Sustainable farms discussion planned in Toledo

Staff report

Farms in northwest Ohio will be the first in the state to gain certification as environmentally sustainable, a project funded by Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio program.

Mike Libben, Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District program administrator, will explain plans to spend $30.3 million in 2020 on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m., at Packo’s at the Park, 7 S. Superior St., in Toledo. Libben, who also farms 500 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat, will speak and answer questions at the monthly meeting of Lake Erie Waterkeeper.

Topics will include Ohio’s new certification process. Modeled after Michigan’s program that has voluntarily enrolled 5,400 farms of all sizes and commodities, it teaches each farmers how to prevent or minimize pollution risks.

Lippen said the first money is the first the state has provided for best management practices. He said the funds are likely to go farther than typical federal funding.

Ohio’s Department of Agriculture will initially focus on the 14 northwest Ohio counties in the Maumee River watershed that feed Lake Erie and its tributaries.

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Staff report