COLUMBUS – Advocating for an ample supply of safe, affordable, Ohio-raised food and excellent care of the state’s livestock and poultry, leaders of Ohioans for Livestock Care this week announced the first phase of the statewide outreach campaign in support of passage of State Issue 2. Issue 2 calls for the creation of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (the Board) – a board of Ohio experts in animal care, veterinary medicine, food safety and farm management, as well as consumer and humane society members.
The campaign committee has purchased television advertising in media markets across Ohio, which is complemented with online advertising and the addition of a new campaign Web site, www.safelocalohiofood.com.
The ads and Web site feature Brenda Hastings, a mother of two and dairy farmer from Burton, Ohio, sharing her story about the role that responsible farm animal care plays in ensuring Ohioans have a safe, affordable supply of food raised in the Buckeye state. The Hastings family is a third-generation dairy farm family, and as a mother, Brenda knows the value that parents like her place on assuring food safety and maintaining excellent care of food animals.
“Without question, we want Ohio voters to understand that Issue 2 is about the relationship between how farm animals are cared for and how decisions about animal care can impact food safety, food affordability and food availability,” said Jamie Butts, campaign spokeswoman. “Issue 2 is a reasonable proposal to address that relationship, and that’s why creation of the Board through the passage of Issue 2 will make sure our farm animals receive the best treatment, and Ohioans have access to quality, food produced by Ohio farmers.”
About the Board
Issue 2 will create a Board of 13 Ohio experts, including 10 appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Ohio Senate, and one each appointed by the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate. The director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture will serve as the 13th member and chair of the Board.
“Ohioans know the best way to care for both our animals and our food supply,” said Jeff Wuebker, a hog and grain farmer from Darke County. “A broad approach to policy making, that considers all aspects of animal care, is the meaningful, common-sense way to sustain consumer confidence in Ohio-grown food.”
Significant Public and Community Support
Issue 2 already has generated a wide range of supporters, more than 500 individuals and organizations in all. Supporters have recognized the importance of ensuring the availability of safe, affordable Ohio-grown food through the continued excellent care of Ohio’s farm animals. Those who have endorsed Issue 2 include hunger-relief providers; veterinarians; businesses; members of the farm community; national, state and local elected officials from both political parties; grocers; restaurants and allied agriculture companies.
In addition to public support, the campaign also is building momentum in communities across Ohio. Twelve regional rallies are planned for late September and October in Ashland/Mansfield, Cambridge, Canton, Cincinnati/Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Sidney, Toledo, Findlay, Jackson, New Philadelphia and Springfield. Hundreds of people are anticipated to attend each rally, where they can learn about the importance of Issue 2 and how passing it will positively impact all Ohioans. Statewide officials, local farmers and community leaders will address the crowds.
Why Issue 2 Matters
Passage of Issue 2 allows Ohio to take a proactive step to ensure the viability of the state’s number one economic contributor – agriculture – and the jobs and financial prosperity it creates for communities across the state. Farming accounts for about $93 billion in annual economic benefit to the state, and provides nearly one million jobs.
Butts said that by maintaining excellent care of food animals in our state, a YES vote for Issue 2 will help to:
· Ensure the availability of safe, locally-grown and raised food;
· Sustain the viability of Ohio’s agriculture community, including the jobs it provides and the economic contributions it makes; and
· Protect Ohio’s family farms.
To learn more about Issue 2, to volunteer or donate, or to find out about upcoming campaign events, visit www.safelocalohiofood.com.
Paid for by Ohioans for Livestock Care PAC, John C. Fisher, Treasurer, 280 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215.