Policy & Politics

EPA Greenhouse Gas Rule Concerns Farm Bureau

Published Apr. 29, 2009

The Environmental Protection Agency published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare. Publication of the rule opens a 60-day comment period on a proposal that could result in EPA regulating emissions under the Clean Air Act.

USDA Plans Organic Farming Survey

Published Apr. 29, 2009

The Agriculture Department will make its first in-depth survey of organic farming this spring and will send an eight-page questionnaire to known organic farmers. The survey will ask which crops and livestock are produced, how they are grown and where they are sold.

Hybrid Influenza (Swine Flu) Outbreak

Published Apr. 29, 2009

The World Health Organization (WHO) held a press conference this afternoon on the hybrid influenza outbreak which was originally announced about 10 days ago. WHO raised the pandemic flu alert level from phase 3 to 4.

Are you ready for the May 5, 2009 Primary Election?

Published Apr. 29, 2009

Ohio's next election is only a few days away; May 5th Ohioans will go to the polls to vote on a variety of local offices and issues. According to Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, 66 counties will have issues and questions appearing on the ballot.

H1N1 Most Accurate Name for Virus

Published Apr. 29, 2009

President Barack Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano are calling the inappropriately named “swine flu” virus by its scientific name, H1N1 virus, which will likely be the official name for the new strain of flu.

EPA Seeking Comment on Petition to Cancel Endosulfan

Published May. 4, 2009

As published in the April 29th Federal Register, EPA is seeking public comment on a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) that the agency cancel all uses of the pesticide Endosulfan.

Farm Bureau Backs Burr Tobacco Bill

Published May. 5, 2009

Farm Bureau supports a bill by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on the regulation of tobacco products that provides more explicit protection for farmers from on-farm regulation and changes to production practices than a recently passed House bill...

OFBF to Sponsor Campaign Management Seminar

Published May. 6, 2009

The Ohio Farm Bureau will join with other statewide business and agricultural commodity organizations to offer a Campaign Management Seminar for candidates interested in running for local, statewide, or national offices. The seminar will be held September 2-3, 2009.

Bacon Running for State Senate

Published May. 7, 2009

Rep. Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park), tells the Columbus Dispatch that he will run for the open 3rd Senate District seat in 2010.

Farm Bureau Disappointed That Pact Won't Fully Open EU Beef Market

Published May. 8, 2009

American Farm Bureau Federation Bob Stallman expressed appreciation for the efforts of the U.S. trade representative to expand beef marketing opportunities, but said Farm Bureau is disappointed that the provisional agreement announced Wednesday between the United States and the European Union...

Peterson: EPA, USDA Will Kill Off Biofuels Industry

Published May. 8, 2009

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson ( D-Minn.) said he will not support any climate change bills and said the Obama administration is unfair to the ethanol industry with its proposals on greenhouse gas reduction. “You're going to kill off the biofuels industry before it even...

USDA Targets $50 Million to Organic Farming

Published May. 8, 2009

USDA will target $50 million from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for a new initiative to encourage more organic agriculture production. Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan made the announcement Tuesday to USDA’s National Organic Standards Board.

Agriculture Coalition Comments on SPCC Rule

Published May. 8, 2009

Farm Bureau filed comments on Friday, May 1 in response to a request by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for comments on extending the effective date of the December 5 rule implementing changes to the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) regulation.

Climate Change Hearings End; Mark-Up Delayed

Published May. 8, 2009

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce held 4 days of hearing on a draft climate change bill drafted by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) during which the committee heard from over 50 witnesses, including former Vice President Al Gore, former Senator John Warner and...

H1N1 Update

Published May. 8, 2009

The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to hold daily press conferences on the hybrid influenza outbreak. The alert level has been raised from Phase 4 to Phase 5, and may be increased to Phase 6 in some regions.

Secretary Chu Announces Nearly $800 Million from Recovery Act to Accelerate Biof

Published May. 8, 2009

As part of the ongoing effort to increase the use of domestic renewable fuels, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today announced plans to provide $786.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate advanced biofuels research and development and to provide additional...

Ohioans Weigh in on State Policy Issues

Published May. 8, 2009

Cincinnati, OH--The latest Ohio Poll included questions regarding a series of policy proposals being
discussed across the country. While majorities of Ohioans favor making casino-style gambling legal in Ohio
and allowing doctors to prescribe medicinal marijuana, other proposals met opposition.

