On Friday, February 15th, the Ohio Conservation Federation joined the Ohio Agricultural Conservation Initiative and assumed the final seat on the OAC Council.

The OACI is a collaborative effort of the agricultural, conservation, environmental and research communities to meaningfully improve water quality in Ohio by establishing a first-of-its-kind baseline understanding of current conservation and nutrient management efforts and by building farmer participation in a new certification program.

The OACI Certification Program will partner with Governor DeWine’s H2Ohio program to ensure funds get to farmers who demonstrate ongoing commitment to the implementation of science-based practices and by supporting those farmers that want to create an action plan to be eligible for H2Ohio funds. The Certification Program will begin in the Western Lake Erie Basin but move statewide and will be administered by local Soil & Water Conservation Districts.

OACI members include: Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Soybean Council, Ohio Cattlemen’s Assoc., Ohio Corn & Wheat, Ohio Dairy Producers Assoc., Ohio Sheep Improvement Assoc., Ohio Poultry Assoc., Ohio Pork Council, Ohio Agribusiness Assoc., The Fertilizer Institute, American Farmland Trust, Ohio Environmental Council, The Nature Conservancy, and the Environmental Defense Fund. The Council consists of eleven directors comprised of five farmers, three Ag organizations, and three NGOs.

Advisors include the Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Heidelberg University’s National Center for Water Quality Research, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Ohio Department of Agricultural. Serving as the Executive Director will be Janelle Mead of the Ohio Federation of Soil And Water Conservation Districts.

To learn more about OACI visit the website at: http://www.ohiolivestock.org/oaci/

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