Ohio Farm Bureau was successful this week in getting two amendments added to the state’s transportation budget that will help farmers and rural residents.
The first amendment would allow farm utility vehicles that display a slow moving vehicle emblem to travel on a road with a speed limit above 35 mph if going from farm to field in the course of agricultural production. Freeways would be excluded.
“Many of our members have farms that are separated by roads like these, making it illegal for them to use their utility vehicles for farm work,” said Tony Seegers, OFBF director of state policy.
The second amendment would require notification of proposals to create “limited access” highways so farmers are aware of changes and have time to plan alternate routes. The Ohio Department of Transportation would be required to publish a notice in the local newspaper once a week for two weeks, notify the state’s farm organizations electronically four weeks before the change and take comments from the public on any proposed changes.
“Our members have found that one day they are using a road to get to their fields and the next day they see a limited access sign prohibiting farm machinery. These notifications will be helpful for rural residents who are driving farm vehicles that can’t go down limited access highways,” Seegers said.
The bill now is before Gov. John Kasich, awaiting his signature.