Ohio Farm Bureau Community Council

Spring 2016 Community Council Discussion Packet

Spring is here. It’s that time of year when everyone around the farm is getting equipment ready to run, field work will soon be at fever pitch and the only seat many folks want to occupy is a tractor seat. When planting is done, or the weather doesn’t fully cooperate, take some time to call your friends together for some lively discussion at a Farm Bureau Community Council meeting.

The Discussion Packet – A Quick Look

Download the complete May-August 2016 packet.

The council packet has four new discussion guides that should give councils a few options for meetings scheduled into early summer. Topics for discussion:

  1. Agriculture, Science and Technology: During the 20th century, American agriculture applied available science and technology to create a leadership position in food and fiber production. Investments in several technologies – mechanical (tractors, equipment and farm automation), chemical (fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and seed treatments) and biological (hybrids, genetics and animal husbandry vaccines) – helped our nation become the breadbasket of the world. Today, we have additional production activities relating to energy (ethanol, biodiesel, biofuel, wind and solar) and bio-based materials (plastics, polymers, pigments and pharmaceuticals) for industry and consumer use. Should the definition of “agriculture” change? How could a new definition of the industry reflect our leadership in food and fiber production, as well as reflect newer activities in diverse areas?

Additional information/materials on this subject:

Fertilizer Use Study – Ohio State University Extension is looking for help from farmers and crop consultants on updating the state’s fertilizer recommendations. Through the On-farm Fertilizer Trials project, Extension plans to determine the optimal rates of fertilization on the state’s major crops by gathering data from hundreds of farms statewide over the next two to three years.

Why Should We Care About Science – Listen to a recent Town Hall Ohio broadcastas program host, Joe Cornely explores the issues.

BioGas Projects Across Ohio – Learn more about biogas technology expansion across Ohio through an article published in the Buckeye Farm News.

2. Land Use Planning: Land-use planning, regional planning and/or urban planning are general terms used to describe how various communities seek to order or regulate land use in a way to prevent land-use conflicts. It’s an activity where stakeholders look at long term needs while safeguarding resources. Land and water potential, social and economic conditions are identified to help select and adopt what are seen as the best land-use options. Where do rural communities and agriculture fit in the scheme of things?

Additional information/materials on this subject:

Ohio’s Country Journal Website: Land Values Analysis – New analysis finds that, despite significant value declines in Midwestern corn and soybean states, farmland values saw little to no change in the four state area of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. In fact, Ohio saw an increase of 0.2% in land values, year over year.

Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission Website: The Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission  is one of several commissions in Ohio working in a dedicated service area focusing on community planning issues. MORPC is a voluntary association of Central Ohio governments and regional organizations that envisions and embraces innovative directions in transportation, energy, housing, land use, the environment and economic prosperity. Its makeup involved the 15 county central Ohio region.

OFBF Website: Land Use Planning Program Held – Farmers, landowners, planners, local officials, land trust leadership, economic development professionals and others interested in preserving farmland in Ohio got tips from the experts on the subject during a farmland summit. They explored techniques, tools and methods, including different ideas on enterprises and marketing strategies that can be used to help people generate income as a way to preserve farmland.

3. Role of the Farm Service Agency: The Farm Service Agency (FSA) was set up by the USDA in the 1990s to incorporate programs associated with the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS), the Risk Management Agency (crop insurance) and the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA). Many programs and services can trace their beginnings in the 1930s, and are still governed by local committees. How often do you use FSA programs and resources? How should these programs be enhanced to ensure service to farming communities?

Additional information/materials on this subject:

USDA-FSA Ohio Program Website

OFBF Website – Conservation Expert Hired to Manage Program: Protecting Ohio’s water resources through innovative agricultural practices is the goal of a new partnership between the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The two organizations will create and manage demonstration farms in the Blanchard River Watershed. M

OFBF Website – OSUE and FSA Collaboration – Ohio State University Extension and the Farm Service Agency offered meetings to discuss the crop side of the 2014 Farm Bill. The 2014 Farm Bill has instituted major changes to the federal farm programs which required landowners and farmers to make a couple major decisions during the winter of 2015.

4. Transportation Policy: A considerable amount of effort went into creating our nation’s transportation system. Road, rail, waterway and air service infrastructure have all seen periods of technological and economic advantage, dominance, upturns and downturns in use. Even with all the development and turmoil, it is easier to get people, goods and services from one point to another in 2016 than it was in 1900. Government, business, and consumer groups agree that all facets of the nation’s transportation infrastructure are due for a major refit. What sharing the road issues need to be explored and addressed to ensure that farm, business and residential consumers can go around the corner, or around the world, if needed?

Additional information/materials on this subject:

Ohio Conference on Freight Website: The Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments sponsors the annual Ohio Conference on Freight. The program brings industry leaders and community stakeholders together to discuss a variety of transportation related issues. OFBF has been involved with these programs for several years.

Ohio’s County Journal Website: Transportation – Agriculture in the United States has long benefitted from having the best transportation infrastructure in the world. There are a number of key transportation projects going on right now that can help build upon and secure this advantage in the future.

OFBF Website – CDL Permit Issues: The U.S. Department of Transportation listened to the concerns of farmers and said it will not issue new regulations related to agricultural transportation and commercial driver’s license (CDL) provisions, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. OFBF was among those that submitted comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration after it issued a new guidance document that farmers feared would require them to obtain a CDL.

Remember, you are not limited to these materials – Feel free to discuss additional topics and issues generated from the local newspaper, other publications and/or key events happening in your neighborhood.

Additional information on possible discussion topics and resources can be found on the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation website.

Keep in Touch with Farm Bureau

Need some additional help? Contact your county Farm Bureau office for assistance. Please let Amy Hurst know if you need more forms or have questions via e-mail or by phone at 614.246.8262.

Remember to send your council meeting forms and correspondence directly to your county Farm Bureau.

Many of Farm Bureau’s action plans started with conversation around a kitchen table, living room or front porch; lively discussion continues to develop using web applications, too. Your participation as a community council member makes sure that our organization continues to focus on critical issues, create better policy and helps people work together to get things done.

Download the summer and fall 2015 packets.