OSU Extension works to help farmers navigate farm bill

Farmers and producers wondering how the next U.S. farm bill could affect their farm operations and how it could impact the overall state of agriculture in Ohio can count on CFAES faculty and staff to have answers.

CFAES Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute (FFMPI) experts are preparing to work with farmers and producers statewide upon passage of a new farm bill. FFMPI will help inform producers as they make important farm financial decisions, said David Marrison, FFMPI interim director.

“The farm bill is crafted to create a farm safety net for farmers, which is important to Ohio farmers, who make up the largest industry in this state,” he said. “Titles that are of special interest to Ohio producers include the commodity, conservation, and crop insurance titles. It’s important for farmers to understand how potential changes in each of these programs may work and also how any changes may impact their business decisions.” 

“Another large portion of the farm bill is reauthorization for research and outreach programs, which for land-grant universities like Ohio State, is important. With CFAES being the cornerstone college of a land-grant university, it’s important to drive the research that we are doing to help Ohio farmers,” Marrison said. 

Marrison, who is also a CFAES professor and a farm management field specialist with OSU Extension, said an example of that work includes the guidance provided to farmers on factors to consider when deciding on the legislation’s farm safety net issues during the previous two farm bills.

“Following the passage of the 2014 farm bill and the 2018 farm bill, we worked with Ohio farmers and producers as they worked through the decisions they had to make when choosing which Title 1 crop safety net programs to enroll in,” he said. “That was a really big decision, so we methodically walked farmers through each program to see which one would work best for each of their individual farm operations.”

“CFAES’ new FFMPI was created last year with the goal of the integration, translation, and communication of CFAES’ farm management and ag policy presence that addresses critical farm management and policy issues affecting Ohioans,” said Dean Kress. “Our experts will continue to monitor the progress towards our next farm bill and will be actively working to educate and support Ohioans to help them anticipate potential impacts and outcomes for their agricultural businesses.”