Policy & Politics

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.

Farm Bureau works to stop disruption in GPS service

Published Jul. 20, 2011

Farm Bureau has long advocated for the expansion of broadband in rural areas but the organization is concerned about a new service that could disrupt global positioning system (GPS) signals.

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Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor joins Ohio Farm Bureau's Jack Fisher on Town Hall Ohio

Lieutenant Governor: State reform ideas have been in the works for years

Published Jul. 20, 2011

Gov. John Kasich’s administration is determined to make Ohio a state to do business in again and that means making drastic, and sometimes controversial, changes, says the state’s lieutenant governor.

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Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally, left, joins Ohio Farm Bureau's Jack Fisher on a recent edition of Town Hall Ohio.

Ohio EPA director calls for improving the agency's permitting process

Published Jul. 20, 2011

The head of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is determined to improve the permitting process at the agency, which has more than 1,300 rules.

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L to R: OFBF Senior Vice President of Public Policy Keith Stimpert, OFBF President Steve Hirsch and Sen. Sherrod Brown

Diverse group of farmers gather to offer Sen. Brown input on farm bill

Published Jul. 20, 2011

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) President Steve Hirsch recently hosted Sen. Sherrod Brown on his farm for a roundtable listening session on the upcoming farm bill.

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Ohio farmers left behind as other nations complete trade agreements

Published Jun. 24, 2011

Pending free trade agreements (FTA) between the United States and Korea, Panama and Colombia would amount to more than $2.5 billion in additional exports, economic development and jobs.

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Ohio Farm Bureau presents nonpartisan Campaign Management Seminar

Published Jun. 20, 2011

This bipartisan campaign management training two-day seminar was developed by the American Farm Bureau Federation with input from political consultants and staff members of both political parties. Videotapes, overheads, a case study and a computer simulation have been developed to assist...

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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...

Staff Testimony in Support of SB 90 to Eliminate the Ohio Estate Tax

Published Apr. 15, 2011

OFBF Director of State Policy Beth Vanderkooi testified before the Senate Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee in support of Senate Bill 90 to eliminate the Ohio Estate Tax.

Staff Testimony in Support of HB 22

Published Apr. 15, 2011

OFBF Director of State Policy Beth Vanderkooi testified before the Ohio Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environment Committee in support of House Bill 22 regarding changes to Ohio's Animals at Large Law.

Staff Testimony on Growing Ohio's Agricultural Economy

Published Apr. 15, 2011

OFBF Director of State Policy Beth Vanderkooi testified before the Ohio House of Representatives Economic and Small Business Development Committee about the importance of growing Ohio's agricultural economy.

Several OFBF Priority Issues Included in HB 114 - Transportation Budget Bill

Published Mar. 15, 2011

HB 114 (McGregor) – Transportation Budget Bill HB 114 recently passed the Ohio House and is now being heard in the Ohio Senate. It is the legislation that funds Ohio’s Department of Transportation, Public Safety, and other projects related to transportation and infrastructure in Ohio...

HB 89 - Ohio Agriculture Week Signed into Law

Published Mar. 15, 2011

HB 89 (Derickson) – Agriculture Week HB 89 passed both Chambers with unanimous support and was signed into law by Governor Kasich on March 11th. HB 89 designates the second full week of March as Ohio Agriculture Week to honor the state's agriculture community.

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...

2011 Federal Legislative Priorities

Published Feb. 22, 2011

Maintaining a strong safety net for farmers, establishing a new direction for dairy policy, growing agricultural trade opportunities, regulatory oversight and reducing additional regulatory burdens, tax policy, food quality and safety, and energy and transportation issues are our top priorities.

2011 State Legislative Priorities

Published Feb. 22, 2011

Eliminating Ohio's Estate Tax, ensuring a sound business climate and low tax burden, addressing Ohio's state budget, transportation, energy, and environmental issues are among the top state legislative priorities for Ohio Farm Bureau in 2011.

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...

Stabenow officially announced as Senate Ag Chair

Published Jan. 31, 2011

After being formally appointed yesterday to serve as chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said she looks forward to leading the committee and emphasized her belief that “agriculture is critical to our economy and is helping to lead our recovery.”

Senators express concerns about crop insurance

Published Jan. 31, 2011

On Thursday, a bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to Vilsack that commended USDA for proposing a Good Performance Refund program aimed at strengthening the federal crop insurance program.

Farm Bureau welcomes USDA biotech decision

Published Jan. 31, 2011

Farm Bureau is pleased by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s announcement that the Agriculture Department will fully deregulate Roundup Ready alfalfa, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said.

PUCO schedules commercial motor carrier listening sessions

Published Jan. 31, 2011

Ohio’s motor carrier community is invited to provide the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) with testimony regarding new safety rules that apply to private intrastate commercial motor vehicles. The PUCO will host five listening sessions to learn from small carriers about the operational...

FAPRI: Farm Bill Cuts Would Make Tiny Dent in Deficit

Published Jan. 17, 2011

As discussion develops on writing a 2012 farm bill and reducing the federal budget deficit, there may be talk of cutting “farm subsidies.” But the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri points out that such cuts would make just a tiny dent...

President Obama Recently Signed Food Safety Bill

Published Jan. 17, 2011

President Barack Obama recently signed a $1.4 billion food safety bill that sets the biggest change to oversight of the food industry since 1938 and gives the Food and Drug Administration more regulatory authority. However, Republicans are sending signals of a funding fight for the new regulations.

ODA Director Zehringer Appoints Top Administrators

Published Jan. 13, 2011

Ohio Department of Agriculture Director James Zehringer today announced several new appointments to the department’s senior management team: Frederick M. Shimp, assistant director; Rocky Black, deputy director; Andy Ware, communications director; Thomas A. Johnston, chief financial officer...

