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Jon Miller, Fairfield County

Ohio grain farmers invite Toledo mayor to visit

Recent comments by the mayor of Toledo have prompted corn, soybean and wheat farmers throughout Ohio to invite him to witness for himself their hard work and significant investments to protect water quality.

For example, last month, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz told WTOL 11 that Toledo’s water has been “polluted for us” by Ohio farmers. Realizing that the mayor has not been educated about farmers’ leadership on conservation issues, Farmers are using the hashtag #WadeIsWelcome to extend the invitation for a farm tour.

Last week, Mayor Kapszukiewicz told the Toledo Blade, “At some point, facts and research have to matter.” Ohio grain farmers couldn’t agree more. That’s why they are calling, tweeting, and emailing the mayor to invite him to their farms and see exactly how much investment and work has been done to find and implement science-based, long term solutions.

“Ohio’s agricultural community has worked very hard to address water quality,” said Jon Miller, Fairfield grain farmer and president of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association. “We’re proud of what we have accomplished and are eager to share information about all of the things we’ve been doing with Mayor Kapszukiewicz.”

The OCWGA and Ohio Soybean Association have collaborated with researchers, government agencies and environmental groups to reduce the amount of phosphorus that runs off into the Lake Erie water basin. Researchers, for example, collect data in the fields, and farmers use that data, along with the newest field-by-field recommendations, to apply best management practices on their farms, including cover crops, nutrient management plans, soil sampling and a reduction in fertilizer use. Meanwhile, Ohio farmers are applying less fertilizer than ever before.

“Mayor Kaszukiewicz’s confusion about Ohio agriculture can be cleared up with a visit to any of our farms,” said Scott Metzger, Ross County grain farmer, president of the Ohio Soybean Association. “We welcome him to come see us in action — and to work with us on continuing to protect water quality.”

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