Andrew Wheeler, Aaron Heilers

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler recently visited the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms in northwest Ohio. Administrator Wheeler learned about all of the testing being done to improve water quality for the Western Lake Erie Basin and all of Ohio.

“It’s impressive to see how farmers are taking a proactive approach to try to reduce nutrient runoff,” Wheeler said. “Our agency is working cooperatively with farmers instead of hitting them with a hammer, and I think that farmers have proven that they know their land and they know what it takes to reduce phosphorus loading. These demonstration farms have shown me how they can save money on nutrients with new technologies while, at the same time, producing greater yields.”

The first stop for Wheeler was Kurt Farms in Dunkirk, Ohio. There, he learned about how edge-of-field testing units sample the water coming from farm fields to determine the volume of nutrients coming off of the farm and how different nutrient management practices impact the data.

Then, Wheeler traveled to Forest, Ohio to find out how larger-scale farmers Bill and Shane Kellogg are investing in new technologies and implements that allow them to only apply the nutrients needed with variable-rate equipment after reviewing analysis from soil samples taken from the farm.

“The Blanchard River Demonstration Farms are a great example of just how committed Ohio agriculture is to finding the best management practices for clean water,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “The EPA is an important partner for continual water quality research, so we appreciate Administrator Wheeler coming to learn about the many different nutrient management approaches our demonstration farmers are taking and to discuss how efforts should move forward to protect natural resources across the state.”

The Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network is a joint partnership between U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Services and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. The project is part of a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative designed to showcase and demonstrate leading edge conservation practices to improve Great Lakes water quality. Learn more at blancharddemofarms.org.

This is a news release for use by journalists. Questions should be directed to Ty Higgins, 614-246-8231 or [email protected].

I'm eternally grateful for the support Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships provided in helping me turn my dreams into reality.
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Bethany Starlin

Hocking County Farm Bureau

Available scholarships
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
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Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
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Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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