Policy & Politics

Farm Bureau Urges Refinement of Food Safety Bill

Published Jun. 5, 2009

The Food Safety Enhancement Act, a bill that would overhaul food safety rules, includes provisions that concern farmers and ranchers, the Farm Bureau told the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in a letter.

OBM's Preliminary Revenue Report Shows Continued Slump in State Tax Receipts

Published Jun. 5, 2009

OBM's preliminary revenue report for May show a continuing slump in personal income tax receipts and a sizeable hit to sales tax intake compared to the agency's estimates as revised several months ago. Total tax receipts for the month were nearly $165 million, or 10.7%, less than projected...

Ohio Equine Task Force Provides Recommendations to Strengthen Industry

Published Jun. 8, 2009

The Ohio Equine Task Force recently submitted recommendations that were created with the intention of strengthening and promoting Ohio’s equine industry. Created by Ohio Agriculture Director Robert Boggs in response to the critical state of Ohio’s equine industry, the task force, composed...

Few Emissions Credits Likely for Ag in Climate Change Bill

Published Jun. 9, 2009

Citing changes in farm practices and energy policy, analysts at the Environmental Protection Agency have sharply lowered estimates of the potential carbon credits for which farmers and landowners would likely qualify, according to the Des Moines Register. This could make it difficult to sell...

Ag Is Bull's Eye for Energy Tax

Published Jun. 9, 2009

Agriculture is a bull’s-eye industry for a national energy tax because it is energy-intensive, according to commentary published in Agweek by Reps. Frank Lucas, Sam Graves and Doc Hastings, co-chairs of the Rural America Solutions Group. The “cap and trade” provision of the Waxman-Markey climate...

OFBF Public Policy Staff Identify Three Upcoming Key Votes for Ohio Lawmakers

Published Jun. 9, 2009

Ohio Farm Bureau staff have identified three upcoming Key Votes for Ohio lawmakers. These include - SCR8 in the Ohio Senate and HCR 15 in the Ohio House regarding a proposed Cow Tax Resolution, SCR 15 a resolution regarding Federal Climate Change legislation, and SB 131 - a bio-based products...

Pelosi: Ag Important to Climate Change Bill

Published Jun. 9, 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the climate change bill passed last month by the Energy and Commerce Committee will go through more changes before coming up for a vote in the full House and that agriculture will be very important. “The Energy and Commerce Committee was one step and...

Ag Committee Key Hurdle to Climate Change Bill

Published Jun. 9, 2009

Talk on Capitol Hill points to the House Agriculture Committee as a key hurdle to the massive climate change bill introduced by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.). The Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on the bill Thursday afternoon, with AFBF President Bob Stallman...

Court Delays Pesticide Permitting for Two Years

Published Jun. 10, 2009

On Monday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals granted EPA's request for a two-year stay in the implementation of its January 2009 pesticide permit ruling. The rule would have required Clean Water Act permits for many pesticide applications.

Court Grants EPA Request on Pesticides Case

Published Jun. 11, 2009

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) request for a two-year stay of its ruling in the National Cotton Council v. Environmental Protection Agency decision issued on January 7, 2009. This “stay of the mandate” makes the original EPA...

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.

Senate Passes Bill Allowing FDA to Regulate Tobacco

Published Jun. 15, 2009

The Senate approved a bill Thursday by a 79-17 vote that gives the Food and Drug Administration sweeping new powers to regulate tobacco products, including such factors as the amount of addictive nicotine in a cigarette and cigarette packaging and marketing. The 79-17 vote virtually ensures...

Climate Bill Might Fail If Not More Farm Friendly

Published Jun. 16, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Waxman-Markey climate change bill may not pass the House of Representatives unless it becomes more farm-friendly. The warning, sounded by Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), presents a new obstacle to the White House’s effort to get...

NACo, Farm Bureau Oppose Clean Water Act Expansion

Published Jun. 19, 2009

The nation’s county governments and farmers are partnering to oppose legislation to significantly expand the federal jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The National Association of Counties’ (NACo) and the American Farm Bureau Federation are concerned that the Clean Water Restoration...

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A bipartisan group of lawmakers along with the governor are supporting a new proposal on caring for livestock.

Farm Bureau Supports Ballot Measure on Livestock Care

Published Jun. 22, 2009

Ohio Farm Bureau is backing a bipartisan proposal that would establish a framework for making decisions on livestock care in Ohio. Joint resolutions in the House and the Senate would place a measure on the November ballot to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board...

