Thank you, Chairman Gardner and members of the Senate Finance Education Sub-Committee for the opportunity to submit written testimony regarding items important to Farm Bureau in the state budget bill. The state budget supports agriculture in many ways. The programs you support in the budget will help us meet significant challenges our industry is now confronting head-on. At the top of the list of those challenges is ensuring we protect Ohio’s water resources. Ensuring students have access to quality agricultural education and workforce development opportunities are also extremely important to Farm Bureau members.
OSU Extension and OARDC
Farm Bureau’s highest priority is support for Ohio State University’s Extension program and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). Our members wholeheartedly support increased funding provided to these programs in the House and would encourage you to direct additional resources to them if possible. Extension plays an important role in having successful and engaging 4-H programs and offers educational opportunities on everything from crop insurance to battling invasive pests to nutrient management and water quality. The research OARDC conducts benefits all of society by helping keep Ohio waters clean, and by producing foods that are diverse, abundant, affordable and safe.