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
- OFBF continues to focus on water issues
- Four things you need to know from the 2014 AgChat Conference
- Connecting and network developing
- Learning where to find the answers
- Learning to be more proactive for agriculture
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Farmers spent time in March discussing several big picture issues facing agriculture at this year’s 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 Ohio’s 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 Bureau’s 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 Bureau’s 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, it’s now time to start putting the programs to work. Yvonne Lesicko, Ohio Farm Bureau’s 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 Kasich’s 1,600-page mid-biennium review (MBR), a package of policy and budgetary provisions that lay out Kasich’s 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 Bureau’s board of trustees is encouraging a “Yes” vote. Here’s some background on the issue so you can make an informed decision.
As farmers transport equipment from field to field they should be aware of Ohio laws governing weight, size, lighting and signage. Leah and Joe cover these topics on this edition of 'Legal With Leah.'
Water quality and agriculture stories will be on the front page for months and years to come. Ohio Farm Bureau is working with reporters to draw their attention to agriculture’s commitment to accept responsibility and act responsibly.
Gov. John Kasich has recommended the Clean Ohio Fund receive $100 million to fund the preservation of farmlands and open spaces and improve outdoor recreational opportunities. The proposal is part of the $2.386 billion capital budget bill that is usually enacted every two years to provide funds for improving the state’s educational and public-service infrastructure.
More changes could be in store for Ohio’s deer hunting regulations. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife recently modified its 2014-2015 hunting regulation proposals after considering public input and reviewing data.
Dr. Emily Buck of New Bloomington was presented with a Case IH Farmall 45A tractor at local Case IH dealer Evolution Ag, for being named a top three finalist in American Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Agriculture award. The award recognizes successful young agricultural professionals who are actively contributing and growing through their involvement with Farm Bureau and agriculture.
Thanks to a Farm Bureau member, Ohio Farm Bureau was reminded of the need to offer further education about a new Ohio income tax deduction that may apply to your taxes this year. Many farmers may not be aware of this new deduction.
Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien recently visited Athens County to announce a grant award of more than $198,000 to help Rural Action and the Southeast Ohio Food Hub Network expand the distribution of locally grown foods.
Droughts, unusually cold winter weather, rising exports and a virus outbreak in the hog population are expected to cause food prices to increase this year.
More than 300 Ohio State students hungry for discussion gathered to explore food and farming issues at the Collegiate Young Farmers’ second annual Farm to Fork Food Dialogues event.
Walk into a supermarket and chances are you’ll see people studying food labels, spending more time in the international and healthy snack aisles and striking up conversations with others about GMOs.
At Nationwide, we offer several discounts – but not everyone understands how to find these savings. Contact your agent for a no-cost On Your Side Review to learn which discounts you may be eligible for. Here are a few of the savings opportunities your insurance policy review may uncover:
The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation helps smaller, community-based groups through a series of Agricultural Action and Awareness Grants. The grants help groups that often find the larger-scale, public and private grant solicitation process daunting. The competitively awarded grants support programs and projects focusing on agricultural education and ecological and/or economic development. The Foundation awarded $25,000 in grants for the 2014 program year.
At the Feb. 11 launch meeting for the Membership Model Task Force, OFBF President Steve Hirsch laid out the work at hand.
Many disagreements from policymakers and nonprofit organizations created challenges while finalizing the recently-passed 2014 Farm Bill.
Hundreds of Ohio Farm Bureau members came to Columbus to discuss current political issues and meet with lawmakers during the organization’s annual Ag Day at the Capital. Here are some highlights from the event: