Mary Alice Reporting –

Supporting Ohio farmers in growing their business is the mission of the bipartisan Local Farms and Food Act.

It’s sponsored by United States Senator Sherrod Brown, Ohio’s democratic representative, and it aims to make it easier for farmers to sell their products.

He says the legislation would help connect farmers to their communities, provide produce and goods directly to consumers, create local jobs, and provide local or regional investment.

“The more local food is produced that you buy the better it is for nutrition, for our children, the better it is for the environment, the better it is for local economic development. That’s why farmers markets have done so much better in the last ten years.”

According to the Senator, a major hurdle that small community farmers face is major agricultural companies dominating the market.

“Because in too many cases they have all kinds of advantages, including some tax advantages. We’ve got to take the big guys on as a government and quit siding with them.”

If ultimately approved, as is, the bill would simplify application for certain farmers market and local food promotion projects, increase funding for market programs, reauthorize the senior farmers market nutrition program, and reduce barriers related to individuals’ access to fresh, local products.

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