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Plant Lovers’ Almanac: Insights on Food Policy from Statewide Summit

Participants came from local food councils, farmers markets, food banks, public health, agriculture, education, private enterprise and nonprofits and included consumers and producers from Ohio and surrounding states.

The summit was created to foster awareness and action around food system education and policy initiatives at the local, regional and state levels.

It advanced participants’ knowledge of networks in action, introduced the concept of a national food system strategy, and shared the OFPN’s Mapping and Visioning Summary Report.

Here are several highlights from the summit, and resources to learn more about opportunities for engagement now or in the future. Remember, food is universal — everyone eats!

Ohio Food Policy Network

The OFPN is a community of people committed to building food system change.

This network, still in the early stages, represents people and organizations that share values and a common vision.

Through a social framework, members develop the skills and expertise to develop a food system that supports and serves all Ohioans.

Learn more with a visit to http://www.ohiofpn.org, or join the listserv by emailing ofpn@lists.osu.edu. In the coming months, OFPN will be hosting monthly virtual meetings featuring leaders in the local, regional, state and national food policy scene. 

National Food Strategy

Emily M. Broad Leib, of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic and its Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, spoke on “Exploring the Need and Precedent for a U.S. National Food Strategy.” She described some recent research from her Blueprint for a National Food Strategy.

Findings from this work revealed: the belief that a National Food Strategy is a good idea; it requires four principles to be effective (coordination, participation, transparency and accountability, and durability); and it must reduce inefficiencies, encourage economic development and create community connections. Read more of Broad Leib’s work at http://www.foodstrategyblueprint.org.

Mapping the Vision for the Future of Ohio’s Food System

This report summarizes findings from nearly 18 months of data collection that began with the 2016 Ohio Food Policy Summit.

The purpose was to “map” the OFPN, describing the network’s participants while providing insight into goals and future activities.

The project consisted of six listening sessions held across the state in 2017, followed by a web-based survey to capture the input of those who were unable to attend the in-person sessions.

More than 500 people participated in the in-person sessions and online survey. Results identified 674 people in the network in addition to the participants, and 1,500 network relationships.

The following values ranked the highest: strong communities, healthy people, justice and equity, and sustainable ecosystems.

A resulting vision of the ideal food system in Ohio is described as resilient, healthy, sustainable, accessible and equitable. You can read the full summary report at http://www.ohiofpn.org.


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