Ohio Farm Bureau holds 103rd annual meeting

COLUMBUS – Landowner rights, energy development and the Ohio State Fair were among the topics discussed by delegates at Ohio Farm Bureau’s 103rd annual meeting. A record 385 delegates representing all county Farm Bureaus participated in the debate and discussion.

“The policy work that our delegates do during our annual meeting is what being a grassroots organization is all about,” said Jack Irvin, Ohio Farm Bureau’s vice president of public policy. “Now that their work is done, our work begins with lawmakers in Columbus and Washington, D.C. as we continue to act on the issues important to our members and all of Ohio agriculture.”

Members supported transparency for landowner energy lease holders, including proper notification of lease transfers and a requirement of well inspection reports to landowners. Delegates also voted in favor of protecting the Ohio State Fair. They encouraged a strategic review to enhance the fair as an event, as well as protecting the current location and addressing the needs of the facilities of the Ohio Exposition Center.

Ohio’s hunger challenges also were addressed as members agreed to supporting government incentives for producers who distribute surplus and cosmetically imperfect produce to local food banks. New policy also calls for roundabouts to be engineered and constructed to accommodate modern farm equipment and tractor trailers and use graduated curbing where possible.

Other policy votes addressed recognizing the importance and promotion of urban agriculture and enhancing the process and notification procedures when rivers are designated by the state as wild or scenic rivers.

More than 800 members and guests attended the meeting in Columbus Dec. 9-10.