Clean Ohio Ag Easement Purchase Program's 2011 Application Period Opens

Published Jan. 6, 2011

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (Jan. 6, 2011) – The 2011 Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program application is now available on the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website. All applications must be submitted electronically no later than 5 p.m. on April 6, 2011.

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...

ODA to Accept Aquaculture Grant Applications

Published Dec. 30, 2010

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (Dec. 30, 2010) – Ohio’s fish farmers can now apply for their portion of $34,859 in reimbursements through the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Aquaculture Grant Program. The program will assist producers who suffered financial losses associated with high feed costs in 2009.

10 Percent Cut in Farm Supports Part of Commission Plan

Published Dec. 17, 2010

On Wednesday, a 10 percent cut in farm support programs was proposed by an 18-member bipartisan commission intent on balancing the federal budget. A vote by the commission on the overall plan, which encompasses the entire federal government, is expected Friday.

Farm Bureau praises House passage of tax relief legislation

Published Dec. 17, 2010

The House voted 277-148 late Thursday night to approve the $859 billion bill that extends the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for two years and sets the estate tax at 35 percent with a $5 million exemption through 2012. The legislation, which passed the Senate by a vote of 81-19 on Wednesday, now goes...

Bob Gibbs to serve on agriculture, transportation committees

Published Dec. 17, 2010

U.S. Rep.-elect Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, will sit on the Agriculture Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the House of Representatives next year. The Agriculture Committee has jurisdiction over renewable energy, conservation, animal and plant health and agricultural research and development.

Motor Carrier Weight Threshold Rules Revised

Published Dec. 17, 2010

The Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) has revised its rules relative to motor carrier transportation safety. These revised rules now extend PUCO jurisdiction to regulate vehicle safety to vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 to 26,000 pounds that are operating...

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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...

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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...

Election 2010: Analysis and Results

Published Nov. 9, 2010

Republicans Sweep All Ohio Statewide Offices, Re-take Ohio House and U.S. House. Two former Ohio Farm Bureau Presidents Win Key Races and will now serve in the Ohio House of Representatives and U.S. Congress.As the most expensive mid-term elections in the nation’s history drew to a close...

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Mark Maslyn, AFBF Executive Director of Public Policy

112th Congress will bring new faces, changes to D.C.

Published Oct. 25, 2010

A few of the soon-to-be newly elected members of the 112th Congress may be familiar with farm policy, but like the public-at-large, most of them likely are not. And even the agriculture committees that will write the next farm bill won’t be immune to these changes, according to Mark Maslyn...

Farmers and hunters feed millions with deer meat

Published Oct. 22, 2010

Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry encourages hunters to harvest more deer and assures that the excess of venison, a great source of low-fat protein, finds its way to the table of hungry persons. Nearly all of Ohio’s counties participated in the program last winter, resulting in the...

Are farmland prices inflated?

Published Oct. 22, 2010

There’s a growing buzz about whether or not U.S. farmland prices will be the next asset bubble to burst. But despite all the talk about the commercial real estate market and how it’s under pressure, when you look at farm real estate it has really held up, even increasing fairly rapidly...

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....

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.

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...

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Attorney General Richard Cordray

Attorney General Richard Cordray Reminds Ohioans about the Veterans Bonus

Published Oct. 12, 2010

Last November, an overwhelming majority of Ohio voters — more than 70 percent — voted to provide a modest payment to the men and women who served our country during the Iraq, Afghanistan and Persian Gulf wars. This Veterans Service Bonus is an honored tradition in our state: Voters approved...

American Farm Bureau Believes NIH Animal Care Standards Flawed

Published Oct. 12, 2010

The National Institutes of Health is reviewing a draft document outlining guidelines for animal care that Farm Bureau believes contains technical flaws relative to agriculture animal welfare. AFBF President Bob Stallman wrote to NIH Friday, urging it to reject the proposed guide and instead...

Higher Nonfat Solids in Milk Benefits Consumers

Published Oct. 12, 2010

An economic analysis by the Food and Agricultural Policy Institute reveals that requiring higher nonfat solids in fluid milk would benefit consumers with additional nutrients with little impact on the price of a gallon of milk.

AFBF Urging Senate to Pass Veterinary Public Health Bill

Published Oct. 12, 2010

Farm Bureau is urging the Senate to approve H.R. 2999, the Veterinary Public Health Workforce Amendments Act of 2010, that was passed last week by the House by voice vote. On Friday, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)...

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.

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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...

Biden Announces $1.8 Billion in Broadband Funding

Published Aug. 20, 2010

Vice President Biden today announced 94 Recovery Act investments in broadband projects that will create jobs and expand economic opportunities within 37 states. These investments in high-speed Internet infrastructure will help bridge the technological divide in communities that are being left...

Opportunities for Involvement in the 2010 General Election

Published Jul. 9, 2010

County Farm Bureaus and Farm Bureau members are encouraged to get involved in the November 2, 2010 General Election. According to OFBF Director of Political and Legislative Education Doug Foxx, "now is the time to get to know the candidates that will soon take office as our new elected leaders at the local, state, and national levels." The following list are just a few of many ways that county Farm Bureaus and individual farmers can get involved in the election.

Ohio Farm Bureau Supports "End Ohio's Estate Tax Now" Campaign

Published Jul. 9, 2010

In recognition that eliminating the estate tax is consistent with the policy positions developed and approved by delegates at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) Annual Meeting, the OFBF Board of Trustees has voted to support an initiative petition campaign underway to end Ohio’s estate tax on December 31, 2012.