“Together With Farmers” was the theme of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federations 100th Annual meeting at the Columbus Convention Center and Hilton Downtown Columbus Hotel last Thursday and Friday. More than 600 attendees were present as the Farm Bureau established its policy for the upcoming year on important state and federal issues. The annual meeting also kicked-off the 100th anniversary celebration of the Ohio Farm Bureau.
“CAUV recently had some adjustments and that was run right through our county Farm Bureau organizations up through our state organization and that is providing tax relief for Ohio’s farmers,” he said. “Our members are also committed to water quality in the state of Ohio. We are going to have a lot of discussion surrounding nutrient management. At the same time we are going to have a lot of fun celebrating where we have been, where we are today and where we are going the next 100 years.”
Burkett also pointed out the tremendous success of Ohio’s county Farm Bureau organizations. Ohio’s county Farm Bureaus won eight of the 24 County Activities of Excellence awards presented by the American Farm Bureau.
“Our counties are doing some of the best programming across the nation. Eight of our counties are being recognized at American Farm Bureau and there are only 24 recognized nationally,” he said. “That is one third of the national recognition coming back to Ohio counties — that is cutting edge programming that is delivering results and bringing farmers together across Ohio.”
“I am so proud of the fact that it is a true grassroots process. We have a presence in every one of our 88 counties,” said Yvonne Lesicko, vice president of public policy for Ohio Farm Bureau. “They sit down and talk and have these collective meetings to share their thoughts and say, ‘What is happening here at the local level? What are we concerned about? What is happening at the state level?’ They know their position and what they want to do about it. They vote on it at their county meeting and that sends it up the line to the state policy development committee. That committee weeds through everything to see if we are getting the same concerns from the rest of the state. Then they bring a set of recommendations from that here to the delegate floor. Then our delegates vote on what they want to see as statewide policy.”
According to Ohio AgNet, topics expected to be addressed include the roles of farmers and government in the protection of water quality, protecting the rights of landowners engaged in various energy projects, and farm economic issues including the farm bill, trade and transportation infrastructure.
“A lot of people think that we are just about production agriculture, but our members are also thinking in a much broader spectrum in terms of making better communities,” Lesicko said.
The Ohio Farm Bureau is the state’s largest and most powerful agricultural organization with nearly 63,000 active members across the state.