Ohio Agriculture and Rural Communities Action Plan

The agriculture sector continues to face a volatile economy. Crop prices were solid in 2022, but uncertainty around the price and availability of inputs for the 2023 growing season remains. Consumers continue to pay higher prices for food while margins for agricultural producers remain tight. Meanwhile, development pressures from many different sources threaten the availability of farmland and the Buckeye State’s rich farming heritage.

The 2023 Ohio Agriculture and Rural Communities Action plan provides a blueprint for policymakers and Ohio Farm Bureau members to bolster Ohio’s agriculture industry and our rural communities. 

Strengthen the Food Supply Chain and Focus on the Economy

Farm Bureau will:

  • Promote policies and programs to increase meat and poultry processing capacity in Ohio to make the food system more resilient for farmers and consumers.
  • Secure resources to rebuild, repair, or modernize transportation infrastructure, including rural roads and bridges, ports, and inland waterway locks and dams.
  • Advocate for fiscal policies and regulatory reforms to incentivize business sustainability that recognizes the diversity and unpredictability of the agricultural industry.
  • Support the development of businesses that produce value-added products from locally grown agricultural commodities.
  • Promote enactment of legislation that helps farmers meet their labor needs.
  • Support initiatives and implementation efforts that bring proper infrastructure, affordable broadband and high-speed internet access to unserved and underserved parts of the state. 
Promote an Efficient State Budget 

Farm Bureau will: 

  • Promote the H2Ohio program that supports voluntary practices that improve Ohio’s water quality and conservation. 
  • Ensure that institutions vital to agriculture’s success, particularly those with research facilities, are fully funded. 
  • Promote workforce development initiatives, especially those with a focus on agricultural education.
  • Support the modernization of the Ohio Expo Center and the Ohio State Fairgrounds.
Enact Regulatory Reform

Farm Bureau will:

  • Continue to work for a regulatory environment that enables farmers to be productive as well as environmentally and economically sustainable.
  • Continue to be the voice for agriculture by ensuring discussions involving water quality are objective and specifically target improving Ohio’s water quality.
  • Encourage a transparent and open process when reviewing regulations on essential agricultural technologies 
  • Promote agriculturally sourced biofuels that provide savings to both the farmer and the consumer
  • Continue to engage in ballot initiatives, judicial challenges and nuisance lawsuits so farmers can freely and responsibly operate their farms for generations to come. 
Preserve Ohio’s Farming Heritage

Farm Bureau will:

  • Lead efforts for additional landowner protections, including eminent domain reform, streamlined judicial procedures and agricultural easement program enforcement.
  • Seek stronger requirements for local government use of private land for projects that impact agricultural land, such as rails to trails projects.
  • Strengthen agricultural land easement initiatives through programmatic reform and increased funding opportunities 
  • Encourage smart growth policies that simultaneously allow for economic development opportunities while preserving farmland
  • Engage in the court system to protect and promote agriculture and support sound judicial precedent.
Build Healthy Rural Communities 

Farm Bureau will:

  • Support the expansion of telehealth into rural communities to provide critical health care needs, including access to behavioral health care.
  • Increase the accessibility of health care services currently lacking in rural areas
  • Focus on grassroots initiatives that engage a wide range of stakeholders to offer prevention strategies for men, women and youth at risk in agriculture.
Engage in Grassroots Advocacy 

Farm Bureau will:

  • Encourage member participation in all levels of government
  • Utilize communication and advocacy resources to empower members when speaking with policymakers
  • Mobilize extensive grassroots networks to shape strong public policy at all levels of government
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

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.
Ernie Welch's avatar
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.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
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.
Austin Heil's avatar
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.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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