Regenerative Farming Policy Fellowship Program

Project Overview

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


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, focus group, mentoring, networking
  • Sustainable Communities: leadership development, local and regional food systems, partnerships, public participation, public policy, social capital, social networks

    Proposal abstract:

    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 from proposal:

    • 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.
    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.