Ohio Rep. Don Jones

This week, the Ohio House decisively passed two bills that are beneficial to rural communities and Farm Bureau members.

Career Tech 

HB 432 sponsored by Rep. Don Jones, will make it easier for those working in the agriculture industry or other tech industries to obtain a career tech license that will allow them to teach these subjects. 

“House Bill 432 will create a larger pool of CTE instructors and better equip career tech planning districts to meet the growing number of students in CTE programs,” said Jones. “The legislation does not lower that standard of CTE instructors but instead creates alternative pathways for qualified instructors to obtain licensure.”

Specifically, the bill will make it easier for those in industry to become licensed career tech educators. It would do this by:

  • Permitting an applicant to apply for an initial career-technical workforce development educator license instead of only permitting an employing school district to apply on behalf of the applicant.  
  • Permitting an applicant that has received an offer of employment to enroll in one of two alternative educator preparation programs in lieu of a career-technical workforce development educator preparation program offered by a higher education institution. 

“We were joined by the Ohio Association of Agricultural Educators (OAAE) and the Ohio Association of Career Tech Educators (OACTE) in supporting this bill,” said Evan Callicoat, OFBF director of state policy. “We all believe that this bill is one way we can help the shortage of career tech educators in our state.”

The bill now heads to the Senate, and we hope to have passage by the end of the year, he added.

Feral Swine

In addition, legislation that prohibits the import of feral swine into Ohio, stops the hunting of feral swine, and puts an end to the risky practice of garbage feeding of swine also passed the House, by a unanimous vote.

“This feral swine issue was discussed at the annual meeting, and delegates adjusted our policy to better align it to eradicate them, or try to eradicate them in Ohio,” said Whittney Bowers, OFBF director of state policy and grassroots engagement. “‘We don’t want to recreationally hunt them in Ohio, but we want to be able to eradicate any threat,’ is what we heard from members. They want to protect their property.”

HB 503 gives property owners some options to help stop the spread of feral swine. Landowners may kill a feral hog without a license, but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources must be notified within 24 hours.

Bowers said the bill also makes it very clear that wild hogs are not allowed on hunting preserves, and they cannot be bred, released, or bred to commercial swine.

The legislation also addresses garbage feeding hogs, which can attract and sustain a feral hog population. The bill eliminates an existing license to feed swine garbage or treated garbage and prohibits bringing swine into the state who have been garbage fed. If the Department of Agriculture receives a tip that swine is being fed garbage, they have a right to investigate it.

Ohio Farm Bureau worked with bill sponsors Rep. Don Jones, who is chairman of the ag committee and Rep. Bob Peterson, who carried it in the House, as well Cheryl Day at Ohio Pork Council, who also gave in-person testimony on the bill.

Bowers emphasized the significance of Farm Bureau’s policy development process and the integral role it plays in helping have conversations at the Statehouse. House Bill 503 will now head to the Senate for review and discussion, and Ohio Farm Bureau will continue to offer support and feedback. 

 

Photo credit: Ohio Pork Council

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
The plan we are on is great. It’s comparable to my previous job's plan, and we are a sole proprietor.
Kevin Holy's avatar
Kevin Holy

Geauga County Farm Bureau

Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan
We work terrifically with the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau, hosting at least one to two outreach town hall events every year to educate new farmers and existing farmers on traditional CAUV and woodlands.
David Thomas's avatar
David Thomas

Ashtabula County Auditor

CAUV: Past, present and future
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

Advocacy
Suggested Tags: