2024 Ag Day at the Capital

Hundreds of farmers from across Ohio traded in their boots for suits as they gathered in downtown Columbus for the Annual Ag Day at the Capital on Feb. 21. The annual event, organized by the Ohio Farm Bureau, provided a platform for members to engage directly with their state senators and representatives on crucial agricultural issues. Against the backdrop of Ohio Farm Bureau priority issues such as eminent domain reform, water quality and broadband access, attendees shared their stories and advocated for a more resilient food system.

One of the highlights of the day was the opportunity for attendees to participate in one-on-one meetings with their elected officials. Despite facing challenges such as scheduling conflicts and unexpected cancellations, farmers remained undeterred in their mission to voice their concerns. While some meetings were not with the originally scheduled officials, the importance of having a presence and sharing stories resonated throughout the day.

Discussions spanned a wide range of topics, from local issues like the shortage of large animal veterinarians to broader challenges such as mental health struggles in rural communities.

The Leadership Panel, featuring members of the 135th General Assembly, provided insights into the future of agriculture policies under consideration in Columbus. Topics such as property taxes, environmental stewardship, education, workforce development, and rural healthcare were discussed, offering attendees a comprehensive view of the legislative landscape.

Despite the challenges posed by the current political climate, the passion and dedication of Ohio’s agricultural community couldn’t be dimmed. The presence of hundreds of farmers in downtown Columbus, filled with determination to advocate for their livelihoods and communities, served as a powerful reminder of the importance of our grassroots efforts.

The impact of Ag Day at the Capital extends far beyond the meetings and panel discussions. By sharing their stories and concerns, farmers have the opportunity to influence decision-makers and shape policies that directly impact their lives. Each conversation, each shared experience, contributes to a collective effort to strengthen Ohio’s agricultural sector and support rural communities.

As the day came to a close, participants left with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to continue advocating for Ohio’s agricultural interests. While the road ahead may present challenges, the unity and resilience displayed on Ag Day at the Capital served as a testament to the unwavering dedication of Ohio’s farming community. Through collaboration, determination and a shared commitment to progress, farmers will continue to be a driving force for positive change in the state’s agricultural landscape.

Farm Bureau’s role in empowering farmers and advocating for agricultural interests cannot be overstated. As a grassroots organization, Farm Bureau provides a vital platform for farmers to come together, share their experiences and amplify their voices. Beyond Ag Day at the Capital, Farm Bureau members have access to a wealth of resources, including educational programs, policy updates and networking opportunities. Being a Farm Bureau member means being part of a collective voice that carries weight in legislative chambers and boardrooms alike.

Being a Farm Bureau member goes beyond just speaking up for what matters. It’s about joining a community that’s always there for each other. Whether it’s swapping tips on growing crops, talking about new rules, or figuring out how to tackle problems together, being part of Farm Bureau means being part of a team that’s got your back. A quick chat with a fellow member can lead to big ideas and solutions that really make a difference. It’s all about sticking together, sharing knowledge and lifting each other up.

Farm Bureau membership provides individuals with a direct stake in shaping the future of agriculture. By joining forces with like-minded individuals, members gain a stronger voice in policy discussions, ensuring that the needs and concerns of farmers are heard and addressed. In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, being a Farm Bureau member is not just beneficial — it’s essential for safeguarding the interests of Ohio’s agricultural community and securing a prosperous future for generations to come.

As farmers, we’re a small but mighty group, representing only 2% of the population. Yet, we have a huge responsibility to carry the torch for agriculture.

If we’re not willing to stand up for what we believe in and fight for the strength and resilience of our industry, then who will? It’s up to us to protect our passion, support our fellow farmers, and ensure that agriculture remains a vibrant and essential part of our communities.

Together, we are the guardians of our land, the stewards of our resources, and the heartbeat of rural America — and the only ones who are going to ensure that agriculture remains strong for generations to come.

Submitted by Mandy Orahood, the organization director at Ohio Farm Bureau Federation for Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties.


OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.

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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