Have you ever felt so strongly about an issue that you wish you could meet one of your elected officials?

Face to face. Explain why this issue is so important. Give him or her a personal connection to a particular piece of legislation. On Feb. 16, more than 350 farmers and others involved in agriculture went to Columbus to participate in Ag Day at the Capital to have those conversations.

I did not attend this annual event sponsored by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, but my husband, Gary, did. Farm Bureau’s grassroots policy development process surfaces issues that have a significant impact on production agriculture, our food system and our rural communities. Participants had the opportunity to meet with our elected officials to discuss these priority issues.

One of the top issues is strengthening the food supply chain. As we deal with the lingering effects of the pandemic, we need policies and programs to increase meat and poultry processing capacity in Ohio to make the food system more resilient for farmers and consumers.

Personal property rights protection is always a priority issue. Participants advocated for additional landowner protections, including eminent domain reform, streamlined judicial procedures and agricultural easement program enforcement.

Rural broadband is a topic that isn’t going away any time soon. Running a business, precision agriculture platforms, virtual learning opportunities, and telehealth all require reliable connectivity. Participants were able to thank legislators for supporting HB 2 and broadband funding in the state budget. The budget has been set, so it is now crucial that reliable broadband infrastructure is delivered throughout rural parts of Ohio.

Besides broadband funding there was much to thank our legislators for, including continued funding and support for the H2Ohio programs promoting water quality and support of the Meat Processing Investment Grant Program. Not only was there a 3% income tax cut statewide, our legislators supported the repayment of federal funds borrowed to replenish the state’s unemployment fund thus avoiding an increase in the federal unemployment tax paid by employers. These are all issues that Ohio Farm Bureau and members have advocated for on our behalf — yours and mine.

Ag Day at the Capital is more than advocating for farmers and their needs. 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. Without OFBF, we would be individual voices accomplishing little.

Do any of these issues concern you? Why not become a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau? Join our voices to protect Ohio’s No. 1 industry– agriculture.

Submitted by Mary Smallsreed, a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau who grew up on a family dairy farm in northeast Ohio.


OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.

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 appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
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
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
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
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
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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