Mike Videkovich

I’m Mike Videkovich, District 15 trustee, and Jenny Cox is your regional trustee.

As part of our overall work to advance the mission of Ohio Farm Bureau as established by our members, we build relationships and key partnerships with many individuals, groups, companies and organizations. To achieve and reinforce these efforts, every June the board travels within Ohio or out of state for a networking meeting/retreat. This time we visited Kentucky Farm Bureau and Farm Credit Mid-America in Louisville, Kentucky.

Ohio Farm Bureau has prepared this summary of key topics covered during our meeting. It is our privilege to represent you on the board. If you have any questions or comments, please send them to me or to Jenny.

Board networking
Nationwide board member Steve Hirsch joined us at the meeting. Dan Durheim with Nationwide Sponsor Relations joined us, too. Farm Credit Mid-America HQ
Members of the board visited Farm Credit Mid-America headquarters and heard from new CEO Dan Wagner and other staff leaders, including Chief Lending Officer, Agriculture Tara Durbin, who also serves as president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation board of directors.

Kentucky Farm Bureau Board members then traveled to Kentucky Farm Bureau and heard from President Mark Haney and other leaders. It was interesting to learn about their organizational structure, membership overview and key policy issues including our shared interests with the Ohio River and water quality.

President Bill Patterson took a break during the meeting and gave an interview on This Week in Agribusiness.

Strategic Plan advancement

We’re making progress on our strategic plan. Stay tuned for more information on an eight county pilot project in northwest Ohio where we are looking at new options for staffing, partnering with OFBF on services and benefits, and staff positions targeted to member engagement and value delivery to our membership.

Legislative wins

We are celebrating some big legislative wins. The Ohio General Assembly passed a Capital Budget that included two major projects that OFBF strongly supported:

A new state-of-the-art Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Farm Bureau worked with ODA to assess its needs for an upgraded laboratory and then shared those needs with lawmakers. The nearly $71.5 million allotted for this project will allow the lab to continue to protect the food system at the highest level for both the agriculture sector and Ohio consumers.

The Capital Budget includes $21.5 million for the Ohio Expo Center and Ohio State Fair for immediate and critical facility improvements, modernization and emergency renovations. Funding also supports the Ohio Expo 2050 Task Force, which was created to develop the recommended long-term vision of the Ohio State Fair. Although the long-term needs of the Ohio Expo Center will require significantly more funding in order to obtain a viable plan for the future of the facility and events like the Ohio State Fair, this is a great down payment to get the process of revitalizing the grounds started.
Eminent domain reform bill introduced to protect landowners

Ohio lags behind most states in protections for landowners. In fact, when Ohio landowners are faced with losing property rights through eminent domain, the present law makes it difficult for them to defend their own interests and they often find themselves at a disadvantage. New legislation that OFBF supports seeks to remedy this.

Issues

We have some significant policy issues to learn about and act on this summer. The Securities and Exchange Commission may have an interest in your farm. Strange as it sounds, it’s an emerging issue. We’re raising concerns and pushing back against these proposed rules that would require climate disclosures by public companies that could severely impact family farms and ranches and intensify the already concerning rate of consolidation in agriculture. Stay tuned for more action alerts to this evolving issue.

One of the more controversial issues in recent times is the rapid increase in solar installation projects happening across Ohio. Many times, Ohio Farm Bureau is asked to weigh in on the issue or take a stand for or against certain projects. Adam Sharp recently wrote a letter to a member, explaining OFBF’s work on solar issues.

DeWine requests E15 sales year-round

At the urging of Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association and the Ohio Ethanol Producers Association, Gov. Mike DeWine notified the U.S. EPA that Ohio wishes to implement E15 year-round. Currently, E15, or sometimes called Unleaded 88, cannot be sold year-round due to outdated restrictions on vapor pressure at the pump. States can notify the EPA that they wish to switch to this fuel, exempting them from the regulation.

TikTok

Check out Ohio Farm Bureau on TikTok and find out why we are already the most followed state Farm Bureau in the country. Our content is interesting, informative and insightful as we use this platform to carry on the mission of Farm Bureau in the most creative ways possible.

Select Partners

Want to do business with insurance and financial services providers who know agriculture and support Farm Bureau? Check out our new Select Partners program. With 35 agencies designated, and 41 county Farm Bureaus giving at least one endorsement, we’re proud to partner with these businesses.

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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