Policy & Politics

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‘Town Hall Ohio’ provides election information

Published Oct. 23, 2012

The 2012 general election is quickly approaching, with many still searching for information to assist them in making their voting decisions. Town Hall Ohio, Ohio Farm Bureau’s weekly radio show, has had several election related shows this fall, full of great information to think...

Weather, Economy, Animal Issues Top Farm News in 2009

Published Dec. 29, 2009

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says the biggest news story for agriculture in 2009 was weather extremes, from the drought in California and Texas to the wet planting in many parts of the country and the unseasonably cool and wet harvest in many areas.

Wal-Mart will double sales of locally grown produce

Published Oct. 15, 2010

Wal-Mart announced Thursday it will double sales of local produce to 9 percent of its purchases in U.S. stores. The company plans to triple the amount of food it sells from small- and medium-size farms in emerging markets such as India and Brazil to $1 billion within five years.

Vote of Confidence: Engaging Ohioans in Support of Issue 2

Published Jan. 29, 2010

Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio's six major commodity organizations along with a coalition of over 500 local, state, and national elected officials, businesses, organizations, and farm-families secured the support of Ohioans by a margin of 2 to 1 in support of amending the Ohio Constitution to establish the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board during the November 2009 election.

Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program Provides Grant Money to Ohio Grape Growers

Published Jan. 6, 2011

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (Jan. 6, 2010) – Thirty Ohio grape growers will soon receive $2,000 grants provided by the Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program. Ohio vineyards will receive these grants funded by the Ohio Department of Agriculture through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Block...

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...

Vilsack Directs USDA to Revise Climate Change Model

Published Dec. 29, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has directed the Agriculture Department to revise a computerized forecasting model that showed that climate legislation passed by the House would make planting trees more lucrative than producing food, according to the Washington Times.

Vilsack defends federal farm payments

Published Oct. 15, 2010

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said federal farm payments have enabled Americans to have relatively cheap food and are needed to protect farmers from price drops. “Who benefits ultimately for all of this? I would argue that it’s not the 250,000 to 270,000 farmers who benefit from this...

Vilsack Confident Congress Will Act on Biodiesel Tax Incentive

Published Dec. 30, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he’s confident Congress will act early in the new year to extend the tax incentive for soy biodiesel, according to Brownfield. “We’re obviously encouraged by comments from congressional leaders that it’s their intention to take this matter—the tax extenders...

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.

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...

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.

USDA Partners With IRS to Reduce Farm Program Fraud

Published Jan. 5, 2010

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on New Year’s Eve that the Agriculture Department is partnering with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to reduce fraud in farm programs and streamline payment limits for family farmers.

USDA Notice to Hispanic or Women Farmers and Ranchers

Published Jul. 20, 2011

Farmers and ranchers who believe that the United States Department of Agriculture has improperly denied them farm loan benefits between 1981 and 2000 because they are Hispanic or because they are women may be eligible to apply for compensation.

USDA Implements New Crop Disaster Assistance Program

Published Dec. 28, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week announced that USDA has implemented the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments program (SURE) in accordance with the 2008 farm bill. Vilsack also encouraged producers to visit their USDA Farm Service Agency county office beginning...

USDA Forecasts Lowest Food Price Increase Since 1992

Published Aug. 26, 2010

USDA forecasts that the consumer price index for food will increase just 0.5 percent to 1 percent this year, the lowest rate since 1992. In last month’s forecast, USDA pegged the food price increase at 1.5 percent to 2 percent.

USDA announces measures to promote renewable fuels

Published Oct. 22, 2010

As part of the administration’s effort to promote production of fuel from renewable sources, create jobs and mitigate the effects of climate change, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday announced a series of measures during a speech to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C....

USDA Advocacy Office Opened

Published Dec. 23, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the opening of the Office of Advocacy and Outreach. This office was established by the 2008 farm bill to improve access to USDA programs and enhance the viability and profitability of small farms and ranches, beginning farmers and ranchers, and...

