting organic growing and he studied indoor vertical growing In 2009 the success he was enjoying with his produce led him to study the farmers markets Clintonville would be the ideal one to participate in because it was in his neighborhood and it was the one that got all of this going But it was very competitive I needed a niche he said Herbs carrots microgreens and mushrooms were things that I felt were missing there that I could offer He put in his application and got accepted In his first year of business he sold everything he grew exceeding his goal of growing enough food to sell every Saturday the market is open But that didn t leave much food for him and Jess Trays of lettuces and microgreens Figuring out the balance of how much to keep for yourself and how much to sell is hard said Joseph In my desire to make my business profitable I wasn t leaving much for us to eat and we would have to buy food for ourselves West side view of backyard Some of his favorites things to grow are different varieties of carrots They are also his favorite to eat He said carrots can be very difficult to grow the seeds take three weeks to germinate and once in the beds they need to be delicately weeded He now has eight boxes for carrots growing hybrids such as Red Dragons and White Satins The backyard space consists of 30 beds that are make of 2 x8 pine The beds have 12 walkspaces between them In the very back are his slow compost piles a 3 year system he developed for leaves yard waste weeds straw He also uses a tumbler system pictured right for a faster 30 day turnaround to compost mushrooms microgreens food waste A greenhouse sits on the east side of the backyard and houses many of the organic starts that he sells for 3 a plant The plants are in 4 pots Slow composting system and greenhouse His pricing is his attempt to bridge the gap between convention plants and certified organic plants Eating organically does not have to be expensive he shared Because he does not have the required space around his farm that organic certification requires his neighbors have signed agreements that they do not use any pesticides or such on their properties His mushroom and seed operations occupy the basement of their

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=375 (2016-02-17)
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  • Ohio couple picked for National Farmers Union Beginning Farmer Institute | OEFFA News
    insight from others who have been doing it awhile and network with others going through some of the same challenges and struggles we are The first session will include officials who influence USDA farm program decisions The couple will be able to learn about how USDA programs affect them They intend to inquire about what types of policies are being considered to encourage more people to go into farming and those for organic farmers like themselves With the average age of the U S farmer being 58 we need to create a new generation of farmers because there is not a huge backlog of people getting into the business Jeff Eschmeyer said Many organic farming programs are being cut by USDA he added The current farm bill contains a program to help new farmers save money to acquire capital but the program was never funded he said Deb Eschmeyer said it will be nice to network with other young beginning farmers at the national level We re just excited to do it she said Our first meeting is this fall and we get to meet everybody The Beginning Farmer Institute will provide participants with a better working knowledge of the tools available to help them succeed Miller said NFU expects to be actively involved with these participants after they return to their farms Miller said We ask that they become an inspiration or mentor to others in their area and become involved in local boards Others chosen to participate in the Beginning Farmer Institute hail from Wisconsin Rhode Island Montana Connecticut and Colorado They include grain farmers a rancher a CSA operator and an organic farm The Eschmeyers stood out in the application process because of their ability to make things happen their drive and motivation Miller said Finding locally grown food Two area organic farms Harvest Sun Farm 5601 Lock Two Road New Knoxville and Oakview Farms 443 Canal St New Bremen are listed on the Good Earth Guide to Organic and Ecological Farms Gardens and Related Businesses by the Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association OEFFA Products available at Harvest Sun Farms include green beans beets broccoli brussels sprouts cauliflower cabbage carrots chard collards corn cucumbers edamame eggplant squash decorative gourds kale kohlrabi fennel leeks garlic greens okra onions peppers potatoes pumpkins radishes raspberries scallions spinach strawberries sweet potatoes tomatoes turnips and a variety of herbs Products available at Oakview Farm include food grade soybeans corn for feed and spelt an old variety of wheat Ohio summers are a time to enjoy the bounty of fresh garden vegetables ripe off the vine berries and orchard harvests bursting with flavor the OEFFA says The Good Earth Guide includes information on more than 315 farms and businesses that sell directly to the public including more than 150 certified organic farms and businesses and more than 70 community supported agriculture CSA programs Farming organically typically means using techniques that grow food in harmony with nature and not using synthetic chemicals or fertilizers

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=367 (2016-02-17)
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