Ohio Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization, is the textbook definition of a grassroots advocacy group, and it all starts at the county level. Policies and issues on the behalf of the agriculture community are developed and voted on by local members. The process for putting future policies together takes place in June during the Union County Farm Bureau Policy Development Breakfast. Each year, the local policy development committee collects or organizes policy recommendations from Farm Bureau members, local elected officials, state representatives and senators.

Currently, there is litigation between a Union County Farm Bureau family, the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Columbia Gas to take prime preserved farmland and place a natural gas pipeline. Understandably, county Farm Bureau members are concerned about the situation and have questions about what is occurring.

Looking at the The Arno Renner Farm case and the family’s fight to prevent the extension of Columbia Gas pipelines across their prime preserved farmland in Union County, Farm Bureau recognizes the weight and importance of this issue.

“While we must respect the court process, we support the Bailey family as they seek to protect their land and will continue our involvement and support as this case continues.” said Melinda Lee, organization director for Union County Farm Bureau.

In addition, Farm Bureau is currently working with the Legislature to address eminent domain reform as a priority issue. The Renner case is an unfortunate example of the type of eminent domain issues that Farm Bureau members face across the state every day, and Farm Bureau is urging the Legislature to make this a more transparent and fair process for all Ohio landowners. It is obvious that landowners are often outmatched when the government or a utility company, as is the case here, wants to take their property. The law should protect private property owners and ensure that any taking is truly necessary and for the public good.

Farm Bureau already has policy that reflects and supports the state’s farmland preservation program to keep land in productive agriculture use. Additionally, Farm Bureau has policy on eminent domain, which states the support of conservation easements superseding eminent domain. After seeing this situation first hand, Union County Farm Bureau will be considering specific policy about the farmland easement purchases and donation program, Lee said.

The mission of Ohio Farm Bureau is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.

 

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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