Buckeye Farm News
OFBF President Brent Porteus and Executive Vice President Jack Fisher addressed annual meeting delegates, focusing on State Issue 2, its significance and what lies ahead.
Porteus said it was “incredible to see, first-hand, the unbelievable amount of good work being done by volunteers in the counties.” He said the unity of Ohio agriculture is unique, but at some point that resolve will be tested.
That day seems to be coming soon, according to Fisher.
“Don’t underestimate what you’ve accomplished (with Issue 2),” Fisher said. “But also don’t underestimate the work that lies ahead. We are staring down the barrel of HSUS (Humane Society of the United States). They are about to unleash an arsenal aimed at undoing what you did with Issue 2.”
Porteus urged farmers to look to the recently updated OFBF Envisioned Future report to give members an idea of what will be required to connect with consumers in 2010.
“The world in which you and I farm has changed,” he said. “What you and I do is no longer about food.”
“Every time you and I climb on the tractor, we’re jumping into the middle of a thousand debates,” he added. “We’re subject to the whims of politicians, activists, talk-show hosts, preachers, teachers, bloggers and anyone else with an opinion.”
Porteus said everyone wants to tell farmers how to farm without having an idea what it takes to farm. That lack of basic food production is dangerous, he said, noting that consumers don’t understand the consequences of what they’re demanding.
“I want consumers to understand, appreciate and support us,” Porteus said. “And I want to send (HSUS CEO) Wayne Pacelle and his band of anti-agriculture activists packing back to Washington, D.C.”
“Ohio Farm Bureau has always been a leader and we’re not stopping now,” he said.
“No other state Farm Bureau accomplished what Ohio did in the past year, and I fully expect similar recognition in the coming year,” Fisher said while recognizing the achievements of the organization and its members in 2009.
The successes of county Farm Bureaus helped earn OFBF achievement awards in all five of American Farm Bureau’s awards categories, four out of five President’s Awards and the Pinnacle Award in recognition of the full spectrum of county and state activities.
Fisher thanked OFBF partners Nationwide Insurance and Medical Mutual of Ohio, along with newer supporters Bob Evans and Comp Management, Inc. “They’re great examples of Ohio-based companies who are willing to work closely with our organization toward the betterment of Ohio,” he said.