Nick McWilliams reporting – In anticipation of the next United States Farm Bill, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is touting legislation aimed at bolstering local agricultural economies.
The Local Farms and Food Act is a renewal of some parts of the previous Farm Bill, according to Brown, signed into action in December of 2018 by then-President Donald Trump.
Brown says that sponsors of the legislation promise improved supply chains when it comes to the farm-to-table process, and responds to increased demand for more locally sourced foods following the pandemic.
“Ohio farmers want to find new markets for their products. They have trouble competing with big agriculture and connecting with Ohio families who always prefer buying fresh, locally grown food. There’s no reason Ohioans should have to buy apples from Washington state when they can get them from Geauga County. Or vegetables from Mexico when they can get them from farms in Tiffin.”
Brown was joined by Kristy Burskirk, owner Clay Hill Produce and Flowers in Tiffin, who says that selling directly allows for expanded customer bases for farmers. She says that they have also been able to expand by accepting food assistance vouchers, which puts nutritious food on the table of those in need.
Other senators sponsoring the bill are Tina Smith from Minnesota, Peter Welch from Vermont, and John Fetterman from Pennsylvania. Companion legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Chellie Pingree of Maine and Dan Newhouse from Washington.
For more on the act, visit www.brown.senate.gov/newsroom.
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