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Ag Day at the Capital is a one-day event where Farm Bureau members from every county in the state congregate in Columbus to visit with lawmakers on issues impacting agriculture and their communities.
This event sets the tone for Farm Bureau policy work. It’s one of my favorite events and one of those events where I get to watch farmers come alive sharing their stories. On Feb. 16, 350 farmers traded in their barn boots for suits, and they walked the streets of downtown Columbus with one intention — AGvocating and telling their story.
It’s so exciting to see people who care so much about something that they commit an entire day to make a difference. Farmers are the busiest people I know. There is no day off and there is always work to be done, but they still find a way to be present and use their voice to share and to educate.Our elected officials make decisions that impact each and every one of our lives every day. You and I both know, they don’t know all there is to know about everything. Nobody does. Imagine a world where elected officials only made decisions based on what they knew, and they never talked to a single expert to learn anything about the topic. Pretty scary, right?
Ohio Farm Bureau staff are experts not only on agriculture, but also on many issues that impact our communities like property rights, broadband access and water quality. While our staff members are definitely an asset, the real MVPs are our members who face these issues every day.
In these meetings, members met one on one with their state senators and representatives to discuss Ohio Farm Bureau priority issues such as strengthening the food supply chain, protecting landowner rights, supporting the next generation of farmers and connecting rural Ohio. Locally, members shared their personal stories on woodland issues, struggles of being a young and beginning farmer, water quality concerns, the rising cost of inputs, the importance of agricultural education, and meat-processing concerns to name a few.
Attendees were joined by members of the Ohio Supreme Court throughout the day, including a keynote address from Justice Sharon Kennedy and a panel discussion with Justices Pat DeWine and Patrick Fischer about the functions of the court and its role in Ohio agriculture. In addition to the justices, attendees also heard from Ohio Farm Bureau President Bill Patterson and the organization’s Executive Vice President Adam Sharp before meeting with legislators at the Statehouse.
Two million farms dot America’s rural landscape. About 98% of those farms are operated by families. Even more alarming, those farm and ranch families only account for 2% of the entire population in the United States. Two. Percent. In a time when the other 98% are on average at least three generations removed from the farm and as consumers, they drive the markets and make decisions on how we farm, it is more important than ever that we as an industry stand together and tell our stories.
Farm Bureau gives farmers, landowners and our community a unified platform to make our voices heard. Our members and grassroots process are the reason policymakers turn to Farm Bureau for guidance and action plans.
Submitted by Mandy Orahood, OFBF organization director serving Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull County Farm Bureaus.
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.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.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.Hansen's Greenhouse
As a member of Farm Bureau, I am glad that this organization takes action when necessary to protect and advance agriculture.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.
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