Regenerative Farming Policy Fellowship Program

Progress report for ONC23-136

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2023: $50,000.00
Projected End Date: 08/01/2024
Grant Recipient: Agraria Center for Regenerative Practice
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:
Jessica DAmbrosio
The Nature Conservancy
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Project Information


The Regenerative Farming Policy Fellowship is an educational project focused on farm policy for small-scale regenerative BIPOC farmers located in the Greater Dayton-Springfield metropolitan region. BIPOC farmers are requesting help in addressing policymakers, lawmakers and other elected officials. Developed in partnership with The Nature Conservancy of Ohio, the goal of the fellowship is to create policy literacy, funding literacy, and skills in facilitation and public speaking. Policy leaders, legislators and policy change groups will engage with Regenerative Farming Policy Fellows. The fellows will learn how they might overcome barriers and change or advocate for policies that benefit their community at local, regional, state and national levels. 


The USDA and other federal and state agencies  are committed to helping small-scale farmers, but there is often a gap between what is offered and what is needed. Most farm policy was written for large-scale conventional farms. As farms and farmers become more diverse in multiple ways, such as operating in urban settings with unique environmental challenges, public policy and outreach needs to shift accordingly.

Project Objectives:
  • Regenerative Policy Fellows will gain policy literacy, including knowledge in the policymaking and legislative process and learn how to participate in the process of advocating  for their farms and their communities.
  • Connect cohort of fellows to their local, regional and state elected officials and policymakers responsible for farm, food and environmental policies.
  • Policy leaders, legislators and policy change groups will interact with participants to help them gain an understanding of past, present and future policies that have or will affect their communities. 
  • Develop a pilot program that can be replicated in other regions of the state of Ohio and beyond.


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Participation Summary

Educational & Outreach Activities

30 Consultations
1 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
5 Online trainings
2 Published press articles, newsletters
1 Tours
5 Webinars / talks / presentations

Participation Summary:

10 Farmers participated
10 Ag professionals participated
Education/outreach description:

Policy Fellowship Three Month Report

The fellowship program officially kicked off in September 2023 with a first module in October and monthly modules planned thereafter. The project will continue through April with Fellows completed and presenting their capstone design projects at a final meeting in April. Project partners and education module facilitators will be invited to attend.

Learning Outcomes

10 Farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness as a result of their participation

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes:

We haven't conducted a final evaluation and exit interviews with participants as the project is still ongoing. We plan to report that in our final report. 

Success stories:

We plan to report on this in the final report.


We plan to report on this in the final report.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.