Ohio food association endorses ag bill Week of 5/31/2021

Staff Writer

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association is endorsing the Agriculture Resilience Act which was introduced recently in Congress.
Sponsors of the bill say it will expand resources for sustainable farmers working to build healthy soils and fight climate change, building on six key focus areas: increasing investment in agricultural research, improving soil health, supporting the transition to pasture-based livestock, ensuring farmland preservation and viability, promoting on-farm renewable energy production, and reducing food waste.
“This bill invests in key priorities for OEFFA growers. Our farmers are dedicated to improving soil health and resilience but are often left to find their own solutions and lack the resources and support for long-term success,” said OEFFA Policy Director Amalie Lipstreu.
The ARA utilizes existing programs to keep farmers on the land and in business, while equipping them with the tools and resources they need to be active partners in our efforts to mitigate the climate crisis. It refocuses existing conservation, research, renewable energy, and rural economic development programs on climate resilience and will reward farmers for the ecosystem services they provide.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), of which OEFFA is a member, issued the following comment from Policy Director Eric Deeble: “Farmers and ranchers are increasingly being recognized as an essential part of the solution to the climate crisis. As they deal with increasing pressures brought on by a changing climate, they know what’s at stake and are committed to healthy soils and resilient, sustainable ecosystems. This legislation centers agriculture to ensure inclusion of the sector in meaningful and long-lasting policy action on climate change. NSAC is pleased to support this important bill, and to continue advocating for policies that support sustainable family farming.”
Representative Chellie Pingree, (D-ME), and Senator Martin Heinrich, (D-NM), introduced the bill, calling it a farmer-focused, research-driven path to net zero agriculture.
“Farmers are making daily decisions to adapt to more frequent, extreme weather events. No matter the specifics of their production systems, the impacts are real, and they need the research, technical assistance, and resources detailed in the Agricultural Resilience Act. Urgent actions are needed to empower farmers and ensure their continued viability and to address the challenge of climate change,” said Lipstreu.


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