Pre-harvest food safety has become a topic of increasing focus, particularly in the beef industry. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that their next step in reducing E. coli is through pre-harvest intervention, and they have repeatedly re-stated their intentions.
Policy & Politics
Agricultural companies are combining computer technology and outside analysts to provide farming data systems for a service fee. When farmers use mobile devices to access and store data related to this system, questions arise as to who owns the data and how it can be used.
The 2013 AFBF Annual Meeting approved new policy in support of only pasteurized milk/products being sold/distributed for human consumption. The major concern of raw milk is risk to public health. Six states dissented from AFBF policy. States have the authority to govern the sale of raw milk.
The Renewable Fuels Standard mandates a target amount of ethanol/biofuels that must be introduced into our nation's transportation supply. Decreasing gasoline consumption and non-acceptance of a 15% ethanol blend create concern with future ability to meet the Renewable Fuels Standard.
More farmers and ranchers are getting closer to their customers, and finding that they can capture a higher margin when they grow vegetable or meat products with a specific consumer market segment in mind.
Many rural communities find themselves losing their retail base. Local retailers are competing with Internet retailers who do not have to collect sales tax if they do not have a physical presence in that state.
The law is different for farmers selling eggs produced on their farm vs. selling eggs at a farmers’ market or farm product auction. One is exempt from retail food licensing requirements, the other is not exempt. The number of birds is a factor, along with the requirement of a free inspection.
Governor Kasich has introduced a proposal to make significant changes in the Ohio severance tax system that applies to oil and natural gas wells in exchange for lowering Ohio’s income tax.
Since term limits have been enacted in Ohio and other states, the composition of the legislatures has remained largely the same regarding women and minorities. Critics argue legislators become less effective as they grow in experience.
Ohio has constitutional amendment processes which allow citizens to vote directly to change Ohio’s constitution and laws. Recently we have seen an increase in ballot initiatives and referendums, which leads to many questions.