Market and CSA Preview at Wexner Center

Thu, Feb 24, 2011  |  5:30–7:00PM
Wexner Center Lower Lobby

Jaime  Moore of Wayward Seed Farm will be on hand before tonight’s Field &  Screen film to chat with guests about CSAs (Community Supported  Agriculture) and plans for the 2011 season at the Market at 15th &  High on the Wexner Center Plaza.

If you are farmer offering a CSA, a vendor at a Columbus area farmers’ market or a market representative come out to this event for some quality networking with other supporters of local food.

More Information

Food Safety for the Garden

Weds Mar 2 Food Safety for the Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory 6- 8 pm
Food safety expert Shari Plimpton, Ph.D., Director, Industry Outreach, CIFT, will discuss the fundamentals of proper food handling and good agriculture practices for community gardeners, urban growers and those involved in farmers’ markets. Registration required; space limited. Sponsored by Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT), Ohio Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Program and the Conservatory’s Growing to Green Program. Free with Conservatory admission. Location: 1771 East Broad St Columbus 43203. Web:  Contact: 614-645-8733.

Defining What is Local

We have all heard the term local food. But what does it mean? How local is local? Local is shorthand for an idea that doesn’t have a firm definition. Unlike organic standards, which entail specific legal definitions, inspection processes, and labels, local means different things to different people, depending on where they live, how long their growing season is, and what products they are looking for.

Practically speaking, local food production can be thought of in concentric circles that start with growing food at home. The next ring out might be food grown in our immediate community – then state, region, and country. For some parts of the year in Ohio it’s easy to eat local with lots of produce available from local farms. In winter and early spring, however, eating local requires adjustment to what is available for the season. This is an opportunity to learn about the cycles of how food is produced and will bring us closer to nature and our environment.

For me local means produced within my state of Ohio. Clearly there are some foods that are produced much more locally than others. All things being equal, we should give preference for that which is most local, starting with the food we produce or gather in our own backyards.

How do you define local and why?

Good News for the Local Food Movement

Good News for the Local and Regional Food Movement

President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act today, after a long bout of legislative wrangling by local food advocates, small farmers and their allies for food safety rules that protect consumers without curbing the growing movement toward fresh, local and regional food.  The food safety bill passed by the House in July of 2009 would have imposed a one size fits all regulatory system biased toward  industrial agriculture with a regressive registration fee, expensive food safety plans, and regular on-farm FDA inspections regardless of the degree of the potential risk for food borne illness.  The new regulatory burdens threatened to erect formidable barriers to the developing local and regional markets for many small and moderate sized farms.

In the past two years, small farm advocates worked to win small and mid-size farm amendments to the legislation.  One organization that was key to the efforts was the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

The  amendments incorporated into the Food Safety Modernization Act and signed today by the President include:

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Food Safety Bill Passes, Now Goes to President Obama

Earlier today the House of Representatives passed  H.R. 2751 The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act with 215 voting for and 144 against.  Ten Republicans voted for the bill (see Final Vote). This is the bill that the Senate passed by voice vote on Sunday, December 19th, with the Tester-Hagan amendment protecting small farms intact.

The food safety bill hit a roadblock after passing the Senate in late November because a provision requiring the collection of user fees violated the Constitutional mandate that all revenue-generating measures must originate in the House.  House leaders then attached the bill as an amendment to two separate spending bills, neither of which were able to gain Republican support in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) circumvented the original technical mistake by attaching the bill to a House-originated measure (HR 2751) authorizing a cash-for-clunkers program – a “shell bill” with bipartisan support.  Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who had threatened to filibuster S.510 in November, dropped his objection at the last minute, allowing the food safety bill to pass unanimously.  The Washington Post reported this morning that Coburn staffer John Hart did not know why the Senator relented.

Text of the Bill: HR2751

President Obama is expected to sign the bill before Christmas.

Ohio Local Foods and Farming News


Thursday, January 13:
Ohio Neighborhood Harvest:  Demonstration of, and Best Practices for Creating Fruit and Vegetable Oases in Food Deserts
Public meeting with Kara Martin, Expert for National Healthy Corner Stores and hosted by the Center for Farmland Policy Innovation at The Ohio State University and made possible by a 2010 Ohio Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant and is part of the Ohio Food Policy Council’s Ohio Neighborhood Harvest.  Ms. Martin will discuss healthy food retailing as an economic development tool to increase community access to healthy foods.  She will discuss the challenges of healthy food retailing, share exemplary projects from across the country, and address opportunities for policy and system changes.  The purpose of this event is to give local organizations and individuals interested in healthy food access and opportunity to learn from a topical expert who has worked in corner stores across Seattle.  The event is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will be held in room 105, Agricultural Administration Building, 2120 Fyffe Road on the OSU Campus.  A reception will follow the event. The event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required by January 6, 2011.  To register send an e-mail to Jess Gambacurta (  To learn more, visit CFFPI’s project page –

Tuesday & Wednesday, January 25 & 26:
2011 Ohio Farm Management Conference
sponsored by Ohio State University Extension and OSU’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at the University Plaza Hotel, Columbus, OH.  Six general sesssions are offered covering topics such as employee management, farm transition planning, the perception of agriculture, and agricultural and environmental policy.  Registration is $75 per person and $60 per additional employee or family member paid before January 7 (after Jan. 7 the fee is $125/person and $100 per additional employee or family member.  Registration includes meals, conference proceedings, and conference parking.  For additional information and to register, visit: or contact John Yost at 740-335-1150 or via e-mail:

