Legal issues surrounding farm animal welfare among topics at OLC annual meeting

Buckeye Farm News

The Ohio Livestock Coalition (OLC) will host its Annual Meeting and Industry Symposium on April 4 at the Fawcett Center at the Ohio State University.

“The meeting provides farm organization leaders and farmers from across Ohio with perspectives from state and national agriculture leaders,” said David White, OLC executive director. “It also establishes a venue for these groups to have constructive dialogue and education on current events facing the farm community and its stakeholders.”

The meeting will open with remarks by newly appointed Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Jim Zehringer. The meeting will continue with presentations by the following state and national experts:

Peggy Kirk Hall, director of the Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program, will discuss the changing state of farm animal welfare from a legal perspective. The escalating interest in farm animal welfare raises many legal issues and challenges, from a changing regulatory landscape to undercover videos on the farm. This session presents an overview of recent legislation and case law on farm animal welfare around the country and an analysis of the legal issues presented by efforts to “reveal” farm animal management practices.

Charlie Arnot, CEO of the Center for Food Integrity, will review current research on consumer attitudes about farming and share opportunities for farmers to communicate with consumers and the importance of effectively communicating with women about today’s agriculture. The Center for Food Integrity was established in 2007 to increase consumer trust and confidence in today’s food system.

Dr. Joy Mench, professor of animal science at the University of California-Davis, will provide expertise on the holistic approach to animal welfare. She will also discuss changes that animal agriculture should be preparing to address.

Rob Hamilton, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Soil & Water Conservation, and Larry Antosch, senior director for the Program Innovation and Environmental Policy, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, will talk about distressed watersheds and what this situation means to Ohio’s agriculture community. The session will also help answer some questions about harmful algae blooms and discuss the policy implications and impacts on livestock farmers.

In partnership with Ohio Farm Bureau, OLC will also present two Neighbor of the Year awards during the meeting, which recognize two rural residents – one farmer and one non-farmer. Award winners will receive a plaque, and $250 will be donated to each recipient’s favorite local charity of choice.

Registration for the event is $45/person if paid by March 21 or $55/person if paid after this date or at the door.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the meeting starting at 9:30 a.m. To register for the meeting or for more information, please contact Amy Hurst at (614) 246-8262 or at [email protected]. Registration information is also available online at

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