Improving transparency in livestock farming, engaging with consumers, and addressing water quality and nutrient management were prevalent themes at the 2012 Ohio Livestock Coalition (OLC) Annual Meeting and Industry Symposium, held Sept. 7 in Lewis Center.
“Animal agriculture is evolving – and recognizing current and emerging issues facing farmers and stakeholders in food production is essential to the future of Ohio’s livestock farming community,” said David White, OLC executive director. “This meeting provides farm organization leaders and farmers across Ohio with perspectives from state and national agriculture leaders on these issues and establishes a venue for these groups to have constructive dialogue and education.”
Charlie Arnot, CEO of the Center for Food Integrity, reviewed current research on consumer attitudes about farming and shared opportunities for farmers to communicate with consumers.
Mike Martin, director of communications of Cargill, spoke about improving transparency for animal agriculture and his experiences from working with The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2011.
Three state agency leaders also joined together to discuss nutrient management and water quality in Ohio. Directors James Zehringer, Ohio Department of Natural Resources; David Daniels, Ohio Department of Agriculture; and Scott Nally, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, answered questions on water quality issues during a panel discussion.
OLC also named five Ohio farmers as recipients of the 2012 Environmental Stewardship Award and one rural resident for the Neighbor of the Year Award.
“The Ohio Livestock Coalition puts great value in recognizing farms and individuals who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in the livestock community,” White said. “I applaud this year’s award winners for their tireless efforts and commitment to being good environmental stewards and neighbors.”
Environmental Stewardship Award Winners
The Environmental Stewardship Award recognizes the many accomplishments made by family farmers to protect Ohio’s land, air and water quality and to conserve the state’s natural resources.
- Sheep: Steffee Farms, Dresden
- Dairy: Virgil and Lois Gasser, Creston
- Beef: Brad and Mary Ann Berry, Pleasantville
- Poultry: Meiring Poultry Farm, Fort Recovery
- Pork: Krikke Pork, Greenwich
Neighbor of the Year Award Winner
The Neighbor of the Year Award recognizes a rural farmer resident who has positively developed and enhanced relationships between neighbors in Ohio’s farm communities. The recipient of this year’s award is Stan and Karen Carmony of Carmony Farms in Wooster.
Listen to interviews with the meeting and symposium speakers