WOODSTOCK, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) convened a roundtable discussion with farmers and agricultural producers in Champaign County today. The conversation focused on ensuring a strong safety net for farmers and on efforts to improve and preserve water quality for all Ohioans.
“Agriculture is critical not only to Champaign County’s economy, but to the entire State of Ohio,” Brown said. “These listening sessions are important because they help shape the work I do on the Senate Agriculture Committee. By working together, we support Ohio farmers and agricultural producers while preserving our state’s resources for future generations of Ohioans.”
From his membership on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Brown helped create the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) which established voluntary partnerships between agricultural and conservation groups aimed at helping farmers improve soil health, protect water quality, and restore wildlife habitats.
In January, Brown announced that Ohio will receive a share of $17.5 million from the (USDA) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) – which Brown helped establish in the 2014 Farm Bill. The funds were awarded to the Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative – a partnership among Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana – with the goal of helping farmers implement conservation practices that reduce the flow of phosphorus, which contributes to harmful algal blooms that comprise water quality. From his seat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Brown urged USDA to approve this application.
Brown also played a key role in the development of a five-year comprehensive farm bill, which was signed into law in February 2014. Brown helped write the centerpiece of the deficit reduction measures in the bill, which reformed the farm safety net by eliminating fixed-price support programs, reducing overlap with crop insurance, simplifying application and administrative processes, and saving billions of taxpayer dollars.