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.

Through its policies it brings together people in the agricultural community and invests in building vibrant communities that support agriculture.
Eric Bernstein 's avatar
Eric Bernstein

Wyandot County Farm Bureau

Future employees, leaders
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, D.C.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
If you have issues with local planning or have legal questions, someone at the Farm Bureau has the answer for you, or they’ll connect you with someone who does.
Gayle Hansen's avatar
Gayle Hansen

Cuyahoga County Farm Bureau

Hansen's Greenhouse
As a member of Farm Bureau, I am glad that this organization takes action when necessary to protect and advance agriculture.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Policy Development
Farm Bureau is an incredible organization that has given me countless professional development opportunities in addition to advocating for all sizes and types of farmers.
Shana Angel's avatar
Shana Angel

Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau

We go to a lot of Farm Bureau events, and there’s a lot of camaraderie built because you’re meeting with people who have similar interests and goals.
Andy Hollenback's avatar
Andy Hollenback

Licking County Farm Bureau

Event Calendar
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