Spring 2023 (April)
A message from our Director:
If you’ve read my past few newsletters, you might have picked up on my reflection of the seasons at the beginning of each one. I don’t have to tell you all that spring and early summer is a hopeful, hectic time of year in our food system and in the cadence of life in Greater Cincinnati generally. This year, there’s an extra layer of excitement and activity when we look at food policy, because we’re in a special season right now: Farm Bill season!
The Farm Bill is a package of federal legislation made up of a series of bills, funding requirements, and program directives that cover a variety of food-related topics, including land conservation, agricultural resources, adult nutrition, and regional market systems. It’s set to be reauthorized by the federal government this fall, with the appropriations process taking place by the end of October 2023.
The Farm Bill is massive in scope and in effect. Frankly, it’s hard for most of us to wrap our heads around it well enough to advocate and mobilize others around it. But we aren’t afraid of a challenge! Leveraging the extensive work of many other organizations we are connected to, including the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) and the Kentucky Food Action Network (KFAN), we have established a series of blog posts featuring educational resources on our website, called FARM BILL 2023. Many of these resources have been powered by our Community Connections Coordinator, Amanda Lukas, who has a knack for getting into those details and translating them to the rest of us! Recent developments on the Farm Bill include Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) introduction just last week of the bipartisan Local Farms and Food Act to Congress, with our support and that of several other Ohio groups. The current cohort of FPC Council, Consulting, and Committee Members is working to identify additional opportunities to educate and advocate together, and several have already been leading the charge, including Council Member Rosie Allen, who recently traveled to DC with KFAN, and Consulting Member representative Mona Jenkins, who has been organizing listening sessions in her Cincinnati neighborhood. Learn how you can get involved with our work to stay engaged throughout Farm Bill season!
Cheers, Maddie Chera, PhD Director, Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council
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