WASHINGTON (OFBF) – It’s the 65th time Ohio Farm Bureau’s county presidents have made the trek to Washington, D.C. to visit with their lawmakers, but it gets more important each time they do it.
Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) President Brent Porteus welcomed Ohio’s county Farm Bureau presidents to the nation’s capitol Monday, outlining the importance of their annual mission.
“You bring real (farm) experience to Washington, but you also are building relationships with your members of Congress,” he told the volunteer leaders from throughout the state. “Value your participation here in Washington on behalf of those you represent back home.”
OFBF Senior Director of Legislative Policy Adam Sharp reiterated the goal of the trip while addressing the farmer leaders. “Unless they (members of Congresss) hear from you…real farmers and rural Ohio, what we (Ohio Farm Bureau staff) share with them doesn’t hold near the weight.
Sharp recapped the major issues discussed during last year’s OFBF Presidents Trip to D.C. Congress favored Farm Bureau on those important issues, including estate taxes, trade and food safety, Sharp said, giving majority credit to the volunteer efforts of Farm Bureau members taking time to share their concerns and issues with legislators.
The Farm Bureau presidents also took time to visit the embassies of two countries very much in the news as of late when visiting with ambassadors from Egypt and Japan. The OFBF presidents were the first group to visit the Egyptian embassy since the historical political regime change in that country last month. Presidents visiting the Japanese embassies learned farmers were not as effected as much by last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami due to most agricultural land being further inland, although, they noted the fishing industry has been hit bad by the natural disasters.
Getting down to Business Tuesday
The county presidents will get to work on the issues tomorrow, when they will meet with Sen. Sherrod Brown, receive a briefing on agriculture issues by American Farm Bureau Federation staff, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture and participate in a forum hosted by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and featuring Ohio Reps Marcia Fudge, Bill Johnson, Jim Renacci and Steve Stivers, and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK).
On the Hill Wednesday
Presidents will then take to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to visit with their lawmakers in Congressional offices.
Real-time coverage and updates
Follow the events of the 2011 Ohio Farm Bureau County Presidents Trip to Washington, D.C. via the following online venues:
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OFBF.org: Check back at OFBF.org throughout the week for more updates.