2018 marks the 99th year of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. A lot of good things have happened in nearly 100 years of Ohio Farm Bureau. For instance, the hard work and dedication that led to passing CAUV reform. With the old formula, the property taxes that we as producers and landowners were paying was a hard one to swallow. If it wasn’t for Ohio Farm Bureau lobbying, advocating and having local round table discussions with our local and state representatives, these changes would not have taken place and who knows what our property tax bills would look like today.
Here in Champaign County, Farm Bureau is very active in the community. Every spring we award four or more $800 scholarships to county students who are continuing their education in agriculture. In 2017, the county board voted to sponsor a donation to the Mechanicsburg Police Department in order for them to purchase a K9 to help fight the local drug epidemic. The K9 will also assist the other Sheriff’s Department in the county.
This past summer there was a break-in and vandalism done to a member’s farm in the county. The members had a $2500 Reward sign posted on the barn. Having this sign posted allowed for the neighbors to be rewarded for the help they provided to lead to the arrest and conviction of the person who committed the crime. So please remember to have these reward signs posted at your farms. You can get them from the county office.
I have had the pleasure to travel to Washington, D.C. with Ohio Farm Bureau on the annual President’s Trip for the past three years. Highlights from this year’s trip included, listening to Ted McKinney, Under Secretary, Trade & Foreign Agricultural affairs, USDA. Mr. McKinney has been on trade missions to countries like India. India will be importing poultry from the United States for the first time ever because they are in need of high protein diets. Their population is rising and can’t produce anything like what American farmers can. Congressman Bob Gibbs put on a Farm Forum which was a big highlight for me. Mr. Gibbs told us that they are going to bring the Farm Bill discussion to the floor after Easter break. We stressed to Congressman Jim Jordan how important regulatory reform, farm bill and trade are and how they are impacting our farms, livelihoods and communities.
As you can see your $80 membership dues do a lot more for you than just getting a discount at a hotel or business. It’s helping state and national public policy as well as helping with different issues and initiatives that are very important in our county.
Everyone has a voice and I urge you to take five minutes out of your busy schedule and call your representatives and stress to them the importance of issues that are of concern to you. We can provide you with names and numbers if needed.
As the busy spring planting season approaches, we need to all remember farm safety. This spring our county Farm Bureau is sponsoring yard signs with Sellman Insurance Group. The yard signs will be a reminder to motorists to be patient, slow down, and be aware of farm machinery on the roads. Thanks again, have a great spring and planting season!