Better Land, Better Nutrition: A Blueprint for Ohio's Future
Thursday, April 25, 2019
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Feeding the world begins with feeding our neighbors is a message at the heart of a new call to action to create a better food system for Ohio.
Ernie Shea, president and CEO of the group Solutions from the Land, says farmers are facing increasingly complex markets, low commodity prices and volatile weather that exacerbates crop losses and degrades the environment.
At the same time, he notes, 15 percent of Ohioans don't know where their next meal will come from.
So the Ohio Smart Agriculture: Solutions from the Land project has developed a blueprint for tackling the challenges of hunger, poor health and environmental degradation.
"This is a massive undertaking,” Shea states. “But the policies and programs of the past are not adequate to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.
“And that's why we're forging ahead with this groundbreaking call to action and approach to meeting the needs in Ohio."
There are 50 recommendations that Shea says will boost profitability for farmers, restore environmental resilience and build strong communities.
Ideas include helping farmers adjust to new weather patterns and create cleaner air and water; improving health and nutrition for Ohioans and building new infrastructure for a more diverse farming economy.
Shea says making Ohio agriculture and the food system a public policy priority will help expand access to local fruit, vegetables and meat.
"We'll be sourcing food closer to home,” he explains. “It will be fresher, it will stimulate economic development and job growth along the way, and all of these things are part of this integrated-systems approach to improving the food system in the state."
Shea says the blueprint considers agriculture, the environment and rural and urban communities as a system, and examines options and opportunities that benefit all.
"There needs to be some table that all of these partners can sit around and share ideas and energy and forge consensus,” he states. “So we are creating a food, farm and health alliance, the place to come together to collaborate in achieving a shared vision."
Shea says his group’s recommendations are just the beginning, and is inviting policymakers, philanthropic organizations, business leaders, researchers and others to join their call to action.
get more stories like this via email
College presidents testified before a congressional committee Tuesday on the rise of antisemitism on college campuses since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led …
There are some bright spots in beefing up local news coverage, but a new report says in North Dakota and elsewhere, there are still big concerns …
Health and Wellness
Holiday stress is a concern for most people, but when you mix in travel plans and chronic health issues, those worries might be elevated. A …
A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finds the repayment process for federal student loans has been filled with errors…
More than 3,500 foster children are available for adoption in Ohio, and state agencies are connecting with local faith congregations to help recruit …
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife just announced a marine warden discovered an endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle dead, drowned …
Health and Wellness
The state's largest county has just opened the new CARE Court system, designed to get help for severely mentally ill people in Los Angeles. CARE …
A Knoxville-based environmental group is voicing health and safety concerns about the development of a landfill for radioactive waste from the Y12 Ura…