Agriculture

Congresswoman Kaptur’s passion for agriculture goes back to her childhood. Her father owned a small grocery that prided itself on offering healthy fresh foods, often purchased directly from local farmers. The Kaptur grocery sold locally-grown food long before it became popular.

That experience underlies Congresswoman Kaptur’s belief in forward-thinking farm legislation that eliminates wasteful subsidies, provides resources to strengthen local and regional food systems, and makes the necessary investments in agricultural research.

Congresswoman Kaptur’s legislative efforts have focused on creating economic opportunities at the local level by supporting a sustainable model of agriculture.

THE FARM BILL

The failure by the House of Representatives to pass a farm bill has injected uncertainty and unpredictability into agriculture, which remains one of the most productive sectors of the national economy. Agriculture is a major positive contributor to a favorable balance of trade with other nations. In Ohio, agriculture accounts for one in every seven jobs.

Before the farm bill failed amid partisan rancor, Congresswoman Kaptur was able to pass two bipartisan amendments to help agriculture and seniors. A Kaptur amendment that requires the federal government to coordinate its programs to protect pollinators passed with bipartisan support, 273-149 (Roll Call 261).

The amendment promoted the long-term viability of honeybee, wild bee and other beneficial insect populations. The demise of pollinators, likely attributable to a combination of factors, is cause for growing concern among agricultural producers and environmentalists alike.

SENIOR FARMERS MARKET PROGRAM

A Kaptur amendment requiring 50 percent of funds for the Farmers Market Nutrition Program to be reserved for seniors passed the House on a voice vote.

The Senior Farmers Market Coupon program is a home run for seniors who need help and a home run for local producers. It brings together needy seniors who can purchase locally-grown foodstuffs. Seniors help farmers and farmers help seniors.

No senior citizen in our country should ever have to worry about food. Still, senior hunger persists, causing negative health impacts and ultimately adding to health costs.

OUR CITY IN A GARDEN

Food production, processing and distribution has potential to create jobs and economic activity throughout the Ninth District, including urban areas. “Our City in a Garden,” a white paper prepared by the University of Toledo, the Center for Innovative Food Technology, and Toledo GROWs presents a community agriculture model that can produce positive economic activity along with healthy foodstuffs. You can read the full report by clicking here.

FUNDING RESOURCES

Agricultural Production Guide
In an effort to help individuals and organizations understand what potential federal support may be available to undertake an agricultural initiative, Congresswoman Kaptur has created a guidebook that summarizes federal programs administered by the USDA and the Small Business Administration (SBA). For the Agricultural Production Guide, click here.

Fact Sheet: Farm to School
A growing movement seeks to connect schools with local farms in order to provide healthier school meals. To see the Farm to School Fact Sheet, which outlines potential federal resources, click here.

Fact Sheet: Selling to the USDA
The USDA buys more than $4 billion annually in goods and services from the private sector, including food to support domestic assistance programs administered by the Food and Nutrition Service. To view Selling to the USDA, a fact sheet that outlines USDA procurement opportunities, click here.

Fact Sheets: Speciality Crop Resources, Greenhouse Resources

Traditionally, Ohio has been known for growing corn and soybeans. But it’s also among the leading states for specialty and greenhouse crop production, with annual revenue of more than $500 million, with major production in the Ninth District. For the Specialty Crop Resources Fact Sheet, which outlines possible federal support, click here. For the Greenhouse Resources Fact Sheet, click here.