Ohio, like much of the Midwest, provides a bounty of fresh foods - meats, dairy, and fruits and vegetables - from local farms. Agriculture is Ohio's number one industry, contributing more than $93 billion to the state's economy (source: Ohio Proud). We are blessed with great weather for many different types of food and land that has been successfully harvested for many generations.
Many types of sustainable agricultural and farming systems have evolved over time. The most sustainable systems were characterized by relatively small-scale farms (10–300 acres), with livestock and crop production systems co-existing on the same farm.
The crops feed both the farm families and their livestock. The livestock supply the manure which is used to fertilize the crops. A wide variety of crops were rotated in order to preserve soil and to capture nutrients.
Crop residues and animal manures are recycled, supplementing the benefits of crop diversity and species diversity.
Unfortunately, the system of industrial agriculture and "mono-cropping" have overtaken the small-scale farms. Here in Ohio, that has led to risks to public health, our fresh air and healthy water, and a sustainable farming system.
Local Foods & Farmers Markets
Fortunately, there has been a great surge in returning to smaller, local and family-run farms along with customers across Ohioans ready to purchase the fresh, hand-raised foods, and meats. You can find Ohio-made products at farmers markets (some even year-round) and at local and national retailers.
The Ohio Environmental Council is proud to support the many smaller farms and producers of local foods who take the time and care to make such fine food for us to enjoy.