Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, introduced the Local Food and Regional Market Supply (FARMS) Act (HR 3941) in early October. This legislation directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue positive investments in local food systems, community economic development, and public health.
“The bill introduced by Senator Brown makes important investments that will allow farmers to reach new markets; increase community access to fresh, healthy, local food; and support the food infrastructure that connects producers to buyers. With commodity prices falling, farmers are increasingly looking for new opportunities and for some that means investments close to home where markets for locally and regionally produced food continue to rise,” said Amalie Lipstreu, Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association (OEFFA) Policy Coordinator. “Even with the growing demand for food produced in Ohio, some farmers struggle because they don’t have access to the infrastructure they need. It could be storage, transportation, or processing that limits the growth of markets that enrich farmers and local communities. Ohio is home to many thriving cities, rural communities, and farmland. By connecting the dots we can create wealth and health and move toward greater sustainability.”