Urgent Action Alert: Help End Ohio's Estate Tax

Published Jan. 31, 2011

Help End Ohio's Estate Tax by Calling or E-mailing your State Representative and State Senator. On average, 84 percent of farm assets are real-estate based. Burdensome estate taxes can cause the loss or break-up of family farms when heirs are forced to sell assets to pay the tax...

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Tell Congerss to Put Death Taxes to Rest

Urgent Action Alert on End of Year Bi-Partisan Federal Estate Tax Agreement

Published Dec. 8, 2010

PUT DEATH TAXES TO REST - Congress Needs to Hear From You Today to Ensure a $5 million Estate Tax Exemption Is In End-of-the-year tax legislation. The White House announced "a framework for a bipartisan agreement" Monday night over the impending expiration of the Bush tax cuts that includes Farm...

Update on U.S. House Food Safety Bill

Published Jun. 29, 2009

Bipartisan negotiations have addressed numerous concerns about the Food Safety Enhancement Act raised by Farm Bureau and other agriculture groups since the discussion draft was introduced late last month. However, unresolved issues that could increase cost and paperwork burdens on farmers remain...

Update on HB 22 - Animals at Large Bill

Published Mar. 15, 2011

HB 22 (Bubp) - Animals at Large HB 22, which is an OFBF priority issue for 2011, will clarify Ohio law by establishing clear standards for civil and criminal liability and will ensure that farmers whose animals escape fences and buildings through no fault of the owner (natural disasters,....

Update on Efforts to Repeal the Ohio Estate Tax

Published Mar. 15, 2011

HB 3 (Grossman, Hottinger) & SB 90 (Jordan) – Repeal the Estate Tax HB 3 is an OFBF priority bill. HB 3 passed the House Ways and Means Committee on Feb. 16. At this time, the bill has not been scheduled for a vote before the full House of Representatives. Sources within the House...

U.S. Farmers Rank Low on Global Subsidy Scale

Published Jun. 15, 2009

Research by Texas Tech University’s Economics Research Institute (CERI) shows that all countries, regardless of size, protect their agricultural producers and generally far more than the United States. According to CERI, the U.S. falls near the bottom on the use of tariffs.

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.

U.S. District Court Enjoins Obama H2-A Rule

Published Jul. 1, 2009

A Federal District Court in North Carolina recently issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from suspending the H2-A rule, issued last December. The preliminary injunction reinstates the Bush rule, which would have been suspended July 1, and halts DOL from...

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.

Two WTO Dispute Panel Requests Blocked

Published Nov. 2, 2009

Two World Trade Organization dispute panel requests were blocked recently. The United States blocked a request by Canada and Mexico requesting that a WTO dispute panel look into U.S. country-of-origin labeling rules. The two countries contend COOL has made U.S. processors reluctant to buy...

Trio of Senators Offer New Climate Change Proposal

Published Dec. 23, 2009

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I.-Conn.) on Thursday held a press conference to talk up a proposal on climate legislation that includes caps on greenhouse gas emissions and incentives for offshore oil-and-gas exploration and nuclear power plants.

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Adam Sharp and Chris Henney share more about why Trade Matters in this video update.

Trade Matters - Take Action Now

Published May. 31, 2011

$3 Billion in Additional Exports, Economic Development and Jobs. That’s what is gained once the Korea, Panama and Colombia Free Trade Agreements are implemented. But while the Administration and Congress delay action, current American agricultural market share is being cut by other countries...

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.

Thatcher Sees No Senate Climate Vote This Year

Published Jul. 1, 2009

Mary Kay Thatcher, AFBF director of public policy, tells Agriculture Online that Farm Bureau doesn't anticipate the massive climate change bill passed by the House last week to pass the Senate this year. And the New York Times reported Tuesday that opposition from Farm Bureau and other...

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...

Tariffs lifted as truck dispute resolved

Published Jul. 20, 2011

A recently-signed memorandum between Mexico and the United States brought an end to the long-running dispute over Mexican truck access north of the border.

