Buckeye Farm News: 2009 – A Year In Review
OFBF spoke out for OSU Extension, OARDC
Protecting funding for Ohio State Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center was a priority for OFBF this year. The organization worked to restore funds that had been cut in early state budget proposals. OFBF emphasized that Extension delivers wide-ranging programs that could help put the state on the path to economic recovery. OFBF is also a strong supporter of 4-H. OFBF President Brent Porteus told a House budget committee the impact these programs make on Ohio’s economy and its people pays back a greater return than the original investment made by taxpayers.
New program helped link farmers with hunters to control deer damage
OFBF partnered with the Ohio Division of Wildlife to launch the Web site www.huntohiofarms.com, a two-year pilot program aimed at providing farmers in Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties with pre-screened hunters to reduce the damage to crops by foraging deer.
Hunters from anywhere inside or outside Ohio could register at the site, providing information including hunting preferences, availability, hunting implement of choice, etc. Then farmers who own land in the pilot counties could search hunter profiles and find a good match for their farm and circumstances. More than 1,000 hunters had registered on the site after just one week.
The program will be evaluated to determine if it should be expanded to more counties in the future.
OFBF worked to stop APV trespassing
OFBF effectively lobbied to get language in the state transportation budget to curb APV (All-Purpose Vehicle) trespassing, which can cause extensive damage to crops and fields. Trespassers will face increased penalties and a “three strikes and you’re out” provision that allows for the confiscation of their vehicle. Unless they are primarily used for agriculture, APVs also will be required to display a visible license plate or number that would help law enforcement officials identify trespassers. The bill also provided funding for the creation of additional public recreation trails. OFBF had identified APV trespassing as a component of its efforts to protect personal property rights in 2009.
OFBF supported provisions in legislation to re-establish funding for important services that are regularly rendered on behalf of agriculture.
Significant cuts in the state budget left Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) short of funding. OFBF policy supports an adequate source of program funding for SWCDs.