dairy cows

Between milk pricing and marketing and maintaining a secure safety net, the dairy industry always has its fair share of challenges. As those challenges evolve, so must strong policy to keep dairy farmers in Ohio and across the country viable. To help keep up with industry trends and stay ahead of the needs of milk producers, Ohio Farm Bureau created the Ohio Dairy Action Group, consisting of over 50 dairy farmers of all sizes, types and geographical locations.

“The need for a group like this was led by the very complicated system that dairy farmers deal with,” said Brandon Kern, senior director of state and national policy with Ohio Farm Bureau. “The first phase of creating this group was an educational piece because we wanted to make sure that dairy producers in Ohio were kept up to date with all of the issues that impact their industry.”

Group members have heard from economists and other dairy industry experts to analyze current market conditions, explain the milk price formula and get into the details of how dairy products get priced in the marketplace.

The second aspect of the group is taking the marketing insights and using Farm Bureau policy to advocate for the needs of dairy farmers to representatives in Congress.

Since its creation in 2019, the Ohio Dairy Action Group has made tremendous progress in getting organized and prepared to discuss the needs of milk producers, particularly as talks begin to ramp up inside the beltway and plans for writing the next farm bill begin, according to Kern.

“There was a lot of volatility in the dairy sector during the pandemic,” Kern said. “We have spent a great deal of time doing policy development and finding recommendations for improving the pricing mechanism around dairy, so part of this working group’s goal is to share those ideas with lawmakers to find a workable solution for Ohio dairy farmers moving forward.”

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.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
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.
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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.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
The plan we are on is great. It’s comparable to my previous job's plan, and we are a sole proprietor.
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Kevin Holy

Geauga County Farm Bureau

Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan
We work terrifically with the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau, hosting at least one to two outreach town hall events every year to educate new farmers and existing farmers on traditional CAUV and woodlands.
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David Thomas

Ashtabula County Auditor

CAUV: Past, present and future
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
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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.
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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.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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