OFBF report highlights water quality efforts in Ohio
Ohio Farm Bureau released its latest water quality status report highlighting the strides farmers have made in improving water quality and proving that productive farming and clean water can co-exist.
Jordan Hoewischer, director of water quality and research with Ohio Farm Bureau, says the organization is committed to improving water quality.
“We first committed $1 million over a certain period for water quality projects and now we’re at $2.6 million,” he says. “We want to make sure our members understand where their money is going and externally that farmers aren’t just sitting idly by.”
Six years ago, OFBF announced it was investing $1 million of member funds to develop a water quality action plan. So far, it has committed $2.6 million to the effort.
He tells Brownfield the latest report emphasizes actions taken throughout the state including the newly developed Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative, made up agriculture, conservation, and environmental groups.
“We’ve come together to say we want to have one cohesive voice and we think this is a big shot for us to get this right,” he says. “With OACI we came up with two programs- one of them is a farmer certification program and the second program is a farm field assessment.”
Governor Mike DeWine launched the H2Ohio initiative, an ambitious plan to invest $172 million in the state to reduce phosphorus, prevent algal blooms, create wetlands, address failing septic systems, and prevent lead contamination.
Hoewischer says the report also highlights the latest research conducted on the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms.
“These farms showcase different practices farmers can do and it allows us to have these dual conversations with farmers, the general public, and lawmakers to show them different aspects and humanize the farming and water quality issues,” he says.
He says there are a lot of misconceptions about agriculture and the report helps highlight the sustainable practices farmers use each day.
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Audio: Jordan Hoewischer