More than 400 Farm Bureau members and state legislators met to discuss Ohio Farm Bureau priority issues such as water quality, the opiate epidemic and Current Agricultural Use Value reform during Ag Day at the Capital Feb. 22.
CAUV was a predominant topic of conversation as Farm Bureau members and staff testified on Senate Bill 36, co-sponsored by Sen. Bob Peterson, at an Ohio Senate Ways and Means Committee hearing the morning of the event.
OFBF President Frank Burkett welcomed everyone to Columbus in his opening remarks. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted delivered the keynote address to Farm Bureau members immediately after breakfast at the Sheraton Hotel. Members then broke into groups to discuss topics they would be speaking with legislators about throughout the day.
While most members walked to the Ohio Statehouse or the Riffe Center to speak in small groups with their senators and representatives, others stayed behind to participate in a panel discussion about the drug epidemic from the perspective of law enforcement.
Farm Bureau members gathered together again at the Sheraton for a working lunch with several senators and representatives, then heard an address from Tim Keen, director of the office of budget and management, about crafting the 3,500-page, two-year operating budget for the state. Agriculture funding in the budget itself is a top priority for Farm Bureau. Members returned to the Statehouse and Riffe Center for more meetings with lawmakers in the afternoon.
Other priority issues of the Ohio Farm Bureau discussed at Ag Day at the Capital included taxation and the business climate, transportation, education and economic development and energy.
Ohio Farm Bureau Director of Grassroots and Political Outreach Whittney Bowers said, “Ohio Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization, which thrives on its ability to identify and adopt policy from the county level up to the state. It’s important for FB members to regularly meet with and make sure their legislators know OFB policy is developed from the ground up, and this organization is representative of such. Ag Day at the Cap is the perfect opportunity for members to meet with their elected officials and discuss priority issues for the year.”