By Rita Myers, AgriPOWER Class VIII participant
Session 5 with a local government focus was held at Wilmington College. Our sessions are always jam-packed with a busy agenda, and somehow we always get through it all. As we all like to laugh and say, Melinda waits on no one, and she’s not your mother!
We had a wonderful CAUV, Ohio tax structure and Ohio school funding overview from Leah Curtis. We were able to have two panel discussions, and the first was with Clinton County Commissioner Tony Anderson, Clinton Township Trustee Richard King and City Council Member Mark McKay from Wilmington. The second panel was with Clinton County Auditor & Engineer Terry Hubermehl and Clinton County Auditor Jeffery Linkous. These panels discussed what their jobs entail and what issues they are faced with on a daily basis or throughout the year. Monte Anderson, professor of ag at Wilmington College, spoke about their Ag program.
Tracy Freeman from the Nature Conservancy touched on the challenges that they are faced with in their sector of Ag.
During this session we also received a presentation from the owner of Premier Solutions, a feed business. They also hold animals for quarantine before they are transported out of the country. We were unable to tour because of biosecurity as they were loading animals up to be moved.
In my opinion the tour of the Cherrybend Pheasant Farm was the most interesting. Besides the fact of it being very cold outside, it was very out of the ordinary to hear how many birds they have to raise, and how busy they are and the amount of people that they actual have hunt at their farm. They are open every day of the year besides two. We were able to see some of their birds and hunting dogs. The thing I found most fascinating is pheasants are cannibals. I did not know that!
This session was very applicable to the agricultural industry because at the local level we all are very capable of being able to be involved. Either with your local Farm Bureau or in the government sector, we all are able to help to make change or voice our opinions. I am involved with the Lucas County Farm Bureau. We are in a time where many things are changing, and not everyone is a friend of Ag. This makes our jobs more challenging but nothing that we cannot endure and overcome.