March was a busy month for the 42-member Membership Model Study Group as it met in Columbus for three full days of discussion plus held additional small group online and phone conversations.
News & Events
- Senate passes agritourism bill
- Legal with Leah: Ag sales tax exemption
- Vertical Farming on 'Town Hall Ohio'
- Growing Our Generation: Telling the story of agriculture
- OFBF pushes for action on proposed CAUV legislation
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Farmers spent time in March discussing several big picture issues facing agriculture at this yearís Trends and Issues Conference and Advisory Team meetings.
Invasive species can have a detrimental impact on farms, and Senate Bill 192 is a step in combating the problem. Sponsored by Sen. Gayle Manning , the bill granted exclusive authority to regulate invasive plant species to Ohioís director of agriculture. The bill has passed the senate and is awaiting a floor vote in the house.
Farm Bureau members with agritourism enterprises have provided insight into policies they need to help their farms thrive. Farm Bureauís public policy staff have identified a number of ways Ohio can promote more of these businesses. Among these are issues related to reducing burdensome regulations and minimizing liability when the farm is opened to the public.
Ohio Farm Bureauís policies on alternative energy and private property rights are the guiding force for why the organization recently filed a brief with the Ohio Supreme Court in support of a wind turbine project in central Ohio.
With a long awaited farm bill signed into law, itís now time to start putting the programs to work. Yvonne Lesicko, Ohio Farm Bureauís senior director of state and national policy, noted the legislation is significantly different than past bills.
Ohio Farm Bureau is taking a close look at Gov. John Kasichís 1,600-page mid-biennium review (MBR), a package of policy and budgetary provisions that lay out Kasichís goals for the year. The MBR has been split out into 14 separate bills so legislative committees can consider them. The MBR is comprehensive and covers everything from K-12 and higher education to various tax changes to amusement ride inspection fees.
Despite an often rancorous political climate, farmers are finding constructive ways to weigh in on public policy as they continue a busy season of engagement with elected officials.
Working through Ohio Farm Bureau, farmers were actively engaged in the multi-year process of drafting, writing and revising the law. The bill, the first of its kind in the nation, was first passed by the Senate. The House recently passed its version, which the Senate is expected to approve. It will then go to Gov. John Kasich for his signature.
After studying State Issue 1, which will appear on the May ballot, Ohio Farm Bureauís board of trustees is encouraging a ďYesĒ vote. Hereís some background on the issue so you can make an informed decision.