A Word from President Bill Wilkins

Late winter and early spring is a time for advocacy, education and signing new members for your Miami County Farm Bureau president. On Feb. 7 we had a very successful Membership Kickoff meeting at Old Mason Winery near West Milton. Although heavy rains at the time caused flooding throughout the area, we had a good turnout, good food and signed several new members.

On Feb. 20, during a major snow event that closed much of west central Ohio, myself and representatives from other Ohio counties met at the Ohio state capital in Columbus for the Annual Ag Day at the Capital. While there, we met with our State Senator, Steve Hoffman and State Representative, Jena Powell, to advocate for issues important to the farm community here in Miami County that include water quality, rural internet access, young and beginning farmers, and the deteriorating infrastructure just to name a few. We also had the opportunity to be involved in a discussion with our Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine during a fireside chat with Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President, Adam Sharp.

Myself and many others attended a meet and greet event for the newly appointed Ohio Department of Agriculture Director, Dorothy Pelanda, when she traveled to Piqua Feb. 22. Alongside Dorothy were State Representatives Steve Huffman and Susan Manchester. They shared their views on issues being addressed by our state government, and attendees had the opportunity to discuss issues important to the farm community here in western Ohio.

During the week of March 11, I traveled to Washington, D.C. with a delegation of other Ohio County Farm Bureau presidents to meet with our US Senators, Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, as well as the US Representative for Miami County, Warren Davidson. We also had meetings with several other groups congressmen from other states. During this time, we advocated and hopefully educated our leaders about issues important to farmers and the farm community from western Ohio. A few of these issues included the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), successor to NAFTA and the need for better access to broadband in rural areas. We also discussed growing regulatory reform that impedes our farming activities and increases the cost of production.

Farm Bureau is a voice for farmers and the farm community at the local, state and federal levels. Since the rural voters far outnumber we in the farm community, it is imperative that we advocate and educate our leaders. We farmers have been and continue to be great stewards of the land and take good care of the livestock we raise. Unfortunately, there is much misinformation about what is going on in rural America and the truth needs to be told.

I am honored and proud to tell our story about farmers in Miami County from a real farmer’s perspective. It is one of the duties of your Miami County Farm Bureau president and benefits all farmers including members and non-members.

– Bill Wilkins, Miami County Farm Bureau President

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