Ohioans See Economic Trouble Ahead for Next Generation

Published May. 8, 2009

Cincinnati, OH--Forty-six percent of Ohio adults see the next generation of working adults as being worse
off economically than the current generation of workers. Thirty percent of Ohioans say their household
has experienced a layoff or job loss during the past 12 months.

Obama Approval at 63 Percent: Ohioans See Little Easing of Economic Woes

Published May. 8, 2009

Cincinnati, OH--President Barack Obama's overall approval rating is 63 percent in Ohio. Governor Ted Strickland's overall approval rating now stands at 56 percent. Most Ohioans continue to see economic conditions in Ohio and the U.S. as either "fair" or "poor."

ODA to Accept Specialty Crop Grant Proposals

Published May. 8, 2009

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (April 27, 2009) – The Ohio Department of Agriculture is seeking project proposals that will advance long-term economic viability and sustainability of Ohio’s specialty crop industry while increasing the marketability of specialty crops.

Four Ohio Counties Eligible for Disaster Assistance

Published May. 8, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The U.S. Department of Agriculture designated four Ohio counties as agricultural natural disaster areas, making certain farmers and other agricultural producers in the counties eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Farm Bureau Center to elevate animal issues

Published May. 14, 2009

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has announced the creation of the Center for Food and Animal Issues. The Center represents Farm Bureau’s expanded commitment to participate in and influence the public dialog over the role animals play in society.

EPA Bans Carbofuran for Food Crops

Published May. 14, 2009

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule Monday banning the use of the pesticide carbofuran on food crops, saying it poses an unacceptable health risk, especially to children.

California Bill Would Extend Cage Ban Out-of-State

Published May. 14, 2009

A bill is moving through the California Legislature that would extend the state’s upcoming ban on small cages for egg-laying hens to out-of-state egg producers. The bill has received support from legislators who opposed Proposition 2.

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Equine Enthusiasts Call for Expanded Gaming

Published May. 20, 2009

Supporters say this would provide an economic boost to the industry and recover as much as $1.2 billion in gambling income lost to surrounding states.

Obama's Fuel Efficiency Standards a Blow to E-85

Published May. 20, 2009

President Barack Obama's tough fuel economy program for vehicles could put another damper on the struggling ethanol business, because the alternative fuel packs lower energy content than gasoline, according to Reuters. Obama on Tuesday introduced the most aggressive proposal yet...

Honeybee Colony Decline Slows

Published May. 20, 2009

The decline of honeybee colonies has slowed slightly since last fall, but the Agriculture Department says a mysterious combination of ailments is still affecting honeybee populations. Research at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., found that honeybee...

Vilsack Stands Up for Livestock Farms

Published May. 20, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack defended the livestock industry against a lawmaker’s allegations that crowded conditions and antibiotic usage in modern farms are endangering human health. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) told Vilsack at a House appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday...

U.S. Beef Hormone Agreement Signed

Published May. 21, 2009

The United States and the European Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in their dispute over the EU’s import ban on U.S. beef produced with hormones.

Tests Confirm H1N1 Did Not Originate on Mexican Hog Farm

Published May. 21, 2009

Officials with Mexico’s agriculture department announced test results indicating the H1N1 influenza strain that infected 4,300 people in 33 countries did not originate from hogs at a Smithfield Foods operation in Veracruz. The hogs at the Granjas Carroll de México farm also tested negative...

Farm Bureau Reiterates Opposition to House Climate Change Bill

Published May. 21, 2009

Climate change legislation unveiled last week (H.R. 2454) “ignores the complex needs of a very diverse U.S. agricultural industry” and will draw opposition from the American Farm Bureau Federation. In a letter sent to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, AFBF President Bob Stallman...

USDA Re-Establishes Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee

Published May. 21, 2009

USDA is re-establishing the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee to examine the full spectrum of issues facing the fruit and vegetable industry and to provide suggestions to USDA on how programs can be tailored to best meet the challenges of the industry...

Obama Nominates Judge Sotomayor for Supreme Court

Published May. 26, 2009

Today President Barack Obama announced Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice Souter on the Supreme Court of the United States. Read more about Judge Sotomayor and the President's decision to nominate her in the official White House Blog.

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Kasich Announcing Gubernatorial Bid Soon?

Published May. 27, 2009

The Dayton Daily News reports on its blog that former U.S. Rep. John Kasich is planning to announce his bid for governor on June 1. Kasich's campaign website is also now live with a Youtube video message inviting everyone to a special announcement event at the Everal Barn in Westerville...

