“Friend of Agriculture” is an official designation that identifies elected officials who have supported the public policy goals of Farm Bureau.
“Throughout his first three and a half years in office, Governor Kasich has clearly demonstrated his appreciation of the importance of agriculture to Ohio’s economy and quality of life,” said John C. (Jack) Fisher, Ohio Farm Bureau’s executive vice president and treasurer of AGGPAC. “He has steadfastly supported policies that are good for Ohio’s largest industry.”
In deciding to designate Kasich a Friend of Agriculture, the farmer-leaders of the committee cited several specific actions by Kasich that are extremely helpful to Ohio’s farm community.
Kasich was instrumental in helping Farm Bureau attain its long-term goal of repealing Ohio’s estate tax. Prior to its repeal, the “death tax” often forced families to sell land or equipment to meet the tax burden upon the death of their parents, a situation that hindered the ability to keep farms viable for future generations. Kasich, with the cooperation of the General Assembly, recognized the punitive nature of this tax and took the steps necessary to end it.
Other farm friendly tax reforms initiated by Governor Kasich include a reduction in income tax rates and the introduction of the small business income tax deduction.
“These tax changes will help keep farms and agriculturally related business on solid financial footing, allowing them to expand, add jobs and put more money back into their communities,” Fisher said.
AGGPAC leaders noted the importance of the governor’s support for the Current Agricultural Use Valuation program, which taxes farm property at its value as farmground rather than for its development value, a system that is crucial to keeping farming viable in Ohio.
The governor’s attention to the food manufacturing and processing industry was also recognized by AGGPAC, including his support of a new Daisy Brand dairy plant in Wooster and a new White Castle facility in Vandalia, evidence of Kasich’s commitment to Ohio’s food economy.
Most recently, Kasich cooperated with farmers and environmental organizations to pass legislation to reduce nutrient runoff from farm fields. The governor also took a comprehensive approach to helping the city of Toledo with its water challenges by funding farm conservation efforts, city water infrastructure improvements and research.
AGGPAC also acknowledged Kasich’s personal attention to Farm Bureau members.
“The governor has come to Farm Bureau’s board meetings. He’s been to two of our state annual conventions, even taking questions from delegates during our business session. He recently hosted a large group of farm leaders and has gone to our members’ farms to hear about our concerns and issues. He’s made himself accessible to our members, and they appreciate it,” Fisher said.
The Agriculture for Good Government Political Action Committee (AGGPAC) is Ohio Farm Bureau’s political action committee that routinely monitors the voting records and political campaigns of Ohio’s elected officials at the state and national levels. Funding for AGGPAC comes from voluntary contributions by Farm Bureau members and is governed by a committee of bi-partisan Farm Bureau leaders.