2015 Year in Review Part 4: Getting Results II

Protecting Landowner Rights

Ohio Farm Bureau opposed county charter proposals that, if enacted, could have cost farms and businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation costs associated with new regulations and could have led to new restrictions on farming practices.

Husted fair
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (left) was one of many VIPS who visited OFBF’s Land and Living Exhibit at the Ohio State Fair.

Helping Agritourism

In the state legislature, OFBF is working on a bill that protects against frivolous lawsuits by providing liability protection for agritourism activities.

Helping Organic Farmers

Farm Bureau helped organic farmers save hundreds of dollars per year by supporting the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, which will defray the costs of organic certification for organic farmers.

County water quality
As part of OFBF’s $1 million Water Quality Action Plan, county Farm Bureaus received grants to implement water resource projects. Darke County Farm Bureau used its grant to support and promote the Ohio Manure Science Review, which featured on-farm research projects (above). Ohio Farm Bureau is partnering with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to create and manage demonstration farms in northwestern Ohio.















Helping Amish Farmers

OFBF engaged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about its Food Safety Modernization Act issues relating to production by Ohio’s Amish communities. Because of this involvement, FDA clarified its guidance that Ohio’s produce auctions would not be considered food facilities or subject to food manufacturing regulations.

Helping Livestock Farmers

Farm Bureau worked to secure a seamless transfer of agricultural pollution enforcement from two agencies — Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio Department of Agriculture — to one: ODA. This move will create one point of contact for livestock farmers.

Ohio Farm Bureau State Trustee Lane Osswald and his wife Bambi (at podium) hosted members of the Ohio House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee at their farm.













Helping University Research

OFBF won support for funding increases for several programs that help provide needed research and technical assistance in the area of water quality, including a 6.45 percent increase for Ohio State University’s Agricultural Research and Development Center and 5 percent increases for Extension and the Ohio Sea Grant program. That is an increase of $2,232,582 for OARDC, $1,152,833 for Extension and $14,250 for Sea Grant.

Helping Soil and Water

Ohio Farm Bureau won support for additional funding for the Healthy Lake Erie Program, as well as for Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the Western Lake Erie Basin specifically to provide technical assistance to farmers for compliance with Senate Bill 1. Healthy Lake Erie received an additional $420,736. Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the Western Lake Erie Basin received $350,000 to provide technical assistance.

Wind farm
Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau members traveled to western Ohio to learn about water quality and wind energy issues and Hancock County members traveled to eastern Ohio to learn about oil and gas issues as part of a bus exchange program.

Protecting Career Tech Funding and Education

With career tech funding, OFBF helped win support for funding to be based on a true per pupil allocation, rather than be subject to arbitrary limits, which significantly increases the funding levels for career technical education programs, including agriculture education. Under a plan supported by Farm Bureau, more than $125 million is targeted to rural low wealth districts in addition to millions more for schools with low property values and high transportation costs.

Amanda Domsitz 

Amanda Domsitz is a communications specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau.