2011 Year in Review — From youth labor to the farm bill, OFBF spoke out

Buckeye Farm News

A new committee, commonly referred to as the super committee, was created to find ways to cut government spending.  Although it was ultimately unsuccessful, the committee had considered taking action on the farm bill. Ohio Farm Bureau had been very active in the discussions to represent its members.

Ohio Farm Bureau also worked with Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman to update the methodology used to calculate crop insurance rates. Many experts have contended that farmers in Midwestern states like Ohio overpay for crop insurance because natural disasters are much less frequent than in other regions of the county. The adjustments should reduce Ohio corn farmers’ rates by 7 percent and soybean farmers’ by 9 percent on average.

OFBF worked with Ohio Reps. Bob Gibbs, a former OFBF president, and Jean Schmidt to pass H.R. 872, which protects pesticide applicators, their customers and state and local government from costs associated with duplicating already existing federal pesticide regulations.

Ohio Farm Bureau continued to make the U.S. Department of Agriculture aware of concerns that Ohio farmers have with a proposed National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. While improvements were made to the original proposal, OFBF believes there is more work to do to ensure burdens are not placed on Ohio growers.

Ohio Farm Bureau joined the Ohio Association of Agricultural Educators in joint comments to the U.S. Department of Labor to express concerns about new restrictions on farm youth labor.

Both organizations strongly believe the rule, as written, would result in an effective total ban on youth employment on farms and that it will significantly narrow the “family” exemptions. The groups were also concerned about the impact of the proposed rule on agricultural education programs.

Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.

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