Taiwan Votes to Ban Some U.S. Beef Exports

Published Jan. 5, 2010

The Taiwanese Legislature has voted to ban some U.S. beef imports, which the U.S. government says undermines Taiwan’s credibility as a trading partner. The move reverses an earlier deal the government had negotiated with Washington.

Taiwan Beef Ban Draws Ire of U.S. Officials

Published Jan. 7, 2010

The Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Agriculture Department on Tuesday released a statement regarding a recent decision by Taiwan officials to bar import of some U.S. beef and beef products by amending the country’s Food Sanitation Act (FSA).

Sweeping Health Care Bill Advances in Senate

Published Dec. 23, 2009

In early morning procedural votes today, the Senate approved cutting off debate on the manager’s amendment on health care legislation offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The manager’s amendment did not include a public insurance option, which Farm Bureau strongly opposes.

Supreme Court says states can't enforce greenhouse gas rules

Published Jul. 20, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a unanimous verdict in a case that could have a major impact on the regulation of greenhouse gases in the agricultural industry.

Supreme Court Orders State to Compensate Landowners After Taking

Published Dec. 13, 2011

The Ohio Supreme Court recently sided with a group of landowners who have suffered damaging flooding after the Ohio Department of Natural Resources redesigned and significantly increased the size of a spillway at Grand Lake St. Mary’s. In State ex. rel. Doner v. Zody, 2011-Ohio-6117, the state...

Supercommitte's Failure Scuttles $23 billion in Farm Bill Cuts

Published Nov. 22, 2011

The chairs of the Senate and House Agriculture committees said in a statement released Monday that the supercommittee’s failure to find ways to cut the federal budget deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years scuttles efforts to find $23 billion in farm bill savings.

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State Representative Jim Zehringer

State Representative and family farmer Jim Zehringer appointed director of ODA

Published Nov. 16, 2010

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) commends Governor-elect Kasich’s selection of Jim Zehringer to serve as director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Mr. Zehringer’s experience as a family farmer, businessman and legislator makes him highly qualified to lead...

State Priority Issues

Published Feb. 13, 2013

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation's 2013 State Priority Issues

State of State Set for January 27th

Published Jan. 4, 2010

Governor Ted Strickland will deliver his "State of the State" address at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 27 before a joint session of the General Assembly.

State Capital Budget

Published Feb. 23, 2012

In 2012, lawmakers are likely to adopt a capital improvements bill. The capital bill appropriates money for the acquisition, construction, equipment, or renovation of buildings and other facilities of other agencies.

State Budget Update

Published Jul. 6, 2009

The staredown between Senate Republicans and the governor and House escalated this week as Senate President Bill Harris dug in his heels in opposition to expanding gambling through video lottery terminals (VLTs) at Ohios racetracks. Continuing to say that he has questions about the revenue...

State Budget Priorities

Published Apr. 10, 2013

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Executive Vice President Jack Fisher sent the following letter to members of the Ohio House of Representatives this week to outline OFBF's priorities in the State Budget Bill.

Staple Food Prices Trend Down for 5th Straight Quarter

Published Jan. 7, 2010

Retail food prices at the supermarket decreased for the fifth consecutive quarter and are significantly lower than one year ago, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.

Stallman Replies to Vitriolic Post Column

Published Jul. 1, 2009

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman sent a letter to the editor of the Washington Post on Friday, responding to a vitriolic opinion piece by Post business columnist Steven Pearlstein criticizing Farm Bureau's opposition to the massive climate change bill that narrowly passed...

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...

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If others put agreements in place before the U.S., farmers could lose opportunities to export.

Stalled Trade Deals Could Lead to Loss of Market Share

Published Aug. 20, 2010

After years of being a leader in world trade negotiations, the United States is now sitting on the sidelines. Congress still has not taken up any of the hard-fought free trade agreements that were negotiated years ago. Instead of waiting for the United States to finalize its...