OREGON, OH —Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, convened a roundtable to get input from northwest Ohio farmers as he helps write the 2018 Farm Bill.
“As we start work on the next Farm Bill, I want to hear directly from Ohio farmers,” said Brown. “That’s why I’m holding roundtables like this one around the state over the coming year, with farmers and rural community leaders, just like we did before the last farm bill. These roundtables produced great ideas in the past and are critical to making sure that Ohio agriculture has a seat at the table.”
Brown was joined by farmers from agricultural organizations including U.S. Department of Agriculture, along with farmers and advocates from agricultural, conservation and sportsmen organizations including Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, The Nature Conservancy, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Pork Producers, Lucas County Farm Bureau, Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association to discuss ways to support Ohio farmers and create local jobs.
Last week, Brown introduced legislation to help farmers grow their businesses and boost rural Ohio’s economy. Brown’s bill would continue and expand current programs that help farmers enter into new markets, produce new products, and grow their business; promote and grow local farmers’ market programs, which help farmers sell healthy, local food directly to local consumers; and establish or expand a local food business.
In 2014, Brown was part of the Senate Farm Bill Conference Committee that successfully negotiated a five-year farm bill. Brown helped secure several key provisions for Ohio farmers in the 2014 Farm Bill including, strengthening and reforming the farm safety net, supporting conservation programs that protect the local environment, maintaining support for the Rural Development program to spur economic development, and helping farmers sell directly to producers, which creates jobs and increases access to nutritious, locally-grown food.
Brown is also an ardent supporter of agricultural research programs that keep Ohio farmers at the forefront of innovation, and that support Ohio institutions like The Ohio State University.
Brown is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 50 years.