Watch for continuing coverage of Ohio Farm Bureau’s county presidents trip to D.C. through Wednesday.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. County Farm Bureau presidents from throughout Ohio have been making their annual trip to Washington, D.C. for 66 years. While the issues, stories and faces change, the importance of the event to Ohio agriculture always remains.
“This (event) is what we are about,” said Ohio Farm Bureau Vice President of Public Policy Adam Sharp while welcoming this year’s attendees on Monday, referring to the grassroots nature of Farm Bureau from the local level all the way up to Capitol Hill.
The farmers will meet face-to-face with their lawmakers in Washington later this week, bringing with them the stories, concerns and wishes of their fellow Farm Bureau members from their home counties. But first, they receive more insight on global agriculture during visits to embassies, on priority agricultural issues at the national level with briefings from American Farm Bureau, and get a chance to hear from their Ohio legislators through a forum led by Speaker of the House John Boehner and other group meetings with Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman.
As county Farm Bureau presidents registered and entered the room for the opening lunch, they signed booklets full of comments from Farm Bureau members back home about proposed federal youth labor regulations that could negatively impact the traditional role of children on the family farm. The booklets will be hand-delivered to legislators during in-office visits on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Ohio Farm Bureau recently teamed up with the Ohio Association of Ag Educators in voicing concern on this issue as well.
County presidents were also able leave the country, technically speaking, on Monday to learn more about foreign agriculture during visits to the Mexican and South Korean embassies.
The group wrapped up Monday by taking an optional tour of the American Farm Bureau Federation offices and a nighttime tour of the famous American monuments and landmarks throughout the city.