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Buckeye Farm News
Plenty of opportunities for agriculture education
Farm Bureau members shared approaches to projects over the past year that led to new ways to think about agriculture education in their communities.
Medina County Farm Bureau’s Deb Indoe and Sarah Poling highlighted their “Season’s Harvest” event, which has raised more than $7,000 for local animal shelters and food pantries in the past two years while providing educational opportunities for the community through on-farm, white tablecloth dinners.
Wayne County’s Rhett Acker and Dean Shoup shared the success of a video project featuring local farms that reached approximately 125,000 people at the county fair, and has replaced their traditional Farm Bureau booth.
“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel; you just have to kind of steal it and make it your own, ” said Indoe on how to come up with unique approaches to agricultural education programming.
Building on Partnerships
Patty Huddle of Columbus2020 shared her organization’s efforts to improve the quality of life in the Columbus region through economic development. To that end, the organization works to connect individuals and organizations to identify needs and opportunities.
Among the group’s goals is to add 150,000 net new jobs to the Columbus area by 2020. It is working to build upon partnerships with a number of economic sectors, including agribusiness.
“We’re too humble,” Huddle said of the state’s Midwestern culture. “We’ve got to take credit for all the great things we have in Ohio.”
“We believe there’s power in collaboration. We believe there’s power in communication.”
Ag and Water Quality
Kevin King of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service said the “4R Nutrient Stewardship” approach to using the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time and with the right placement is critical to addressing water quality challenges.
He noted the focus on improving water quality will have to shift in scale from fields to entire watersheds. “We have to accept and understand that agriculture systems do leak,” he said. “The more we can get back to mimicking Mother Nature, the better off we’ll be. We also have to understand that no two systems are going to be the same...we need to remember that when water quality mitigation is addressed.”
“Everybody is looking for a silver bullet answer, but we have to take a buckshot approach which incorporates multiple practices in combinations.”
On tax policy
Thomas Zaino, a tax policy expert with McDonald Hopkins, walked Farm Bureau members through a comprehensive review of state and local taxes. He said well-written tax policy should strive to balance five principles: simplicity, equity and fairness, stable and sufficient revenue, neutrality and competitiveness.
“You’re not in the business of complying with the tax law. Why should it be complicated?”
Land as your legacy
“You will have a deeper appreciation for the need of farm transition planning, and I suspect just maybe you will be a little better and a little further along than you were before on what we consider a very, very significant issue facing our U.S. farm community.” Donald Schreiber, Nationwide Financial director of Advanced Consulting Group, discussed farm transition planning as part of Nationwide’s “Land As Your Legacy” program. Schreiber covered the difficulties and essentials of transition planning for farmers including common mistakes and how Nationwide can assist.
He shared five elements of transition planning: succession planning, business planning, risk management, financial independence planning and estate planning. He also told the families that the one thing they must do is to go through the planning process in a systematic way that includes writing everything down throughout the process.
Photo Credit: Photos by Galen Harris