Saturday & Sunday, February 19 & 20:
The 32nd Annual Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (OEFFA) Conference – Inspiring Farms, Sustaining Communities
featuring keynote speakers, Klaas and Mary-Howell Martens, organic farmers since 1993 and owners  and operator’s of New York’s only dedicated organic feed mill and organic seed operation and Joan Dye Gussow author of several books, including This Organic Life and most recently, Growing Older.  For more information, including the schedule and a listing of workshops and to register, visit:

On-Going 8 Week Program in Several Locations Starting in January 2011
The Southern Ohio New and Small Farm College
is an 8-week program that introduces new and seasoned farmers to a wide variety of agricultural production topics to help them diversify and explore new enterprises and new markets.  The program teaches participants how to set goals, plan, budget, and where to find resources available to help start a small farm operation.  The course will layout how to manage financial and farm records.  Extension educators will illustrate many different enterprises that can be profitable on land as small as one acre.  A bus tour is included to visit are farms and to see first hand how small farm life works and to assist in making contacts with practicing farmers in the area.  Previous Southern Ohio New and Small Farm Colleges have helped 420 individuals representing 338 farms from 43 Ohio counties improve economic development of their small family owned farms.
Registration is $150 per person and $50 for each additional family member.  Registration is limited to the first 50 participants per location.  Registration fee includes resource materials, a soil test, refreshments and a bus tour.  For more information, contact Tony Nye at 937-382-0901 or e-mai: or visit: or


Job Opportunity – Center for Closing the Health Gap
The Center for Closing the Health Gap in Greater Cincinnati is seeking a Community Health Program Coordinator.  The Center is a nonprofit organization leading the effort to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities in Greater Cincinnati through advocacy, education and community outreach.  For more information, visit: or e-mail:

Job Opportunity – OEFFA is currently accepting applications for two positions:
Organic Educator.

Bookkeeper/Office Manager.

Fellowship Opportunity – Master’s or Ph.D. Level Studies in Rural Sociology and associated fields of sociological inquiry, including Environmental/Natural Resource Sociology, Sociology of Agricutlure and Food Systems or Development Sociology at The Ohio State University

Please consider or forward this announcement to prospective graduate students as appropriate regarding an opportunity for Master’s or Ph.D. level studies in Rural Sociology and associated fields of sociological inquiry, including Environmental/Natural Resource Sociology, Sociology of Agriculture and Food Systems or Development Sociology.  The Rural Sociology specialization in the School of Environment and Natural Resources is seeking high quality applicants for at least three fellowship worthy candidates.  Qualified students may also be considered for teaching and research associateships depending on school and faculty needs.

Fellowship awards are for one and possibly multiple years and include stipend, tuition and fees, with additional years of support possible via teaching or research associateships.  Fellowship awards are available beginning in Fall, 2011.  To be considered for a fellowship, applications for graduate study are due by January 15, 2011. Contact Amy Schmidt ( or 614-292-9883) for guidance regarding submission of an application and contact Jeff Sharp ( or 614-292-9410) for further detail about graduate studies in Rural Sociology.  See for more information about the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State and for information specific to the rural sociology specialization.

Graduate studies in Rural Sociology offers in depth training in the core fields of rural sociology, including the Sociology of Agriculture and Food Systems, Environmental and Natural Resource Sociology, and Development Sociology.  Additional faculty strengths exist in topical areas such as rural crime and community sociology.  Studies also include training in sociological theory, research methods and statistics.  An additional strength of this program is its close association with other social scientists in the School of Environment and Natural Resources (including faculty trained in decision-science, public policy, and law) as well as natural scientists with expertise in the environmental sciences, soils, wildlife, water quality, etc.   Recent students in Rural Sociology have explored topics related to local food systems, water resource management, animal welfare, sustainable agriculture, rural poverty, gender and development, and immigration.  Students and faculty engage in research both within the U.S. and in different global settings with research emphasis spanning theory, applied work, public-sociology, and policy.  Recent graduates have taken positions in both academic and applied settings (such as government agencies and nongovernmental organizations).

Online Farm Link Tool for Beginning Farmers

On Monday, December 13, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the release of TIP Net, an online tool to help link retiring farmers who have expiring Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts with beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers who want to buy or rent land for their operations.

Under the Transition Incentives Program (TIP), administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency, retired or retiring owners or operators with expiring CRP contracts can receive up to two additional annual rental payments if they sell or lease the CRP land to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers who are interested in bringing the land into production using sustainable grazing or crop production methods, including transitioning to organic.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition » Archive » USDA Introduces Online Farm Link Tool for Beginning Farmers.

Update on S. 510 Federal Food Safety Legislation

The Farmers Market Management Network of Ohio has been following the Senate’s food safety bill closely and just issued an alert to keep in the amendments that protect small farms and processors that sell locally.  The two articles below give  a good overview of where the legislation is now.    Your action is needed to keep local food growing.

Action Alert – Local and Regional Food at Risk

Action Alert December 8, 2010 Local and Regional Food at Risk Call Your Representative Food Safety Legislation passed by the Senate and to be… »

Update on Federal Food Safety Bill S.510

On Tuesday, November 30, a year after it was reported out of Committee, the Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) passed the Senate, 73-25. The bill,… »

Senate Food Safety Bill Moves Ahead

The Senate made substantial progress on the pending Food Safety Bill Wednesday. To move the sweeping food bill forward, the upper chamber voted 74-25 to limit debate, circumventing Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) objection.  And key stakeholders resolved the two controversial issues that have plagued the bill: bisphenol A and small farm exemptions.

Read: Senate Food Safety Bill Moves Ahead.