COLUMBUS – Ohio and national conservation and farming leaders will meet in March to try and answer the question: Can farmers in the Maumee Watershed successfully reach the needed 40 percent reduction in phosphorous runoff without federal intervention?
“The US and Canadian governments along with Ohio, Michigan, and Ontario have agreed on a 40% reduction target for phosphorus into Lake Erie,” said Ohio Farmers Union President Joe Logan.
“While most farmers in the Maumee and other Lake Erie watersheds are engaged in conservation and other best practices, we still have a target to meet,” Logan said.
“If we don’t accomplish this on our own, we’re going to end up with federal intervention – and that’s something we want to avoid.”
The meeting, “Farmers Together – The Solution!,” will be held Tuesday, March 21 at the Ostego High School Auditorium, 18505 Tontogany Creek Rd., Tontogany. The program starts at 7 p.m. It is being sponsored by OFU and St. Rose Peace and Justice.
Logan said the meeting has two purposes. First, to gather area farmers and hear their opinions on two questions: What is causing excessive phosphorous runoff in the Maumee watershed and do they believe voluntary actions on the part of farmers can account for agriculture’s 40 percent reduction goal in that runoff?
Second, Logan said there will be a panel of experts to provide information and answer questions.
Panel members include:
- Jeffrey Reuter, Ph.D, retired director, Ohio State Stone Laboratory and current special advisor to Ohio Sea Grant Program
- Logan, farmer and OFU President
- Verna Harrison, widely recognized conservation leader in the Chesapeake Bay Region and former executive director of the Keith Campbell Foundation
- Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension 4Rs Expert
- Meindert VanDenHengel, who runs a large, family-owned hog farm in Van Wert County
The meeting is free and open to the public and all farmers in the region are encouraged to attend. The sponsors are asking area farmers to register to attend and take a short survey.