Ohio farm

If you were to judge agriculture based on backroom opinion writers of a major publication and an attention-seeking documentary maker, you would be led to believe that producers of food, fiber and fuel are killing our planet and letting Lake Erie waste away.

Adam SharpInstead of putting their focus on sharing accurate information, adding perspective and building bridges between various communities in an effort to solve some of our biggest challenges, two new anti-agriculture media projects took a different approach. One video says that factory farms (which in their view is most of agriculture) and “Big Ag” are destroying the environment, and heavy regulation is the only answer to save the earth. The other piece, a “documentary,” looks to be nothing more than a revenue generating hit piece on Ohio farmers and their contributions to the 2014 Toledo water crisis.

Take a deep breath. You’ve just been accused of crimes against nature, and Farm Bureau has been accused of being a key conspirator.

Unfortunately for many outside of agriculture, these misleading and downright deceptive videos will be all they think they need to know about farming. They will take what they hear in these misleading, agenda-driven pieces as the truth. This is the type of rhetoric that agriculture continues to find itself up against and, as Farm Bureau members, we need to continue to tell our amazing story of responsible and sustainable food production and great progress for healthy water.

Truth is, the vast majority of farms across Ohio and the country are implementing climate-smart and nutrient management practices on a scale the rest of the world envies because, unlike the media and documentary filmmakers who dwell in the past, farmers learn from it. As they look toward the future, they will continue to find ways to do even more.

It is because of members like you and your work at the grassroots level that Farm Bureau has the reputation as an influential organization. We cultivate relationships with lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum. We invest in research, best practices, partnerships and work to find solutions to environmental challenges.

If these videos show us anything, it’s how far behind the times these interest groups really are in their view of modern American agriculture. Their anti-farming narrative that says agriculture groups are responsible for blocking regulations and mandates and then moments later criticizes those same groups for their work in providing environmental solutions simply doesn’t add up. We know that farmers today, our members, are innovators tackling new challenges and finding solutions on a daily basis. Modern farmers seek new ways to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. They use cutting-edge technologies often before many other industries, strive to produce more with less and improve the environment, develop new markets to deliver what consumers demand and discover new and better ways to care for our communities, workforce, farms, families and animals.

So, as we talk about the value of being a Farm Bureau member, this is what it’s all about. Our collective voices help us protect the future of agriculture and the promise to pass our farms to the next generation. Thank you for being a member; it’s an important first step. Take the next step by getting involved. It’s going to take all of us!

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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