Mike Videkovich

Hello everyone. As harvest winds down for 2021, I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving next week. For those who are still in the fields, please be safe.

I am Mike Videkovich, trustee for District 15, and Jenny Cox is your regional trustee. Ohio Farm Bureau has prepared this summary of key topics and news covered during the November board meeting. It is my pleasure to serve you on the board. If you have any questions or comments, please send them to me or to Jenny.

Board guests at this meeting included John and Sarah Bolte from the State Young Agricultural Professionals Committee, Athens-Meigs County President Tammi Goeglein and Medina County President Paul Trent.

Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation guests included Tara Durbin, Sr. Vice President, Ag Lending, Farm Credit Mid-America; and Carey Schmitt, Partner and Sr. Advisor, Plentiful Philanthropy.

Nationwide guests included board member Craig Adams. In addition, Devin Fuhrman and Dan Durheim from Nationwide Sponsor Relations and Kristin Thompson, Nationwide Financial Direct Sales, also attended and presented to the board.

2022 Budget
The November board meeting included approval of the 2022 budget that will fund the strategic plan priorities for the organization.

Federal tax policy – our message is getting through
When the Biden administration and members of Congress introduced new tax plans earlier this year, concerns arose about how some of the changes being proposed would impact family farms across Ohio and the country. In particular, Ohio Farm Bureau took issue with the possibility of eliminating stepped-up basis, which has created a significant tax break for those inheriting an asset such as farmland.

As talks of these modified tax ideas began to ramp up, Farm Bureau issued an Action Alert to its members, asking them to reach out directly to their representatives and share how the changes in stepped-up basis would impact their farm and families.

During the Ohio Farm Bureau Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience this fall, taxes were one of the many issues heavily talked about, and lawmakers heard these points of concern in-person.

“I think that the message we had been sharing with lawmakers was heard loud and clear,” said Brandon Kern, senior director of state and national policy with Ohio Farm Bureau. “Because of our members’ efforts, we have been able to keep these detrimental tax changes out of legislation in Congress.”

This just in: Farm Bureau opposition to the Build Back Better plan
The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday stating its opposition to the Build Back Better Act, also known as the reconciliation package.

Here is Ohio Farm Bureau President Bill Patterson’s comments: “Our members, like all Americans, are seeing their cost of living continue to rise at a staggering rate. Increasing prices and decreasing availability for many of the things we rely on for our families and our farms are at alarming levels and, as an organization, we struggle to see how the colossal Build Back Better spending bill addresses these issues. We are deeply concerned with the extreme ideas in this plan that would make changes in the tax code and impact production practices on farms directly, both of which conflict with Ohio Farm Bureau’s policies set by members at the grassroots level.”

Although the bill leaves stepped-up basis alone, there are still concerns about other tax provisions in the plan. Farm Bureau members should continue to contact members of Congress to oppose adding any detrimental tax increases for family farms in this or any other legislation.

New website, customer relationship management system
Board members reviewed the new OhioFarmBureau.org website, which includes significant enhancements, intuitive design for easy navigation and an upgraded engagement experience for members and those interested in Ohio agriculture. The website is tied to a new customer relationship system that will allow us to provide better member services and experiences based on members’ individual interests. Members should visit and log on to verify their membership account information and update their password.

Eminent domain
Since our early days, Ohio Farm Bureau has worked to protect landowners from punitive eminent domain laws. From court battles here in Ohio, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, we’ve represented member interests. Yet there are still many needed changes our lawmakers need to enact. We are looking for members to join the fight to protect family farms.

Farm Bureau staff will be working with the General Assembly to craft new legislative protections for landowners. Tell your legislator more work needs to be done to reform eminent domain and look for Farm Bureau action alerts and other engagement opportunities to help in the effort to protect landowner rights.

IRS bank account tracking
Farm Bureau has joined over 100 other organizations in a letter to leaders of Congress to share our concerns about the Biden administration’s proposed sweeping new information reporting requirement on annual gross inflows and outflows of financial accounts. If enacted, this proposal would require financial institutions to report to the IRS account information on nearly every American who has a bank account.

Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting
Farm Bureau members, official delegates and guests will meet Dec. 9-10 for Ohio Farm Bureau’s 103rd Annual Meeting at the Hilton Downtown Columbus and Columbus Convention Center. The annual meeting delegate session includes a review of the organization’s Code of Regulations. We are in regular communication with this year’s delegates to make sure they have all the information they need on proposed code changes.

Policy development
The second meeting of the State Policy Development Committee took place Nov. 4 and 5. The committee reviewed the policy proposals submitted by county Farm Bureaus and prepared the document to be presented to the voting delegates at the annual meeting. County Farm Bureaus submitted 218 (45 policy reaffirmations, 37 policy edits and 136 new) state and 118 (24 policy reaffirmations, 15 policy edits and 79 new) national policy proposals.

American Farm Bureau annual convention
Registration for the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention Jan. 7-12, 2022 in Atlanta is due Nov. 24, 2021. Follow these step-by-step instructions to be put in the Ohio room block at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Visit the AFBF Convention website for more information, or contact Amanda Bush.

County Activities of Excellence winners
Knox, Jackson-Vinton, Wayne and Wood County Farm Bureaus are winners in American Farm Bureau Federation’s County Activities of Excellence awards and will showcase their programs at AFBF’s Annual Convention in Atlanta. Because the 2021 in-person convention was canceled, the winning counties from last year also will be at the showcase: Delaware, Henry, Pickaway, Scioto and Tuscarawas. Congratulations!

Give to the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation today
The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation is focused on educating and attracting the next generation of farmers and skilled workforce. The foundation’s year-end campaign is in full force with letters, social media and participation in GivingTuesday Nov. 30. Please consider making a contribution today.

Retirement solutions survey
In an effort to continue identifying solutions for members, Ohio Farm Bureau has partnered with a research firm to conduct a study regarding retirement, financial, and estate planning. We need your help with this short survey on these topics. All participants will be entered for the chance to win a $500 VISA gift card. Everything shared will be confidential and reported anonymously.

Don’t forget to update your member account, listen to one of our podcasts, donate to the foundation and visit the new Blanchard River Demonstration Farms website.

I'm eternally grateful for the support Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships provided in helping me turn my dreams into reality.
Bethany Starlin's avatar
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.
Matt Aultman's avatar
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.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
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.
Mandy Way's avatar
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.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
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.
Austin Heil's avatar
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.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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