September 2018

September 25, 2018



Ohio Smart Agriculture: Solutions from the Land leaders began a series of courtesy briefings and listening sessions last month with commodity producers; local and regional market producers; forestry, conservation and environmental partners; as well as with representatives of the immigrant and refugee communities and nutrition and health service providers. The purpose of these sessions was to seek reaction to some of the preliminary solution pathways emerging from the initiative and to explore interest in collaborating to achieve shared goals. Conversations to date have been very helpful and reactions have been positive and energetic towards OSA:SfL’s drafted strategy and action plan.

We are excited to launch an informative video about OSA! Check it out and please share or comment on your biggest takeaway from the video.


In conjunction with the 2018 Farm Science Review in London, Ohio, OSA:SfL leaders will discuss and solicit input on their draft recommendations for building a 21st century strategy and action plan for Ohio agriculture to become more sustainable and resilient, and to develop solutions to current challenges.

Join us Wednesday, September 19th from 10:00am-12:00am at the Tobin Building #1011 for this event. If you have been unable to attend any OSA:SfL events, we invite you to share your input on our current solution pathways by commenting on this document.


“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!


Ohio Soybean Council innovates fish food, receiving national recognition

We all know that as the population grows, demand for food increases. Did you know that demand for seafood has made aquaculture the fastest-growing sector of the food industry? According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, “the past 40 years have shown doubling of global fish consumption. Wild-caught varieties are trending, but eventually, the availability will be limited.” How can we create environmentally sustainable fisheries to meet this need? Allow us to introduce Enzomeal.

Enzomeal is the first advanced vegetable-based protein meal for commercial fisheries. The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) partnered with Battelle to design this product with food longevity in mind. Enzomeal removes most digestive tract-harming ingredients and indigestible carbohydrates found in alternative fish foods. Soybean meal is the attractive feed source foundation. Its benefits include lower costs, higher protein content, a favorable amino acid profile and essential fatty acids that meet natural dietary requirements for fish. Enzomeal hopes to position itself as an emerging solution for aquaculture farmers who want sustainable, long-term and economically viable fish farms.

In November 2017, OSC received the R&D 100 Gold Special Recognition Award for their invention and innovation. This prestigious recognition is the eighth award OSC has received from R&D 100 since 2002. These research efforts are creating new markets for agriculture production. As the food scene evolves, food production practices change. Let’s keep swimming in new currents to provide for the world.


Gov. Kasich executive order directed to heal distressed watersheds

In late July, Governor John Kasich issued an executive order in response to the continued water quality impairment resulting in part from nutrient loadings in the Western Lake Erie Basin. This initiative is directed towards eight specified distressed watersheds considered to have high nutrient levels. Nutrients like phosphorus are used often in agricultural fertilizer applications. Northwest Ohio is a large agriculture production area that is considered a contributor to these issues.

Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission (OSWCC), directors of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Department of National Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency have been directed to recommend protocols and regulations for nutrient management requirements. These would cover the use, handling, store and control of nutrients across the state. The OSWCC must approve the order before actions can proceed.

On August 30, the governor-appointed group met and determined that more information is required before a decision can be made. They have formed a Western Lake Erie Basin Watershed In Distress Task-force/Subcommittee to research, plan and integrate the best ideas put forward. Over the next two months, the task force will gather information and create proposals to discuss at their next meeting in October.

This is just the beginning of many potential changes in the ways environment and agriculture must work together for long-term, sustainable plans and solutions. Stay involved with us to learn more of these developments.


Dave Lipstreu – Professional Land Planner

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.

David Lipstreu, AICP is a professional land planner with over 40 years of experience in land use and watershed planning for the municipal, township and regional levels of government. As planning director for the city of Aurora, Ohio in Portage County, Mr. Lipstreu was instrumental in developing and implementing one of the first riparian setback ordinances to be adopted in Ohio. As a Trustee for the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Mr. Lipstreu was part of a long-term initiative to implement sustainable development practice regulations, specifically in the area of storm water management, on a watershed basis.

 Mr. Lipstreu served as a member of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency’s (NOACA) Lake Erie Basin Water Quality Management Committee, as well as the Northeast Four County Planning and Development Organization’s (NEFCO) Section 208 Water Quality Management Committee. He also served as Chairman of the Portage County Regional Planning Commission for four years and as a member of the Newbury Township (Geauga County) Zoning Commission.

Mr. Lipstreu is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a nationally recognized certification for professional land planners.

Why are you a part of OSA?

Dave: I heard about it from someone, don’t recall who right now, and it sounded like a very worthwhile thing to get involved with. I believe I initially contacted Casey Hoy and expressed my interest.


What segment of the initiative are you most passionate about, and why?

Kris: Regarding work groups, obviously they are all important to this massive undertaking. However, conservation and the environment are of greatest concern to me. Not wanting to be a “dooms dayer,” I nonetheless believe we have steered towards a point-of-no-return on the earth. For that reason it is unacceptable to continue “business as usual.” Any steps, no matter how small, that we can take as a species to lessen these impacts, are all to the good. Then we might at least begin to acknowledge the urgency and take responsibility for changing it.


Did you know September is the start to many agritourism events around the country? Also known as farm-based recreation, agritourism provides income to more than 52,000 farmers around the U.S.

General tourism in Ohio brings in $38 billion in business activities and $8 million spent directly on farms. With harvest season around the corner, wineries, orchards, greenhouses, row crop farmers and livestock producers can use this niche for educational and economical purposes.