By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader
Sign-up for farmers to participate in the H2Ohio initiative, and receive incentives for implementing approved nutrient management practices begins in February at the local Soil and Water Conservation District offices. A series of meeting have been scheduled in Northwest Ohio to explain the application process for farmers in the 14 county area of the lower Maumee River Watershed who wish to participate in the H2Ohio program. The Ohio Department of Agriculture has announced that $30 million of funding designated for Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio program is available and a total of eight meetings have been scheduled during the month of February to explain the application process for H2Ohio funds and answer questions about the program’s conservation practices.
“In conjunction with details about H2Ohio, these meetings will also introduce the brand-new Ohio Agricultural Conservation Initiative (OACI) Farmer Certification program. This program is focused on conservation. The meetings will explain details of how the OACI Farmer Certification program will work with the H2Ohio program to ensure farmers receive funds for their commitment to continuous improvement through the implementation of these science-based water quality programs,” according to the Ohio Farm Bureau, who is a collaborative partner in OACI.
Along with Ohio Farm Bureau, a 21 partner collaborative among the Ohio agricultural and environmental communities make-up the OACI. These other partners include: the American Farmland Trust, the Ohio Environmental Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, the Ohio Lake Erie Commission, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture, The Fertilizer Institute, The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Heidelberg University, the Ohio Agribusiness Association, the Ohio Certified Crop Advisor program, the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, the Ohio Dairy Producers Association, the Ohio Poultry Association, the Ohio Pork Producers Council, the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, and the Ohio Soybean Council.
The 14 Ohio counties eligible to receive H2Ohio funding included: Williams, Fulton, Lucas, Defiance, Henry, Wood, Paulding, Putnam, Hancock, Van Wert, Allen, Hardin, Auglaize, and Mercer.
The H2Ohio/OACI informational meetings will be held at the following locations:
February 4th at 3:00 p.m. at Owens Community College, Veterans Hall in Perrysburg (Wood and Lucas)
February 5th at 2:00 p.m. at the Delphos Eagles in Delphos (Allen and Van Wert)
February 5th at 6:00 p.m. at the Defiance K of C Hall in Defiance (Defiance)
February 11th at 6:00 p.m. at the Auglzize County Jr. Fair Building in Wapakoneta (Auglaize)
February 18th at 6:00 p.m. at the American Legion Hal in Coldwater (Mercer)
February 20th at 6:00 p.m. at the Fogle Center in Leipsic (Henry and Putnam)
February 27th at 6:00 p.m. at the Kissell Community Building in West Unity (Fulton and Williams)
February 28th at 9:30 a.m. at Ohio Northern University, Mcintosh Center, Ada (Hancock and Hardin)
These meeting are free and open to the public to attend. No RSVP is necessary. Farmers and land owners from any county can attend any of the meeting locations.
For more information about H2Ohio visit www.h2.ohio.gov
For more information about the Ohio Agricultural Conservation Initiative visit www.OhioACI.org