Governor Proposes Additional Budget Cuts and VLT's at Ohio Racetracks

Published Jun. 23, 2009

Governor Ted Strickland shared with the House and Senate a proposal to balance the state’s fiscal years 2010-2011 operating budget without a tax increase and lay the groundwork for jobs and economic growth.

Climate Change Legislation - House Floor Vote Expected Friday

Published Jun. 25, 2009

Farm Bureau Urges "No" Vote on Legislation; "Yes" Vote on Peterson Amendment

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...

Farm Bureau Says Implement Farm Bill

Published Jun. 29, 2009

In testimony before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said it was a long, hard road to passage of the 2008 farm bill, and it is now time for implementation.

Climate Change Bill Faces Tougher Passage in Senate

Published Jun. 29, 2009

Ohio Farm Bureau is disappointed that H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, passed the House on Friday but is committed to defeating the legislation if it is brought up in the Senate.

Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board Passes Both Chambers with Strong Support

Published Jun. 29, 2009

This past week House Joint Resolution 2 (Sayre, Ruhl) and Senate Joint Resolution 6 (Gibbs, Wilson) passed in their respective chambers. HJR 2 passed 84 – 13 in the House of Representatives while SJR 6 passed unanimously in the Senate 32 – 0. Both cleared their respective committees...

Help Ensure Final Passage of Livestock Care Standards Board

Published Jun. 29, 2009

Ohio Farm Bureau members should call or e-mail their State Representative and State Senator to urge final passage of a critical livestock care measure (even if you already called or e-mailed the week of June 22nd-26th).

Climate Change Bill Faces Many Hurdles

Published Jul. 1, 2009

The House-passed climate change bill still faces many legislative hurdles with passage in the Senate seen as very difficult. Several climate change measures are being drafted in the upper chamber, where regional and philosophical differences are even more sharply defined.

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...

Biden, Vilsack to Lead Rural Tour

Published Jul. 1, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and other Obama administration officials and Cabinet secretaries will participate in a rural tour across the country through September. The tour is designed to show how the Agriculture Department and other federal agencies are working to...

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...

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...

Biden Announces 4 Billion in Broadband Funds

Published Jul. 6, 2009

In the first stop of the Obama Administration's rural tour in Wattsburg, Pa., Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden announced the availability of $4 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act loans and grants to help bring broadband service to unserved and underserved communities across...

Nationwide, Food Prices Trending Down

Published Jul. 6, 2009

Retail food prices at the supermarket decreased slightly for the third consecutive quarter, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare a meal was $46.29, down about 2 percent...

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...

Ohio - State Budget Update

Published Jul. 13, 2009

The Senates Select Committee on Video Lottery Terminals heard testimony from Michael Dolan, the Ohio Lottery director, and David Ellis, deputy director of the Office of Budget and Management. Dolan told the committee that installing the video lottery terminals (VLTS) would not be too complicated...

Peterson: Climate Bill "Still Has Problems"

Published Jul. 13, 2009

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) is looking to the Senate to make changes in climate change legislation that will better protect agriculture. "It's still got problems," said Peterson, who brokered a deal for the climate change bill to pass the House in June.

New Food Safety Rules will Burden Egg Producers

Published Jul. 13, 2009

The Obama administration's effort to improve food safety and curb the spread of salmonella will add a number of new regulations for egg producers. Nearly all egg producers with more than 3,000 laying hens--which account for the vast majority of eggs consumed by Americans--will be required to buy...

Johanns: Cap and Trade will Hammer Ag

Published Jul. 22, 2009

In a speech delivered on the Senate floor Monday, Sen. Mike Johanns (D-Neb.) said agriculture will be hammered with increased production costs as a result of cap-and-trade. "Different studies come up with varying numbers, but they all paint the same picture: agriculture loses," Johanns said...

Peterson Threatens to Oppose Food Safety Bill

Published Jul. 22, 2009

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) says he is worried the Food Safety Enforcement Act would allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate farm activities and has threatened to oppose the bill, unless his concerns are met.

