SOLUTION ACTIONS – VOLUME 1, ISSUE 4
PROGRESS IN THE PROCESS
Ohio Smart Agriculture: Solutions from the Land leaders have gleaned useful information and suggestions to develop a set of solution pathways and actions to achieve the vision of our initiative. Our collective body of work is now organized under five solution pathways, which includes all work group recommendations and fifteen launching pad initiatives. We welcome your comments and suggestions for how this draft roadmap can be further enhanced. Comments should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Over the next 60 days, OSA leaders will host courtesy briefings and listening sessions with communities of interest, having direct ties to the OSA initiative. Specific engagement groups include:
OSA Communities of Interest
- Nutrition and Health
- International and National Commodity Market Farmers
- Local and Regional Market Farmers
- Value-added Processing
- Urban Agriculture
- Limited Resource Communities
- Conservation and Environment
- Related Regional Initiatives
- Government Partners
Brad Perkins, Executive Director of the Ohio Forestry Association, has joined the OSA Steering Committee to help speak for the needs and identify solutions that can be provided by Ohio’s forests and woodlots. Brad and the other OSA leaders will guide conversations with interest groups and hone in the action plan in the OSA Phase One Report, scheduled to be released later this summer.
WHAT IS OSA:SFL?
“Ohio Smart Agriculture: Solutions from the Land” is an initiative to place farming at the forefront of addressing challenges like hunger relief, health, and sustainability. Led by farmers as well as agribusiness owners, anti-hunger advocates, conservationists and public health researchers, we are working together to identify shared solutions to some of Ohio’s most pressing issues – by leveraging the deep knowledge and vast resources of our state’s agriculture community and by learning from each other.
Our purpose is to explore 21st century strategies to retain a strong, vibrant farm economy and workforce; to assure a healthy population with access to nutritious food; and to preserve the land, air and water in our state for future generations.
We will succeed when the direction we set forth engages the broader community in a joint response to these issues and promotes collaboration among Ohioans.
In times of changing climate, markets, and preferences, OSA:SfL’s goal is to create and implement an action plan that will:
- Help farmers adjust to new weather patterns, nurture the land, clean our air and waters, and provide a healthy ecosystem for future generations.
- Reconnect consumers with agriculture, improve health, food access and nutrition for Ohioans, and celebrate the importance of strong, vibrant farm communities and farmland.
- Build new opportunities and infrastructure for a more diverse and prosperous farm economy in which Ohioans feed Ohioans and the world.
Please join us and share your thoughts on how Ohio agriculture can become more sustainable and relevant, creating solutions to 21st century challenges!
Franklinton Farms is a nonprofit urban farm dedicated to growing and sharing food, creating beauty, and building community with its neighbors. Founded in 2007 in Franklinton, a small neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, by local residents who decided to utilize a vacant city lot and create access to local, fresh fruits and vegetables. They would go on to become caretakers for the land and create community. What began as one lot has expanded to a multi-acre network of food production sites.
The organization has been cultivating healthy foods in this urban area for over a decade. The focus has grown to not just growing food, but also providing economic opportunity and agriculture production and nutrition education. Here are just a few of Franklinton Farms’ activities .
- Summer Farmers Markets – hosting farm stands at Worthington Farmers Market and Columbus Public Health WIC Market.
- Produce Basket Program – delivering local foods to qualifying residents.
- Mobile Market – order online from available harvested produce and receive next day.
- Produce Donations – distributing produce to nonprofit organizations and local churches.
- Volunteering and Internships – one time and reoccurring volunteer opportunities are available, as well as part-time and full-time internships.
Franklinton Farms not only serves a lower-income community, but it increases awareness about food security, climate change, health and more. These efforts coincide with the mission and vision of OSA and the future of urban farming. Executive Director Nick Stanich is an active member of the OSA steering committee representing urban agriculture perspectives and contributions. Franklinton Farms’ sustainable practices are quite innovative, and we look forward to learning more through their ongoing work and leadership. On July 21st from 11am-1pm, join them to discuss and learn about food and climate change and spend one hour volunteering. It will be an inspiring event! If interested, you can register here.
