Water quality efforts, transportation and infrastructure, and wildlife management were among the priorities set by delegates at Ohio Farm Bureau’s 101st annual meeting.
The approved policies set the direction for the organization’s activities in the coming year. A record 381 delegates representing all county Farm Bureaus participated in the debate and discussion.
During the meeting held in Columbus, delegates heard from Gov. Mike DeWine on the important role Ohio Farm Bureau had in shaping the direction of the recently unveiled H2Ohio initiative and water quality programs. Members supported incentives for performing on-farm nutrient management trials that address water quality, along with the ongoing partnerships of statewide conservation efforts, including the newly formed Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative, of which Ohio Farm Bureau is a member.
Efficient transportation is vital to a robust agriculture sector in Ohio, and delegates discussed finding a balance between the need to deliver farm products while maintaining roadways and bridges.
Protections on the farm from wildlife and predators also were considered. Attendees discussed the need for sensible hunting regulations that respect the concerns of farmers, including the security of livestock and crops.
Other policy votes addressed property rights, education and permanent daylight saving time. During the delegate session it was recommended that the Ohio Farm Bureau strip from its state policy language that could protect local communities if a power plant were to shut down. The policy language reads: “The Ohio Farm Bureau urges companies and government agencies responsible for the decommissioning of all power generation infrastructure to ensure the property and facilities can and will be used in a safe and viable manner to benefit all.”
After working with policy staff, Delegates Kristy Watters, Richard Purdin, Joy Bauman and Stephen Caraway pushed back and asked delegates to reinstate the language in the Ohio Farm Bureau state policy. The effort was successful and was approved via common consent by the nearly 400 delegates in attendance. The Ohio Farm Bureau is one of the most powerful groups in Ohio, and leaders in state government watch Ohio Farm Bureau state policy as they create and pass new legislation.
“This is just one of the many ways your local Adams County Farm Bureau works hard for our members,” said Kristy Watters, President of the Adams County Farm Bureau.
The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation also recognized Adams County Farm Bureau Trustee Linda Louiso during the annual meeting. Louiso was featured for her role in the county organization reaching its goals, including with Ag Days, Farm Bureau Day at the Adams County Fair, and for her membership recruitment success.
More than 600 members and guests attended the meeting in Columbus Dec. 4-5. Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.