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Rep. Josh Mandel Announces Candidacy for State Treasurer

Published May. 29, 2009

Rep. Josh Mandel (R-Lyndhurst) made his bid for state treasurer official on Thursday, saying he wants to use technology to monitor and protect the state's money and investments.

AgriPOWER Institute Application Deadline Extended to June 8th

Published Jun. 1, 2009

The deadline to apply for Ohio Farm Bureau's AgriPOWER Institute has been extended to June 8th. The AgriPOWER Institute is an intensive, year-long leadership course consisting of multiple training sessions. Its purpose is to help farmers and agribusiness professionals develop skills...

Stallman Defends Direct Payments

Published Jun. 1, 2009

In a letter to the editor sent today to the Boston Globe, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman defended direct payments as a basic safety net for the 98 percent of U.S. farms that are owned and run by families. An editorial in Tuesday’s Globe labeled direct payments...

New Fumigant Pesticide Restrictions Issued

Published Jun. 1, 2009

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued final safety measures for soil fumigant pesticides, which agency officials said will increase protections for agricultural workers and bystanders near sites where the fumigants are being applied. Creating buffer zones, enforcing posting requirements...

Peterson Viewed as Obstacle to Climate Change Bill

Published Jun. 1, 2009

The Minneapolis Post reported that House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) is viewed as a major obstacle to climate change legislation. Peterson said the draft of the climate change bill recently passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee is unacceptable and ignores...

Farmer Support Needed for Climate Change Bill

Published Jun. 1, 2009

The Des Moines Register reported Sunday that Democrats may have to win over farmers if they want to enact controls on greenhouse gases. According to the Register, Democrats control the House, 256-178, but many of their newest, most politically vulnerable members are from rural areas, and farm...

U.S. EPA Names Agriculture Advisor

Published Jun. 1, 2009

Larry Elworth, has been named as chief Agriculture Counselor to Administrator Lisa Jackson. Larry has more than 30 years experience in agriculture and brings to EPA an understanding of all sides of agricultural issues.

Ohio Senate Finance Committee Adopts Substitute Budget Bill

Published Jun. 1, 2009

The Ohio Senate committee adopted a substitute version of the state budget (HB 1) incorporating numerous changes from the House passed version. President Bill Harris characterized the proposal as “balanced, fiscally responsible and sustainable.”

Farm Bureau Seeks Nominations for Excellence in Crop Advising Award

Published Jun. 1, 2009

County Farm Bureaus, OSU Extension offices and Soil and Water offices will have a great opportunity to
recognize Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) for their outstanding work with agricultural producers. The
Excellence in Crop Advising Award is to recognize Certified Crop Advisers who have...

Kasich Formally Declares Run for Governor

Published Jun. 2, 2009

Former U.S. Rep. John Kasich announced a run for governor on Monday evening, telling supporters in Westerville he's aiming for a fundamental shift in the state's leadership.

Ohio Senate Passes Budget

Published Jun. 4, 2009

The Senate passed HB1 (Sykes), the biennial budget bill, along party lines on Wednesday, setting up the legislation for a conference committee battle. The House is expected to take up the Senate amendments at the June 10 session.

DOL Suspends Changes to H2A Program and Announces Updated Wage Rates

Published Jun. 4, 2009

The U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) announced on Friday, May 29 that it is suspending the final rule of December 18, 2008 to the H2A Temporary Agricultural Guest Worker Program for nine months effective on June 29, 2009, and in the meantime is reinstating the previous rule.

OTA, IDFA Appeal Court Ruling on Dairy Labeling Law

Published Jun. 5, 2009

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) are appealing a federal district court ruling upholding Ohio’s regulation on hormone-free claims on dairy product labels. The full story is available at cheesemarketnews.com.

Grassley Wants EPA Officials To See A Farm

Published Jun. 5, 2009

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) says he wants to instill some “common sense thinking” at the Environmental Protection Agency and is inviting Administrator Lisa Jackson and other agency officials to visit a farm in Iowa. “I don’t think the people at the EPA get the big picture.

Tobacco Regulation Bill Being Debated

Published Jun. 5, 2009

Legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products appears on track for passage after a procedural vote in the Senate on Thursday, but Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) are taking steps to slow or stop the bill.

Ag Committee Will Consider Climate Bill

Published Jun. 5, 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has given the Agriculture Committee and Ways and Means Committee authority to mark up the cap-and-trade bill crafted by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) that recently passed the Energy and Commerce Committee, but six other committees...