The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has announced its support for State Issue 1, which will renew Ohio’s highly successful Third Frontier program. The state’s largest organization of farmers and consumers endorsed the measure because Third Frontier is a proven driver of economic development and represents responsible use of taxpayer dollars.
“Farmers understand how to measure return on investment and the Third Frontier program has delivered,” said OFBF President Brent Porteus.
OFBF’s support was announced following a vote by its 26-member board of trustees. Issue 1 will appear on the May 4, 2010 ballot.
The Third Frontier program is a private-public partnership that targets state investments into technology-based growth industries. It was first approved by Ohio voters in 2005.
Since its inception, Third Frontier has created 48,000 jobs, aided 571 business start-ups and produced $6.6 billion in total economic impact. Business investment grew at 20.4 percent per year, nearly 2.5 times faster than the national average. Importantly, 50 percent of the state’s investment in Third Frontier has been repaid through tax receipts.
“Third Frontier is attracting businesses to Ohio. It’s enhancing existing industries. It’s advancing research and bringing products to market. It’s creating jobs. And it’s paying a return on the money we’ve put in,” Porteus said. “Renewing this program tells businesses and investors Ohio is committed to long range high-tech growth.”
Porteus said OFBF believes the program will provide benefits to all Ohioans, farmers included. Agricultural products are used to produce bio-fuels and other alternative energy, advanced materials for manufacturing, biomedical products and many other industries which hold great promise for Ohio’s economy. He said OFBF is proud to add its endorsement to the Issue’s wide-spread bipartisan support.
“We strongly encourage Ohioans to vote yes on Issue 1,” Porteus added.