Earlier this week, Ohio Farm Bureau hosted this year’s annual Midwest Legislative Conference in Sandusky. The event welcomes those involved in public policy from 12 state Farm Bureaus across the region.

“This conference gives us a chance to get together and compare notes to get a feel for all of the issues all of our states are facing and how we can collaborate and coordinate on policy development to address those challenges,” said Brandon Kern, senior director of state and national policy with Ohio Farm Bureau. “We had a great opportunity as hosts to show our perspective on the water quality issue, which all Midwestern states are facing in some way.”

Participants spent some of their visit on research vessels on the waters of South Bass Island and Put-In-Bay in Lake Erie, where they were able to see how water quality was measured and learn about the important work happening at Ohio State University’s Stone Lab and the vast amount of resources it takes to run that facility.

“I think a lot of our guests were really impressed with the partnerships we have built around water quality here in Ohio with university researchers and other important organizations,” Kern said. “Ohio has created a blueprint for success with the creation of the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative, bringing together groups from agriculture, conservation, environmental and academia to work towards the common goal of clean water. Those efforts are working here and can be very beneficial in other parts of the country as well and that is what this conference is all about.”

Having opportunities to attend leadership institutes, advocate for rural Ohioans on the state and national level, facilitate young ag professionals events, and serve in a variety of leadership positions have helped my skills grow exponentially.
Sara Tallmadge's avatar
Sara Tallmadge

Ashland 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.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
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.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
I was gifted the great opportunity through an Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Youth Pathways grant to run a series of summer camps here. That really expanded my vision of what ‘grow, maintain, sustain and explain’ could actually be.
Jim Bruner's avatar
Jim Bruner

Mezzacello Urban Farms

Farming for Good
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.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
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.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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