American Farm Bureau Annual Convention 2018 Delegates

Ohio delegates impact national policy at AFBF Convention

At the 2018 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in January, delegates approved measures to help assure a prosperous agricultural and rural economy in the coming year and beyond.

Resolutions approved by farmer and rancher delegates from across the nation ran the gamut of issues, from trade to regulatory reform, crop insurance, biotechnology and more.

Ohio Farm Bureau delegates included state board members: OFBF President Frank Burkett, III, First Vice President Bill Patterson, Treasurer Cy Prettyman, Wyatt Bates, Patty DeBruin, Jerry Lahmers, John Mossbarger, Wade Smith and Mike Videkovich with alternates Karin Bright, Paul Davidson and Mike Poling.

Ohio was successful in amending or including federal policies relating to the opioid epidemic, drones, risk management programs, conservation and animal health.

Among other things, delegates approved measures supporting:
• An improved Agriculture Risk Coverage program to decrease risk-management disparities across counties.
• Strengthened and more flexible risk management and safety-net programs for dairy farmers.
• Permission for workers to seek employment from more than one farmer under the H-2A program.
• Trade and trade agreements that strengthen market opportunities for U.S. agriculture.
• Elimination of sunset provisions in trade agreements, to give certainty to businesses into the future.
• Modification of NAFTA to improve market access to difficult Canadian dairy markets, in addition to improved food-safety standards for imported products.
• An end to use of non-GMO labels on products that do not have GMO alternatives.
• A $1 per member increase in dues paid by state Farm Bureaus to the American Farm Bureau Federation effective in 2019.
• Support for the use of gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR, along with a voluntary and uniform labeling program for such products.

Ohio Farm Bureau will use these policies to help advocate on behalf of our members across the state.

“I love to be able to talk with our congressional leaders to share how the policies we support and advocate for come directly from our membership having moved up from our county Farm Bureaus, through the state all the way to American Farm Bureau,” said OFBF Senior Director, State and National Policy Jack Irvin. “Our policy process gives our political leaders a great appreciation for our strong grassroots network that is the envy of so many other organizations across the country.”

Photo by American Farm Bureau Federation

Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.