Wed August 22, 2012
Small farmers counting on passage of Farm Bill
Some Ohio farmers are hoping swift congressional action will maintain funding for various programs.
Farmers in the Buckeye state have already been hit hard by heat and drought conditions, and now they're concerned about the the current farm bill expiring next month. Programs within the legislation are especially helpful to local and smaller farms. For instance, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program helped Linde Collingwood of Solo launch her small-market garden. she says it helped her and other growers provide healthy food options for Ohioans.
Collingwood: There's going to be more demand and more interest as people learn where their food is coming from. So we're going to need more local farmers and beginning farmers to provide these things. and if the funding is cut then there's going to be that huge gap.
Another part that could lose funding -- the national Organic Certification Cost-Share program. That helped Ron Meyer of Strawberry Hill farm near Coshocton. Meyer says he's already lost nearly a third of his yield this year because of the weather.
Meyer: We've seen insects -- insects that we've never seen before. We've had disease problems this year we've never had before. And both of those are due to the weather this year.
Meyer also serves as a member of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association. While the U.S. House passed a disaster assistance bill for farmers earlier this month, the Farm Bill remains stalled.