Policy & Politics

The Initiative and Referendum in Ohio

Published Jun. 14, 2012

Ohio has constitutional amendment processes which allow citizens to vote directly to change Ohio’s constitution and laws. Recently we have seen an increase in ballot initiatives and referendums, which leads to many questions.

Severance Tax

Published Jun. 14, 2012

Governor Kasich has introduced a proposal to make significant changes in the Ohio severance tax system that applies to oil and natural gas wells in exchange for lowering Ohio’s income tax.

Federal Animal Care Standards for Egg Laying Hens

Published Jun. 14, 2012

Federal legislation has been introduced for an agreement between the Humane Society of the U.S. and the United Egg Producers dealing with cage size and other animal care standards for our nation’s 280 million egg-laying hens.

Selling of Eggs at Farmers' Markets

Published Jun. 14, 2012

The law is different for farmers selling eggs produced on their farm vs. selling eggs at a farmers’ market or farm product auction. One is exempt from retail food licensing requirements, the other is not exempt. The number of birds is a factor, along with the requirement of a free inspection.

Animal Agriculture

Published Jun. 14, 2012

Animal issues continue to evolve at national, state, and county levels. Ohio Farm Bureau is engaged, from traditional livestock to companion animals to wild dangerous animals. As society continues to evolve, the perception of what is or is not animal agriculture has become less clear.

Retail Agriculture (national policy)

Published May. 30, 2012

More farmers and ranchers are getting closer to their customers, and finding that they can capture a higher margin when they grow vegetable or meat products with a specific consumer market segment in mind.

Sales Tax on Internet Sales (national policy)

Published May. 30, 2012

Many rural communities find themselves losing their retail base. Local retailers are competing with Internet retailers who do not have to collect sales tax if they do not have a physical presence in that state.

Pre-harvest Food Safety (national policy)

Published May. 30, 2012

Pre-harvest food safety has become a topic of increasing focus, particularly in the beef industry. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that their next step in reducing E. coli is through pre-harvest intervention, and they have repeatedly re-stated their intentions.

Port Infrastructure (national policy)

Published May. 30, 2012

The Mississippi River is used to transport agricultural goods from across the country. There is a problem with silt/soil removal along the Mississippi River, causing barges and carriers to load their cargo in increasingly shallow waters.

Futures Market (national policy)

Published May. 30, 2012

From their inception in the mid-19th century, futures markets have functioned as an important tool for agricultural producers to transfer their price risk to other investors.