Richland Farm Bureau Annual Update

Richland County Farm Bureau met twice this fall to prepare the organization for the upcoming year and a strong future. At the annual meeting, trustee elections were held and public policies were voted on and approved. At the board reorganization meeting, officers were elected and program planning began. Look for exciting local projects and activity to connect food and farming and strengthen our community as well as statewide initiatives to assist farmers with water quality issues and other landowner issues.

Your Farm Bureau Trustees are Tim Johnson, President; Luke Wittmer, Vice-President; Diana Kelley, Secretary; Earl Lynch, Treasurer; Keith Alt; Korre Boyer; Mike Cook; Fred Cooke; Drew Eckert; Todd Fackler; Marilyn Glenn; and Ron Ryland.

The board has set an annual budget of $44,000.00 geared to provide education about farm practices and food, to reach out to consumers and connect them to food and farming, sponsor leadership development of county youth and provide community support and growth. We do not receive any governmental funding for our projects and initiatives. Occasionally we will partner with local ag businesses for an event, but otherwise, all of the money is generated through membership dues.

A portion of your dues goes to Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) to keep people on staff that are able to help our members and farmers statewide. People like Dr. Larry Antosch who is instrumental in the water quality scenario…he is well versed in water and nutrients and makes sure farmers are well represented at the discussions regarding the issue; Leah Curtis who knows the CAUV formula inside and out. She can look at the factors and explain them clearly. OFBF is currently evaluating this program to see how improvements can be made to keep owning farmland affordable for many; and Dale Arnold, the resident energy guru. If you have questions regarding oil & gas, wind or solar energy or electricity generation, he is your answer man. There are many other people and topics that are priceless resources for members and for county programs.

Here in Richland County, Farm Bureau looks for ways to impact and improve the community. Whether sponsoring youth at the county fair or cooking at a Farmers’ Market, we are working to represent our local farmers. We strive to keep strong relationships with elected officials so that rural interests are not neglected when rules are being made. We want consumers to have reliable source of information as well as access to wholesome foods. So for <$6.00 a month, your dues helps us keep all of this going.

I subscribe to and get daily links on articles that are posted by a variety of people from chefs to meat industry experts.  A recent post from Dr. Richard Raymond, former undersecretary of agriculture for food safety really grabbed my attention. He is preparing for a business trip to Indonesia. One of the biggest issues he is facing is how to prevent contracting Typhoid Fever. 

Right now Dr. Raymond is taking daily pills, feeding himself “live Salmonella Typhii to try and prevent Typhoid Fever. After all those years fighting and talking food and water-borne illnesses, I have chosen, with the State Department and CDC’s help, to infect myself. Every drink of water or bite of fresh, uncooked food may result in a disaster. No ice cubes at night in my favorite adult beverage, no salads or raw fruit.

Dr. Raymond says’ “We take so much for granted here in the United States, and wring our hands about the most trivial of food safety issues or every outbreak no matter how large or small. We debate rBST, GMO, beta-agonists, CAFOs and antibiotics. But our food and water is, for the most part, very safe and still pretty affordable for most. We should be happier than we are. We should all go and find a farmer or rancher and give him or her a hug and say ‘Thank You’.”

I am not asking you to go about randomly hugging farmers, or feed yourself dangerous live bacteria. I am asking you to help the Richland County Farm Bureau maintain services and continue to improve your community be remaining a member by renewing your membership when it comes in the mail. Use that $6 a month for good things.  

If you’d like more information about Farm Bureau, or better still you’d like to help with some of our projects, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact one of the county trustees or call or email the county office. (800) 327-6055 or [email protected]. Follow us on Facebook or bookmark our webpage to see what we’re doing. 

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