ethanol corn

At the beginning of 2019, a group of Ohio agricultural organizations, including Farm Bureau, along with conservation and academia groups, met with environmental group leaders to form the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative.

The goal of this unique collaboration is to improve water quality by establishing a baseline understanding of current conservation and nutrient management efforts and build farmer participation in a new certification program.

OACI partners

In the early discussions about this project, a key observation was that there are many farmers currently implementing sound environmental practices on their farms. However, finding a measurable way to quantify how many farmers have already implemented best practices to preserve Ohio’s water quality is necessary.

To that end, OACI has established a two-phase approach to its plan: assessment and certification.

The assessment aspect will begin with confidentially taking inventory of farm practices to establish a baseline of current conservation and nutrient management practice adoption. The pilot survey is slated to be conducted in the Lower Maumee Watershed.

The certification program will be administered by the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and will launch in the 14 counties of the Maumee River Watershed (with plans for an eventual statewide program). To be certified, farms must demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement in the implementation of conservation and nutrient management practices. The certification program will help late adopters identify and provide to them resources that will help them adopt science-based conservation practices.

Both phases are expected to begin in early 2020.

The H2Ohio program, launched by Gov. Mike DeWine in 2019, will use OACI’s certification program to ensure funds get to farmers who demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement through implementation of best management practices. Those not meeting the minimum criteria for certification will be given tools to create an action plan to become certified and will be eligible for H2Ohio funds to support their work.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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