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Livestock care board to start work
UPDATE: Dominic Marchese, a Trumbull County farmer and representative from the Ohio Wildlife Council became the 13th member named to the Board. He was selected by Speaker of the House Armond Budish.
Buckeye Farm News
The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is expected to begin meeting in the coming weeks as almost all members have been appointed.
Voters approved the formation of the board by a nearly 2 to 1 margin last November. At the end of March, the House and Senate unanimously passed HB 414, the legislation that defines how the board will operate. Gov. Ted Strickland signed the bill, and it became effective immediately.
“The unanimous bipartisan approval continues to show the wide support for an Ohio-based panel of experts to determine care standards for Ohio livestock,” said Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) Executive Vice President Jack Fisher. “This is another important step forward in solidifying Ohio as a national leader in livestock care and in strengthening connections between farmers and consumers.”
At press time, Gov. Strickland and Senate President Bill Harris had announced their respective appointments to the board. An additional family farmer is to be named by House Speaker Armond Budish. As expected, the bill to implement the board went through some changes before the final version reached the governor’s desk.
Here are the details:
- Board members will serve three years and will not receive compensation but will be eligible for reimbursement of actual costs incurred such as mileage.
- The board must meet at least three times per year.
- The inspection process will be complaint-driven.
- The bill establishes clear right of entry provisions that meet both due process and biosecurity standards.
- Any standards adopted must be done with full transparency in accordance with Ohio’s open meetings and public records laws, which include public hearings and comment periods.
- If state-adopted standards conflict with any standards adopted by the national organic certification process, organic farmers will comply with the organic standards.
- The role of county humane agents will remain unchanged.
- Funding will initially come from existing sources at the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA)
Many worked diligently to develop legislation that carries out the will of Ohio voters in a fair, open and fiscally responsible manner. In particular, OFBF thanks Reps. Allan Sayre, D-Dover, Linda Bolon, D-Columbiana, and Jim Zehringer, R-Fort Recovery, as well as Sen. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, ODA Director Robert Boggs and their staffs for their work on the bill. Boggs, who serves as the chair of the Board, said he is confident it will accomplish many great things. “I am most hopeful that it will serve to strengthen the connection between Ohio’s 75,000 farms and its 11.5 million consumers,” he said.
“We look forward to being a resource for the Board if called upon,” said Fisher, “and we encourage everyone to engage in the public process as the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board considers not only what is best for animals, but also what is best for Ohioans.”
For a complete analysis, updates and board member biographies, visit Ohio Farm Bureau's Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board News page.
Leon Weaver, dairy farmer, veterinarian
Jeffrey LeJeune, associate professor for Food and Animal Health at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
Jerry Lahmers, cattle farmer, veterinarian
Bill Moody, cattle farmer
Stacey Atherton, dairy farmer
Robert Boggs, director, Ohio Department of Agriculture
Bobby Moser, dean, Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director, Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks
Robert Cole, former executive director of the USDA's Franklin County Office
Tony Forshey, Ohio’s state veterinarian
Jeff Wuebker, grain and hog farmer
Harold Dates, president and CEO, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Cincinnati
(An additional farmer will be named)