Buckeye Farm News
Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has been working to restore funding to Ohio State Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).
Extension is facing a 24 percent funding cut in Gov. Ted Strickland’s proposed budget, and OARDC faces a 15 percent cut.
“These are relatively small investments made by the state of Ohio, but the impact they make on Ohio’s economy and its people pays back a greater return than the original investment that is made by taxpayers,” OFBF President Brent Porteus told a House budget committee.
OFBF hopes to distribute 5,000 postcards to legislative leaders to generate support for the programs.
As lawmakers debate the governor’s education reform proposal, OFBF is providing feedback on the impact it could have on rural and agricultural education.
OFBF believes districts in rural/agricultural areas should have access to the same increases in funding as schools in urban areas – something which is not consistently reflected in the current proposal. Lawmakers and the governor’s office are continuing to review the situation. The plan also contains significant cuts to career technical programs, such as agricultural education and consumer sciences, which OFBF hopes to address.
OFBF policy supports several concepts in the proposal including increased distance learning opportunities, a reform of teacher tenure practices and evaluation processes and recognizing academic achievements on the same level as athletic achievements.
A change in the hunting permit structure at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is a cause of concern for OFBF. For the first time ever, ODNR wants hunters to obtain a permit to hunt on their own land.While the proposal would stipulate that a permit is free, OFBF is concerned that this is yet another hoop for private property owners to jump through. It may discourage some from hunting on their own land and would hurt efforts to reduce the state’s deer herd. OFBF has expressed concerns with legislators and ODNR and, at this time, is opposed to the new permit requirement.