County Farm Bureau helps farmers gain access to right of way

Several Ross County farmers turned to their county Farm Bureau for help when they discovered “no farm equipment” signs along a right of way in Chillicothe that they’ve used for years to get across the road.

Last November, the Ohio Department of Transportation put up the signs along a 6,300-foot right of way and increased the speed limit from 60 mph to 70 mph without any notice to the public. Fourteen farmers were directly affected by the move because they couldn’t move their farm equipment.

Ross County Farm Bureau set up a meeting with ODOT officials to discuss the problem. Attending the meeting were farmers, Farm Bureau county leaders and state staff, county sheriff, city mayor, county engineer, fire department officials and state Sen. Bob Peterson, R-Sabina, and Rep. Gary Scherer, R-Circleville.

Farm Bureau presented some options, and a compromise was reached. ODOT agreed to issue a yearly permit for farmers who need to move farm equipment on the right of way. The equipment could not be moved from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the speed limit would be lowered back down to 60 mph to ensure farmers could safely cross the road.

County Farm Bureau leaders used the success of this case as part of their membership campaign.

“This is exactly what Farm Bureau is supposed to do—helping members and the community,” said Ross County Farm Bureau President Greg Garman. “Farm Bureau is supposed to be there to support an issue and get all the facts out and go to our legislators and regulators and show them what we need.”