International Trade War Felt in Ohio
China has proposed $34 billion tariffs on agricultural goods. Who’s affected? Ohio farmers, especially soybean producers. According to the recent Agricultural Report 2018-001, authored by Ben Brown and Ian Sheldon with The Ohio State University Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE), Ohio is one of the top five soybean producing states: it harvested 251 million bushels of soybeans in 2017, contributing $2.4 billion to the state economy. If these tariffs are put in place, Ohio will be one of the first states directly impacted. Nearly 59% of the agricultural annual income for row crop farmers could be affected. Ohio farmers are speaking up and flying out to be involved in the political process.
OSA Co-Chair Fred Yoder is just back from China, where he joined a group of farm broadcasters and affiliated industry representatives on a two-week trip to get expert reactions to market conditions and agriculture. Yoder, a longtime leader within Ohio agriculture, participated in discussions with Chinese farmers, academics, business executives and government leaders on ways in which farms can be managed to deliver multiple solutions from the land.
To learn more about Fred’s observations and insights Yoder take a look at the Fred Yoder Journal from China.
Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, Co-Chair, Ohio Smart Agriculture
OSA’s leadership team is comprised of many active, prominent Ohioans involved in agriculture, nutrition and healthcare, the environment, academia, and the food and fiber value chain. Each month in this space we recognize a different leader and share a bit about their passion for OSA.
Lisa Hamler-Fugitt serves as the co-chair for the OSA:SfL steering committee. She is the executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, a private, not-for-profit organization. They are Ohio’s largest charitable food assistance network, distributing over 216 million pounds of food and grocery items. Last year, they served over 2 million Ohioans struggling with hunger, food insecurity and poverty. She has played a vital role in connecting producers of food to those who need it in communities across the state.
Why are you a part of OSA?
Lisa: I’m involved in Ohio Smart Agriculture: Solutions from the Land because I see the challenges and the similarities between the Ohio farmers, growers and commodity producers and the people we serve. All these factors and trends must be addressed in a holistic, integrated and comprehensive way to build the opportunities and pathways that will ensure we are well positioned to address the challenges that cloud the future. It is my great honor to serve as a co-chair for OSA. My energy in all organizations is working towards the elimination of hunger and poverty.
What segment of the initiative are you most passionate about, and why?
Lisa: This is a difficult question, because I’m passionate about all our pathways, partners, launch pads and the opportunities we are envisioning together. The shear diversity, vast knowledge and viewpoints of the stakeholders involved and how truly committed we are to crafting integrated solutions to some of the biggest challenges of our time. Is really inspiring and hopeful. It is critically important that we work together to build a strong and resilient food system, that brings together consumers and producers to help build an environment and the political will that ensures Ohio agriculture economy is strong, thriving and sustainable helping to “feed the world” and “feed our hungry friends and neighbors” as we work together to build strong communities, engage consumers and ensure public health and access to nutritious food. All the Ohio Smart Agriculture: Solutions from Land work groups and the amazing members who serve are so dedicated to working together to craft solutions that will ensure a brighter and more secure future for all and for that I say thank you to each and every one of you who so generously give of their time, talent and treasure. If you aren’t yet involved in this exciting and transformational initiative – please join. There is room for you at the table.
OHIO AG: DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know tomatoes are the state fruit for Ohio? Tomatoes are popular during the summer months. They are used in many recipes and can be eaten fresh or cooked.
Ohio is the 5th highest in the nation for production. They can be found in traditional fields and greenhouses across the state. Ohio is also ranked 3rd in tomato processing for products like tomato paste, ketchup, salsas and more!
Tomatoes can provide nutritional benefits like lycopene, Vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Do you have any tomatoes grown near you?