Food and AgriCultural Transformation — March 27, 2018

Ohio Smart Agriculture Project Update

The Ohio Smart Agriculture: Solutions from the Land initiative seeks to build upon partnerships that have developed as part of a diverse coalition of agricultural, environmental, food security and health leaders across Ohio. The goal of the group is to construct a strategy and action plan for making Ohio agriculture and food systems more resilient to face the many challenges ahead.

Based on an integrated approach to land management, the project leaders are seeking to identify, design and deploy strategies that support the sustainable production of food, feed, fiber, energy and environmental benefits, in service to all Ohioans, including those who are most vulnerable to food insecurity. While embracing the vision of Ohio agriculture as helping to “feed the world,” this effort recognizes that we need to start with feeding our neighbors in Ohio more effectively, and in a way that preserves our precious natural resources.

The Ohio Smart Agriculture initiative is being implemented in close collaboration with The Ohio State University's Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT) and is being led by a Steering Committee composed of respected Ohio agricultural, food systems, health and conservation experts.

Over the past year, the leaders have formulated a draft vision for mid-century Ohio agriculture along with potential strategies for achieving this vision. Earlier this month, five regional lessoning sessions were held in cooperation with OSU Extension to gain input and guidance from a broad audience of Ohio farmers, consumers and businesses, specifically looking for early feedback on preliminary findings, along with other suggestions that should be considered for keeping Ohio agriculture vibrant and successful.

Moving forward, the leadership team will summarize the key messages and themes that came out of these sessions, to develop a strategy and action plan for transforming Ohio's agricultural landscapes into resilient, multi-functional production platforms that improve food and child nutrition security, public health, and environmental quality and mitigate the impacts of increasingly unpredictable and more extreme weather.

Please visit www.ohiosmartag.net for more information and to stay connected to the project.