AgriPOWER Class VII session 5: CAUV, tax law

by Jeff Adams

Who knew tax law could capture your attention and keep you wanting more?! We started the morning of our fifth AgriPOWER session with an in-depth look at the taxes we pay as farmers. Leah Curtis, director of agricultural law at Ohio Farm Bureau, gave a great synopsis on how our tax figures are generated and her work on Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV).

In the ag law world, Leah proves to be a “rock star” in her handling of the rules and regulations placed upon Ohio farmers. She was able to explain the ins and outs of CAUV, the Ohio tax structure and school funding.

As a farmer, I am pleased to learn the work Ohio Farm Bureau is doing to help fix the issues with the current CAUV formula. Year in and year out, property taxes remain one of the larger expenditures that a farmer incurs. Aid in making sure we pay our fair share, and not more than our fair share, can mean the difference in a “good” year and a “bad” year.Taxes paid by ag

Currently, Farm Bureau is on its second round of CAUV suggestions to the Ohio Department of Taxation. Ohio farmers are said to be saving $10 per acre due to the work of Leah and her Ohio Farm Bureau ag law colleagues.


Wow is all I can say on school funding! Between the complexities of school funding and its constitutionality, it is no wonder that school districts get frustrated. As a father of two, soon to be three, I have a new, focused interest in the education of our youth. We must do all that we can to ensure an education that provides every child a chance to prosper. The current school funding formulas do not do that. However, after my time with AgriPOWER learning about our government and its funding, I am not sure a perfect formula is possible in any area. I now realize why school funding policy is more of a patchwork of rules that each governor sets … trying to improve upon his predecessor’s set of formula calculations.

I have a new respect for budgeting versus fairness! The allotment of funds provided by taxes on a local, state and national platform proves to be a tiresome process. A process that will not, and doubtfully ever will, satisfy the wants and needs of all the masses. Personally, I am glad we farmers have minds like Leah’s on our side to help fight for our livelihoods and the future of our farm-loving children.
Apply for AgriPOWER Class VIII by April 15.

Read more from other AgriPOWER Class VII participant

Session 1 blogs

Vicky Shaw discussed her experience in the program’s first session learning about her strength and picking up public speaking tips.

Angela Shoemaker discussed her experience in the program’s first session and learning to step out of her comfort zone.

Session 2 blogs

Chris Kick blogged about interacting with the media and being an effective spokesperson.

Sara Campbell wrote about using storytelling in conversations with consumers and visiting Turner Farms.

Session 3 blogs

Josh Henderson blogged about truly having a voice in Washington.

Libby Bender shared her experience meeting with the authors of the EPA’s WOTUS rule and meeting with her congressman.

Heidi White wrote about learning more about trade at the New Zealand Embassy.

Session 4 blogs

Lara Staples wrote about learning what state government and the people who run it are really like.

Stephanie Leis blogged about the speakers from session 4 and their connection to agriculture.

Jenny Meyer discussed inspiration to share her story more.

Session 5 blogs

Jeff Adams blogged about learning more about tax law and CAUV.

Shelly Detwiler wrote about local government, school funding and oil and gas production.

Session 6 blogs

Matt Schlegel wrote about some of the  peanut and cotton harvesting equipment the class saw on their trip to South Carolina.

Steven Ruggles shared what he learned about vegetable farming in South Carolina and the similarities and difference between vegetable farming and grain farming.

Jami Willard of Columbus wrote about the whirlwind tour of South Carolina’s agriculture that Class VII experienced.

Session 7 blogs

Elaine Beekman of Wellington blogged about this final session not being the end of the learning from AgriPOWER.

Kayla Jones of Newark wrote about volunteering at Highland Youth Garden during the final session.

Mandy Way of Chillicothe blogged about her experience in AgriPOWER reviving her passion for agriculture.


Meet other Class VII graduates.


AgriPOWER is an elite training program designed to help participants become community leaders and advocates for agriculture.