COLUMBUS — Helping beginning farmers get a start, protecting landowners’ rights and coping with rural drug problems were among the priorities set by delegates at the Ohio Farm Bureau’s 99th annual meeting.
The approved policies set the direction for the organization’s activities in the coming year. 358 delegates representing all county Farm Bureaus participated in the debate and discussion.
Delegates voted to support beginning farmers by making it easier for them to obtain land, facilities, machinery, livestock and other assets. The organization strengthened its commitment to limiting the power of eminent domain and protecting landowners presented with potential development opportunities. The delegates also reaffirmed their work in local communities to prevent and treat drug addiction and will seek national policy to curtail the over-prescription of opioids.
Regarding food production and water quality, delegates called for uniform state and federal nutrient applications standards that differentiate between agronomic, economic and environmental thresholds. They also support regulatory review that uses sound science to find water quality solutions that are compatible with productive food production.
Delegates expressed strong support for recent steps taken by Ohio State University Extension to increase the number of educators with practical knowledge that will be of value to the farm community.
Energy issues were also discussed including the need for investments in energy infrastructure and a balanced approach to incentivizing alternative energy sources. Other policy votes addressed fuel quality, wildlife management and local infrastructure maintenance.
On national policy issues, OFBF members strongly supported crop insurance and continuation of the harvest price option. They also addressed a vaccine bank for livestock, milk labeling and protection of pollinator habitat.
More than 600 members and guests attended the meeting in Columbus Dec. 6-8. Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.