Ohio Farm Bureau has been working with partners on securing funding for a new nature center at FFA Camp Muskingum. A fire destroyed the nature center in 2011. The Muskingum Discovery Center will feature an interactive nature center, large multi-use stage and displays on historic, current and future agricultural and energy technologies. Camp organizers have already raised $1.3 million for the project, which will expand educational programming for FFA students.
Farm Bureau reached out to legislators to support the project and the recently introduced state capital appropriations bills included $250,000. The camp, located in Carroll County, is the only FFA camp in Ohio.
Ohio Farm Bureau also worked with legislators on funding the Clean Ohio Fund, the state’s main funding source for open space conservation, farmland preservation, trail creation, brownfield restoration and protection of ecologically sensitive areas. The state capital appropriations bill has $100 million allocated to Clean Ohio including $12.5 million for the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program and $75 million for the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation initiative, which aims to preserve open spaces, sensitive ecological areas and river and stream corridors.
The Clean Ohio Fund dates back to 2000 when voters approved its creation as a $400 million bond program and renewed it in 2008. Ohio Farm Bureau has been a strong proponent of the program since its inception.