Farm Bureau holds 100th annual meeting

Staff report

Ohio Farm Bureau members convened recently for the organization’s historic 100th annual meeting Dec. 6-7 in Columbus to identify policies that benefit Ohio agriculture and guide the organization.

The OFB’s business sessions included 356 delegates representing all 88 counties. The delegates addressed rural infrastructure needs, water quality challenges, thoughtful governance, and a variety of other topics meaningful to the state. They affirmed their stances on broad themes such as property rights, animal care, environmental stewardship, and regulatory and tax reform.

Along with those perennial issues, they addressed several newer issues: the deterioration of many of the state’s rural roads and bridges; the need to adequately fund repairs; and identifying alternative funding mechanisms.

Members voted to support an increase in motor fuels taxes, and agreed to support identifying alternative funding mechanisms. They also voted in support of reforming Ohio’s petition ballot initiative laws to assure a more thoughtful process.

Farmers’ efforts to protect water quality were addressed, and OFB members set policy to encourage government agencies to adhere to state law when considering agricultural regulations. The members also addressed historic barn preservation, dairy processing and handling, agritourism, and creating incentives for EMS volunteers.

They debated animal care and meat inspection, and acted to clarify that agricultural zoning laws apply to all non-wild or dangerous species that a farmer may be tending. OFB members also created a meat inspection fee system that is equitable for domestic deer producers.

The annual meeting was also used to hold officer and trustee elections and to present county and individual OFB awards.

Staff report