Ohio Department of Agriculture seal

Understanding the legislative process: AgriPOWER Class XI Session 4 blog

Session 4 for AgriPOWER Class XI was held in Columbus, Ohio recently. From someone who could do better about knowing how our government operates, how the legislative process works, and what the ODA is capable of, this session helped me walk away with a lot more knowledge and a better understanding of what is reality versus what the media wants us to think.

We had the opportunity to listen to Yvonne Lesicko (from Ohio Farm Bureau’s staff) describe her experiences and all the work that goes into lobbying and moving bills through the House and the Senate really opened my eyes to a whole new world. Everything that goes into getting a bill to and through the House and the Senate and how much a ‘creation of collaborative coalition’ in lobbying correlates with everyday life. The research that goes into creating and knowing your ‘collaboration coalition’ to be prepared to lobby has provided me with ideas of how to work with my rep team to better serve them. Studying to know who is going to support you, who is going to oppose you, and looking at all angles when lobbying is something important to evaluate to have a strong case and know your audience.

After learning the process a bill goes through, I realize now why it can take so long to get a bill passed. A bill is introduced into either the House or Senate and then goes to the committee. Then it must pass on both floors (the House and Senate) before it can finally go through the General Assembly. Through this process, we can get legislation such as the new House Bill 183 introduced and passed.

HB183 is a bill that will give tax credit to retiring farmers to sell and/or rent to beginning farmers. The full details are still being ironed out but as a young aspiring farmer myself, this type of legislation will be essential to helping new and beginning farmers such as myself to get a foot in the door in a competitive land market.

Our time in Columbus was also spent touring a few places that were quite fascinating! On the tour schedule was the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Supreme Court. The number of labs within the ODA and all the departments that fall under agriculture was not what I expected. From livestock to natural resources to crops and fair rides, the ODA handles it all! The next stop was the Ohio Supreme Court and hearing from Justice Judith French. The amount of artwork inside the Supreme Court was beautiful and not to mention the amount of agriculture that is represented within the artwork would give any agriculturalist a sense of pride! Our agricultural roots are certainly present inside the Supreme Court every day.

I have a much better understanding of and respect for our legislation process, how our local and state governments operate, and understanding how important our government is in helping and advocating for agriculture! 

Online extras

How many senators are in the Ohio Senate? by Kayla Miller

Inspiration to get involved, by Jared Persinger