|From left: OEFFA Executive Director Dr. Carol Goland, Senator Sherrod Brown, OEFFA Policy Program Coordinator Amalie Lipstreu|
“Senator Brown has consistently supported investments in local and regional food systems that contribute to farmer viability, create jobs, and improve public health,” said OEFFA’s Policy Program Coordinator Amalie Lipstreu, who presented the award. “Through his introduction of the Local Food and Regional Market Supply (FARMS) Act (S. 1947), we can fully develop the policies and programs that spur economic development in communities in Ohio and throughout the nation.”
“Local farmers feed Ohio families and grow Ohio’s economy. I’m proud to work with partners like OEFFA to help connect family farms with their communities, grow their bottom lines, and create jobs across our state. It’s an honor to receive the Food and Farm Champion award,” said Senator Brown, who provided remarks to the conference’s 1,100 guests.
Ohio is home to 24 local food councils, a state food policy network, and a growing number of farm to institution programs, food hubs, and direct to consumer outlets. Senator Brown’s farm bill advocacy efforts have supported more than 90 food system projects and resulted in more than $7 million dollars in investments in Ohio’s communities. For example, the Lake to River Food Cooperative established a food hub and a shared retail space, the Youngstown Online Market pick-up site, which helps farmers market their products through a shared online platform.
Senator Brown serves on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, where he has been instrumental in strengthening the farm safety net and addressing childhood hunger.