COLUMBUS – Continuing a century-long tradition, Ohio Farm Bureau members convened recently to identify policies that benefit Ohio agriculture and guide their organization. During Farm Bureau’s historic 100th annual meeting, delegates addressed rural infrastructure needs, water quality challenges, thoughtful governance and a variety of other topics meaningful to Ohioans.
Farm Bureau’s business sessions included 356 delegates representing all 88 counties. The meeting took place Dec. 6 and 7 in Columbus. Representing Champaign County were Tom Nisonger, Josh Yoder, Dave Crawford, and Chad Wallace.
Delegates affirmed their stances on broad themes such as property rights, animal care, environmental stewardship, and regulatory and tax reform. Along with these perennial issues, delegates addressed several newer issues.
Rural roads and bridges are deteriorating in many areas. Delegates recognized the need to adequately fund repairs and voted to support an increase in motor fuels taxes. They also support identifying alternative funding mechanisms.
Farmers’ efforts to protect water quality were addressed. Policy was set to encourage government agencies to adhere to state law when considering agricultural regulations.
Delegates voted in support of reforming Ohio’s petition ballot initiative laws to assure a more thoughtful process.
Animal care and meat inspection were debated. Delegates acted to clarify that agricultural zoning laws apply to all non-wild or dangerous species that a farmer may be tending, and to create a meat inspection fee system that is equitable for domestic deer producers.
Other state issues Farm Bureau delegates addressed dealt with historic barn preservation, dairy processing and handling, agritourism and creating incentives for EMS volunteers.
Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is to work together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities. Learn more about the organization and additional centennial activities at ofbf.org.