Iowa Dairy Farmer Testifies Sector in a Price-Cost Squeeze

Published Jul. 28, 2009

America’s dairy producers find themselves in a “price-cost squeeze” between plummeting milk prices and feed costs that have remained high. Several public and private assistance initiatives are in place, but relief is not yet being fully felt at the farm gate, an Iowa dairy farmer today told a House Agriculture subcommittee. Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Lang, partner in a dairy with his father, brother and sons, testified on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation before the subcommittee on livestock, dairy and poultry during a hearing on the economic challenges facing the dairy...

Dairy Product Price Support Program Update

Published Jul. 31, 2009

The administration announced this morning (July 31st) that it is increasing the amount paid for dairy products through the Dairy Product Price Support Program (DPPSP). USDA estimates show that these increases, which will be in place from August 2009-October 2009, will increase dairy...

Latest CWT Herd Retirement Round Second Largest Ever

Published Aug. 5, 2009

Cooperatives Working Together has tentatively accepted 294 bids in the third herd retirement it has conducted in the last nine months. The 86,710 cows and 1.8 billion pounds of milk accepted in this round, combined with CWT’s previous two herd retirements, equal a total production capacity...

Ohio Farmers Voice Concerns at Climate Change Rally

Published Aug. 25, 2009

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation State Trustee Mike Schuum and other Ohio farmers recently attended a climate change in Lima, Ohio where they voiced concerns over proposed climate change legislation being considered by the U.S. Senate. View a slide show with audio and photos from the event.

Oklahoma Senator Urges Support for Don't Cap Our Future Campaign

Published Nov. 2, 2009

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) spoke for several minutes in support of Farm Bureau’s “Don’t CAP Our Future” campaign on the floor of the Senate recently. Inhofe expressed support for the grassroots campaign, while holding an Farm Bureau farmer cap emblazoned with a “Don’t CAP Our Future”

Lincoln: Ag has Big Role to Play in Climate Change

Published Nov. 2, 2009

Agriculture has a big role to play in climate change, and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) wants to make sure it is a positive role and that farmers won’t see more in terms of costs. “You can’t do climate change legislation without agriculture...

Baucus won't Support Boxer-Kerry Bill in Current Form

Published Nov. 2, 2009

As the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee begins hearings on the Boxer-Kerry climate change bill, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), a member of the committee who also chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said he could not support the measure in its current form. Baucus is the first Democrat...

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...

Meat Industry Must ReIntroduce Itself to Consumers

Published Nov. 2, 2009

The red meat industry must reintroduce itself to consumers to prove itself a source of innovation and technology that requires a change in approach, said Charlie Arnot, the head of the Center for Food Integrity (CFI). Arnot spoke at the opening session of the Meat Industry Research Conference...

Public Option Makes it into Senate Health Care Bill

Published Nov. 2, 2009

Health care reform legislation headed to the Senate floor for debate includes a public option for coverage. Millions of Americans would have the option of buying government-run insurance coverage if the bill becomes law. Individual states would have the choice to opt out of the program.

Farm Bureau Continues to Push Estate Tax Reform

Published Nov. 2, 2009

Farm Bureau is urging support for a broad exemption to the estate tax bill introduced by Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.). The bill would increase the exemption under the estate tax while lowering the tax rate. “There aren’t 60 votes in the Senate for permanent repeal, so we are shifting from repeal...

Senate Cap and Trade Bill Reported

Published Nov. 9, 2009

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and other Democratic members of the Environment and Public Works Committee reported S. 1733, the Kerry-Boxer cap-and-trade bill, out of committee to the Senate floor without any Republican members of the committee participating.

HB 321 Agriculture Week (Derickson - R) Introduced

Published Nov. 9, 2009

HB 321 would designate the week in which Thanksgiving occurs as "Ohio Agriculture Week" in order to increase public recognition of the vitally important role that agriculture plays both in this state and across the nation. Ohio Farm Bureau supports this legislation and will be testifying...

OFBF Monitoring HB 149 Chapter 166 Loans - Supermarkets (Miller, E - D)

Published Nov. 9, 2009

HB 149 would allows under served community groceries to qualify for Department of Development loans and loan guarantees. Current law authorizes the Department of Development to issue loans and loan guarantees for certain economic development projects.

Compromise Climate Bill Being Considered

Published Nov. 9, 2009

The Senate appears to be drifting away from the original climate change bill, authored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and John Kerry (D-Mass.) and moving toward a compromise measure designed to draw support from Republicans and moderate Democrats.