With the March primary over, it is the perfect time for Ohio Farm Bureau members to reach out to their political candidates.
“We need to make sure they understand agriculture’s issues and are part of their campaign,” said Doug Foxx, Ohio Farm Bureau’s director of political and legislative education.
This election year has four big Ohio races—three in the Ohio Supreme Court and one in the U.S. Senate. Sixteen U.S. House seats are up for grabs. Additionally, all 99 Ohio House seats are up for election as well as half of the Senate.
“Farm Bureau has always enjoyed great relationships with candidates whether they are Republicans, Democrats or Independents. We want to work with all candidates who understand the importance of agriculture to Ohio’s economy,” Foxx said.
Redistricting has changed some of the political boundaries and Farm Bureau members need to make sure that not only do they know who their representatives are but reach out to them to make sure agriculture is part of their campaigns, Foxx said. Farm Bureau members can do that by helping out the candidates’ campaigns with financial contributions, holding a meet-the-candidate night or hosting events on their farm, he said.
“Many have not grown up on a farm and are excited to visit a farm,” he said. “Consider activities like walking in a parade with a candidate, hosting them at a county fair or by introducing them to other members of the farm community.”
With elections becoming more expensive, financial contributions are important, Foxx said. Farm Bureau members who aren’t sure who to financially support can contribute to Ohio Farm Bureau’s Agriculture for Good Government Political Action Committee, which supports candidates who are agriculturally friendly. The “Friend of Agriculture” designation is used for statehouse candidates and “Friend of Farm Bureau” for congressional candidates.
“Don’t discriminate bas-ed on party but look closely at candidates’ voting records,” Foxx said.
County Farm Bureaus help determine “friend” designations for incumbents by looking at their voting records and how responsive they have been to Farm Bureau. For open seat races, county Farm Bureaus hold local screening meetings or interview statehouse and congressional candidates.