Over 2,000 farmers participating in OACI to improve Ohio water quality

The Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative (OACI) announced that over 2,000 northwest Ohio farmers have become involved in the organization’s certification program since its rollout in early 2020. The certification program helps farmers throughout Ohio take their conservation efforts to the next level with a free, confidential analysis that allows them to better manage on-farm nutrients to improve water quality.

“When we created this universally recognized farmer certification program, the overarching goal was to help increase adoption of best management practices and recognize farmers who demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement,” said  Kris Swartz, OACI Chair and Wood County farmer. “We have achieved some very positive results since the program began, which once again proves that farmers are interested in taking part in resources and education they need to voluntarily employ modern, science-based water quality practices on their farms.”

OACI continues to work with the DeWine Administration’s H2Ohio initiative to ensure funds flow to farmers who demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement through implementation of H2Ohio approved practices that contribute to healthier waterways. This initiative began in the Maumee watershed and now covers 24 counties in northwest Ohio, with plans to expand statewide.

“The unique makeup of OACI shows that if we all work together in the same direction with common goals, progress can be made,” said Jessica D’Ambrosio, Ohio Agriculture Project Director for The Nature Conservancy. “By collaboratively learning and sharing information across environmental, agricultural and research communities, Ohio continues to demonstrate its commitment to identifying nutrient management and water quality solutions and helping farmers execute them.”

The certification program is available for all farmers in Ohio. To become OACI Certified, download the app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, or click the Become OACI Certified button at OhioACI.org.

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