As vice president of the Clark County Farm Bureau, I was fortunate to be in Washington, D.C. with other county and state Farm Bureau leaders March 13-15. We were there to hear from and engage with our Ohio congressional members and other federal leadership on the pressing issues facing Ohio agriculture.
One highlight of the trip was having EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt speak to us. He has been responsible for removing the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulations from being the threat it was to agriculture. His ongoing philosophy is recognizing the longstanding role farmers play as stewards of the land and give that role due consideration as regulations are formulated and administered.
The importance of trade and having a strong infrastructure to support us being a dependable, competitive and sustainable trading partner was promoted throughout the trip. Our delegation took the opportunity to engage our Canadian neighbors, at their embassy, over trade and the current ongoing NAFTA negotiations. Ohio currently enjoys significant advantages in trading with Canada.
We were briefed on the status of the next farm bill and the importance of its risk avoidance provisions through Crop Insurance and ARC/PLC supports it as well conservation programs. Water quality, immigration (temp workers), livestock medicine, broadband and healthcare were also discussed throughout the trip.
Regulation reduction and tax reform accomplishments were discussed and appreciation conveyed to all those responsible.
Federal leadership we heard from and engaged with included:
Sen. Rob Portman, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs for USDA Ted McKinney, Congressman Bob Gibbs-House Ag. Comm., Infrastructure Comm.; Congressman Greg Walden-House Energy Comm.; Congressman Larry Bucshon-House Energy Comm.; Congressman Brian Babin-Infrastructure Comm.; Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Congressman Warren Davidson of my own 8th District.
All the remaining Ohio congressional delegation was visited by their respective Farm Bureau leadership.
The final highlight was Zippy Duvall, (left) president of American Farm Bureau Federation and OFBF President Frank Burkett, presenting Sen. Rob Portman with the Golden Plow Award for being chosen as the top legislator supporting the nation’s farmers.