The naming of the members of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is “a great step toward Ohioans taking control of animal care issues,” according to John C. (Jack) Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). “Now we all have the responsibility to participate in the process,” he added.
The majority of the board’s 13 members were announced today (April 6) by Gov. Ted Strickland. Senate President Bill Harris previously announced his appointment and House Speaker Armond Budish’s appointee is expected to be named soon.
The Care Board was created in November when Ohio voters passed State Issue 2 by a nearly two-to-one margin. State legislators recently completed the enabling legislation, which was signed into law by the governor on March 31.
Fisher complimented the General Assembly’s efforts to write effective legislation and the governor’s quick action on board appointments. He also commended the diversity of the appointees.
“There are family farmers, consumer advocates, veterinarians, animal welfare experts, educators and others who reflect a cross-section of Ohio. And they bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Board,” he said.
The Care Board will address the proper treatment of farm animals within several contexts including the safety, availability and affordability of food plus livestock agriculture’s relationship to jobs and economic development.
“This Board is about finding balance between what’s best for farm animals and what’s best for people. And it’s about Ohioans making decisions for ourselves,” Fisher said.
Fisher is pleased by comments from Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Robert Boggs, who will chair the Board. Boggs has expressed his intent for the Board to hold open meetings throughout the state, allowing citizens to have access and offer input.
“The board won’t fulfill its potential unless the public participates. Ohio voters set the national standard with the passage of Issue 2. It’s now our responsibility to follow through and weigh in on the important work the Board will be doing,” said Fisher.
Since Ohioans approved Issue 2 last November, six other states have moved to enact similar Livestock Care Boards.
- Updates on the progress of the Board can be found at ofbf.org’s Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board News page.