Northwest Ohio soybean field

This week the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative, of which Ohio Farm Bureau is a proud member, announced that over 2,000 northwest Ohio farmers have become involved in the organization’s certification program since its rollout in early 2020. The certification program helps farmers throughout Ohio take their conservation efforts to the next level with a free, confidential analysis that allows them to better manage on-farm nutrients to improve water quality.

“When we created this universally recognized farmer certification program, the overarching goal was to help increase adoption of best management practices and recognize farmers who demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement,” said Kris Swartz, OACI chair and Wood County farmer. “We have achieved some very positive results since the program began, which once again proves that farmers are interested in taking part in resources and education they need to voluntarily employ modern, science-based water quality practices on their farms.”

OACI continues to work with the DeWine administration’s H2Ohio initiative to ensure funds flow to farmers who demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement through implementation of H2Ohio-approved practices that contribute to healthier waterways. This initiative began in the Maumee watershed and now covers 24 counties in northwest Ohio, with plans to expand statewide.

“The unique makeup of OACI shows that if we all work together in the same direction with common goals, progress can be made,” said Jessica D’Ambrosio, Ohio Agriculture Project director for The Nature Conservancy. “By collaboratively learning and sharing information across environmental, agricultural and research communities, Ohio continues to demonstrate its commitment to identifying nutrient management and water quality solutions and helping farmers execute them.”

OACI’s certification program is available for all farmers in Ohio. To become OACI certified, download the app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, visit the Farmer Certification section at

About OACI

The Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative is a partnership between agriculture, conservation, environmental and research communities to recognize farmers for their dedication to advancing methods that improve water quality in Ohio and increasing the number of best management practices being implemented on farms. Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative partners include Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, American Farmland Trust, Environmental Defense Fund, National Center for Water Quality Research at Heidelberg University, Ohio AgriBusiness Association, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio Conservation Federation, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Dairy Producers Association, Ohio Environmental Council, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio Pork Council, Ohio Poultry Association, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Ohio Soybean Council, The Fertilizer Institute, The Nature Conservancy, and The Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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