2022 Ohio Agriculture and Rural Communities Action Plan

Through an onslaught of TV ads, town halls and stump speeches, we will be learning a lot about candidates running for office at every level of government and their positions on policies that they hope will appeal to the majority of those heading to the polls.

Adam SharpI think it is equally important that they hear from people outside the city limits. I heard from many of our members as we forged our way through the challenges of the past two years. You told me you would like those running for election to realize that rural values and farming values are being challenged, and there is an erosion of trust in institutions that we once relied on, including state government, federal government, academia, some large corporations and certainly the media.

A number of things have been driving these concerns: politics at the state or national level, political pundits, election outcomes, social unrest, finger pointing and certainly Covid-related actions. While politics have recently led our society’s conversation, and political disagreements have become culture wars, paying attention to policy and politics is nothing new for us. Our organization is quite good at it.

So as we look toward these important elections and you are hard at work in your fields, barns, tractor cabs and farm offices, know that Ohio Farm Bureau will be working directly with lawmakers, tracking their actions and the impacts that they have on our industry, both positively and negatively, and we’ll be communicating that to you.

It all will be laid out in our annual election guide later this year. You’ll see exactly what our elected officials have done, or haven’t done, for our industry, and we must hold them accountable. Use this guide to do your homework and then talk to your friends, your neighbors and with your county Farm Bureau. Be prepared to go to the ballot box to support all those who support Ohio agriculture.

Over the past two years as I visited with many of the candidates hoping for your vote, the messages that I shared with them were pretty simple: Hit the road, get out in rural Ohio, listen carefully, and understand what they’re being told by their constituents. Then act on it. I encouraged them to be positive, not divisional, and focus on the great things happening that are moving this state forward.

I also urged them to make the implementation of the new state budget real and to actually put the new dollars allocated for broadband, for water quality, for expanding meat processing in the state of Ohio and a number of other things to work. With those funds in place, our members can spearhead Ohio’s next great chapter as we continue the work of the state’s most important industry. That work that never stopped when it seemed the rest of the world did.

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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