Policy & Politics

OFBF's letter on agricultural nutrients, proposed draft legislation

Published Apr. 8, 2013

An abundant supply of high quality water is Ohio’s greatest natural resource. Protecting water quality is essential to Ohio’s future. OFBF believes that farmers have the responsibility to proactively do our part to solve the nutrient management challenge facing Ohio today.

OFBF's letter on transporation rules to Chairman Damschroder of House Committee

Published May. 15, 2013

OFBF submitted a letter on transportation rules to Chairman Damschroder of the House Transportation, Public Safety, and Homeland Security Sub-Committee. Farm Bureau policy opposes HB 133, which is legislation to remove the requirement that vehicles have a front license plate.

OFBF's letter to Ohio Dept. of Health on sewage treatment system rules

Published Feb. 11, 2013

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) would like to thank you for the opportunity to review and submit comments on the package of draft proposed revisions to the sewage treatment system rules (OAC 3701-29-01 to 3701-29-23). OFBF policies are based on the tenet of protecting private property rights.

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...

Ohio Agriculture Goes to Washington DC

Published Mar. 16, 2010

For the 64th year, Ohio Farm Bureau county presidents visited Washington, D.C. last week to discuss agricultural issues with their lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Andy Vance of ABN Radio was among several reporters that covered the event including a briefing by American Farm Bureau staff...

Ohio Department of Agriculture Accepts Specialty Crop Grant Proposals

Published Mar. 16, 2010

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is now accepting proposals for the 2010 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which will provide funding for projects that will enhance the competitiveness of Ohio’s specialty crops. The department is seeking project proposals that will advance long-term...

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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.

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...

Ohio Farm Bureau Announces 2010 State and Federal Priority Issues

Published Feb. 2, 2010

Animal Care Issues, Climate Change, Business Climate and Taxes, Environment and Land Use, Food Safety, Transportation and Infrastructure, Education Reform, and more are among the top public policy priorities for the Ohio Farm Bureau in 2010.

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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...

Ohio Farm Bureau proponent testimony on SB 281

Published May. 1, 2012

OFBF member and state trustee, Katherine Harrison testified before the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee in support of Senate Bill 281 regarding the AgLINK Program.

Ohio Farm Bureau staff testimony on HB 473

Published Apr. 24, 2012

OFBF Senior Director of Policy Development and Environmental Policy, Dr. Larry Antosch testified before the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in support of House Bill 473 regarding the Great Lakes Compact.

Ohio Farm Bureau staff testimony on HB 482

Published Mar. 28, 2012

OFBF Director of State Policy, Beth Vanderkooi testified before the Senate Finance Committee in support of House Bill 482 regarding Clean Ohio funding.

Ohio Farm Bureau staff testimony on SB 309

Published Mar. 27, 2012

OFBF Director of Legislative Relations, Spencer Waugh testified before the Senate Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee in support of Senate Bill 309.

Ohio Farm Bureau staff testimony on SB 310

Published Apr. 24, 2012

OFBF Director of Legislative Relations, Spencer Waugh testified before the Senate Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee in support of Senate Bill 310 regarding exotic animals.

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.

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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.

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.

Ohio Grape Industries Committee Announces Photo Contest

Published Dec. 23, 2009

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio ) – This holiday season, take time to enjoy and explore Ohio’s wineries while putting your photography skills to good use during the Ohio Grape Industries Committee’s photo contest. “This photo contest encourages Ohioans to venture out and enjoy the state’s wineries with...

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...

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.”

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.

Ohioans for Livestock Care Coalition Statement on HSUS Ballot Initiative

Published Feb. 2, 2010

Leaders of Ohioans for Livestock Care, which includes OCA, released the following statement in response to their announcement.
“Ohio farmers, first and foremost, are committed to caring for the animals we raise. It’s the right thing to do, and it means we can continue to provide Ohioans...

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.

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.

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”

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.

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.

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...

Pension Costs Rising for Local Governments, Schools

Published Jan. 4, 2010

Ohio newspapers reported Sunday on the rising cost of the state's five pension plans and its effect on local governments and school districts.

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.

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...

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.

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...

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.

Producers Benefit More from ACRE than Price-Based Programs

Published Dec. 30, 2009

A report released Tuesday by USDA’s Economic Research Service on the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program suggests that for 2009-2012, producers of corn, soybeans, wheat and rice are likely to benefit more from the ACRE program than from the price-based...

Proposed Crop Insurance Cuts Sending Alarms

Published Dec. 31, 2009

Proposed cuts in the crop insurance program are sending alarms through the insurance industry for both underwriters and agents, according to National Underwriter. Under a proposal unveiled earlier this month, the Obama administration wants new cutbacks in the program that in addition to other...

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.

PUCO Grants Extension of Hours of Service Exemption

Published Dec. 13, 2011

On November 29, 2011 the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) granted an emergency extension of the hours of service exemption to those drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles transporting agricultural products within Ohio. Ohio Farm Bureau had requested PUCO issue such an emergency...

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...

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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.

ReshapeOhio.org unveiled to encourage public participation in redistricting

Published Aug. 4, 2011

COLUMBUS – At the first meeting of the state Apportionment Board, Secretary of State Jon Husted unveiled ReshapeOhio.org, a website sponsored by the Legislative Task Force on Redistricting, the Ohio Apportionment Board and the Ohio Secretary of State’s office that is designed to give Ohioans...

Russia Blocks Import of U.S. Poultry

Published Jan. 4, 2010

Russia began blocking imports of U.S. poultry as of Jan. 1 because of concerns about a commonly used chlorine treatment, USDA and a Russian news agency reported last week. Russia plans to proceed, over U.S. objections, with a new law prohibiting chlorine as an anti-microbial treatment in...

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...

Senate Agriculture Committee Shuffles Leadership Positions

Published Dec. 28, 2009

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, recently announced several new subcommittee leadership positions. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) will assume chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Rural Revitalization, Conservation, Forestry and Credit...

Senate Approves Health Care Bill Along Party Lines

Published Dec. 28, 2009

The Senate on Thursday approved H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, on a 60-39 vote along party lines. Senate Democrats and Independents supported the measure; no Republicans voted for it.

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.

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...

Senator Voinovich Hosts his Final Farm Forum

Published Mar. 16, 2010

Last week Ohio's senior United States Senator George Voinovich held what is likely his last Farm Forum as he prepares to retire from the Senate at the end of this year. Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Jack Fisher along with representatives of Ohio's agricultural commodity organizations...

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.