2024 Ohio Farm Bureau Water Quality Status Report

Each year, Ohio Farm Bureau releases its Water Quality Status Report. In 2024, the report showcases the impacts being made by Ohio farmers who are taking measures to ensure clean water through voluntary efforts that are being done on a large scale with measurable results. 

This year’s report also features a deep dive into research projects being conducted with the support of the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network, a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative project and joint partnership between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

2024 Highlights

New report gauges impact of farm-level water quality efforts in Ohio: The Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative released the findings of its 2023 Assessment Survey Report on practices farmers in the Sandusky watershed are using to manage water and nutrients. The assessment results show ample conservation efforts, as well as areas for improvement and continued farmer education and resourcing by OACI.

Governor announces statewide open enrollment for H2Ohio: This spring Gov. Mike DeWine announced the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s H2Ohio program would enroll 500,000 acres statewide in the 64 counties outside of the Western Lake Erie Basin. The program incentivizes farmers to implement science-based, proven best management practices to prevent nutrient runoff and improve water quality. A new video series will kick off the benefits of Voluntary Nutrient Management Plans in July.

Adding saturated buffers to field drains offers water quality benefits: Researchers with the Agricultural and Water Quality Educational Center at Wright State University’s Lake Campus finished a monitoring study of their saturated buffer project in the Grand Lake watershed. This project was funded through the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network and involved collaboration with Mercer Soil & Water Conservation District. The effectiveness of the practice shows promise for improving water quality throughout the state, according to Stephen Jacquemin, PhD, biology professor with Wright State University. 

Tracking channel migration and erosion grant: Stream bank sediment erosion affects stream health negatively through the decline in function and shape of a stream channel, wildlife habitat, riparian zones, turbidity and water quality. A team of researchers at Ohio State University, led by Dr. Asmita Murumkar, Ecosystems Services field specialist with OSU Extension, has initiated a research project to track stream migration and erosion from streams and landscapes in the Blanchard River watershed. 

Five-year pilot watershed project: Late last summer, farmers, landowners, farm organizations, community members and researchers from different disciplines across four universities began work on a pilot watershed project in the Shallow Run watershed. Working with payment programs H2Ohio and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the pilot watershed project seeks to understand the water quality impacts of nutrient management strategies in real time by linking them with water quality changes in a productive agricultural watershed.

Download the 2024 Water Quality Status Report at ohiofarmbureau.org.

Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.

 

This is a news release for use by journalists. Questions should be directed to Ty Higgins, 614-246-8231 or [email protected].

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.
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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
The plan we are on is great. It’s comparable to my previous job's plan, and we are a sole proprietor.
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Kevin Holy

Geauga County Farm Bureau

Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan
We work terrifically with the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau, hosting at least one to two outreach town hall events every year to educate new farmers and existing farmers on traditional CAUV and woodlands.
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David Thomas

Ashtabula County Auditor

CAUV: Past, present and future
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

Advocacy
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