For Immediate Release
April 20, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio (OFBF) – Addressing the challenges that threaten Ohio’s clean water resources is an important priority for the agriculture community. The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has released a report detailing its efforts to ensure safe and healthy water for the state.
The Water Quality Status Report provides a list of action items being taken by farmers, Farm Bureau and many collaborative partners to implement new farming techniques and best practices to protect water while farming productively. It emphasizes actions in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB), but water quality is a statewide issue and Farm Bureau is addressing it throughout the state. Farm Bureau also has established statewide partnerships to identify comprehensive solutions to complex water issues.
The report is available online at farmersforwater.org. Farm Bureau is publicizing its availability through print, broadcast and social media promotion.
“Ohio farmers are stewards of soil and water, and we all know we play an important role in protecting Ohio’s water. We take this role very seriously and have committed to doing our share to ensure both healthy water and sustainable food production in Ohio,” said Steve Hirsch, Ohio Farm Bureau president. “We’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish so far, but there is a lot of work to be done, and we look to partner with others who help protect one of our state’s most important natural resources.”
Many of the steps taken by the agriculture community to protect Ohio’s water are part of or supported by the Farm Bureau Water Quality Action Plan, a comprehensive approach to farming and water issues.
Among the accomplishments outlined in the status report:
- Helping thousands of farmers in the WLEB develop nutrient management plans
- Working with legislators to secure state funding for water quality initiatives
- Establishing a network of demonstration farms through collaborations
- Committing additional funding to The Ohio State University’s edge-of-field study
- Increasing our commitment to the Healthy Water Ohio (HwO) coalition
- Supporting county Farm Bureaus’ development of water quality programming
- Promoting 4-R Nutrient Stewardship principles and other conservation practices
- Securing federal funds that will help improve water quality
Hirsch stressed the importance for people to understand that the current challenges, such as algae blooms, will not be solved overnight, nor will they be solved by farmers alone.
“Protecting our water is an ongoing effort that will require a long-term commitment by farmers as well as our communities, businesses and every group or person who relies on clean water,” Hirsch said. “No other state in the nation has accomplished what we have in Ohio, and I’m confident we’ll be successful moving forward.”
Editors: Ohio Farm Bureau leaders are hosting a telephone news conference today (Monday, April 20) at 1 p.m. to discuss the Water Quality Status Report. To receive login information, contact Rebecca Everman at [email protected].
CONTACT: Joe Cornely
Sr. Director, Corporate Communications
Ohio Farm Bureau Federation
PHONE: (614) 246-8230
E-MAIL: [email protected]