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.
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.
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.
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.
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.