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The Ohio Farm Bureau news update area is provided by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. Find more from Ohio Farm Bureau by visiting their website, www.ofbf.org.

Horse virus could have an impact on Quarter Horse Congress

In an effort to protect horses and other livestock in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Agriculture is not allowing the import of horses from counties within states with confirmed and suspected cases of Vesicular Stomatitis (VSV). This restriction includes the All American Quarter Horse Congress, which is scheduled to begin in Columbus Oct. 1.

“VSV has not been detected in Ohio and we are taking every precaution possible to keep it that way,” said ODA State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey. “With the All American Quarter Horse Congress coming, we thought it was important to restrict further movement to prevent the disease’s potential spread.”

VSV is a viral disease that primarily affects horses, but can also infect cattle, swine, sheep and goats. The disease causes blister-like lesions, which burst and leave open wounds. It is extremely painful to animals and can result in the inability to eat and drink and even lameness.

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ODA kicks off #gotyourback campaign for farmer mental health

With the kickoff of the #gotyourback campaign, the Ohio Department of Agriculture is moving the topic of mental health on the farm forward. The initiative, of which Ohio Farm Bureau is a proud partner, was created to let farmers know they are not alone in their struggles and to give them resources to seek professional, confidential help when stresses on the farm become overwhelming.

Dorothy Pelanda
ODA Director Dorothy Pelanda

“So many factors in farming are out of the farmer’s control,” said Dorothy Pelanda, ODA director.

“Wondering if the weather will cooperate and working long hours alone can all affect a farmer’s mental health and well-being.”

Earlier this year, Director Pelanda visited with farmers across the state who were faced with the most devastating economic losses they have ever experienced due to the excessive wet weather during the planting season.

“Many of them told me they felt as if they had the weight of the world on their shoulders,” Pelanda said.

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Farm Science Review takes place Sept. 17-19

Farm Science Review 2019 offers the latest in farm technology and products.

The three-day agricultural trade show offers educational talks and opportunities to speak one-on-one with experts from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), which sponsors the annual event at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London.

Now in its 57th year, the event offers the most relevant and up-to-date information to farmers on topics ranging from crop diseases to soil health. Farmers can learn how to reduce input costs and increase their efficiency at a time when both are particularly crucial.

In one location, growers can visit with many experts and see the newest innovations on the market. The event draws more than 100,000 people throughout three days. It features 4,000 product lines and over 700 commercial and educational exhibits, as well as workshops and presentations delivered by CFAES experts.

Special guest Jolene Brown will speak Sept.

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OFBF policy development committee meets in Columbus

Twenty Ohio Farm Bureau leaders are serving on the 2019 Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Policy Development Committee. The committee collects and organizes public policy recommendations from county Farm Bureaus and presents the final policy suggestions to be voted on by Ohio Farm Bureau’s delegates during the state annual meeting in December.

In its initial session, the committee heard from government leaders, subject matter experts and Farm Bureau staff on topics such as climate change, mental health, water quality initiatives, farm leases, trade, risk management, foreign ownership in U.S. agriculture, education, school funding and rural broadband.

The policy committee consists of 10 members from Ohio Farm Bureau’s board of trustees and 10 representatives of county Farm Bureaus.

The committee is chaired by Ohio Farm Bureau First Vice President Bill Patterson of Chesterland and includes OFBF President Frank Burkett III of Massillon and Treasurer Cy Prettyman of New Bloomington. State trustees on the committee are Matt Bell of Zanesville, Mike Bensman of Sidney, Mike Boyert of Seville, Jenny Cox of Dresden, Paul Harrison of Fostoria, Rose Hartschuh of Sycamore and Chris Weaver of Lyons.

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Career Opportunity: Director of Strategic Partnerships and Nationwide Services

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation is seeking a director of strategic partnerships who has a proven track record in creating and managing key relationships that will increase the visibility and brand of the organization. The candidate will strategize, develop and lead efforts in creating partnership activities for the organization. A bachelor’s degree in business, agriculture, agriculture business, communications, agricultural communications, marketing or related field is desired. Must have excellent networking skills, strong project management abilities, outstanding communication skills both verbal and written and solid sales and financial management skills. Experience in a membership association and nonprofit environment and a passion for agriculture are preferred. Competitive salary and benefits package offered.

Please respond with a cover letter and resumé by email to [email protected].

Deadline to apply: Sept. 20, 2019

Primary Duties:

1. Implement new and grow existing partnerships.

2. Strategize, develop and direct effective partnership activities for the organization.

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Ag Innovation Challenge to award startup funds

The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, has opened online applications for the 2020 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. In its sixth year, the Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge is a national business competition for U.S. food and agriculture startups. Entrepreneurs will compete for $145,000 in startup funds.

Launched in 2015 as the first national competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs, the competition provides an opportunity for U.S. startups to showcase business innovations in food and agriculture. Startup funds for the challenge are provided by sponsors Farm Credit, John Deere, Bayer Crop Science, Farm Bureau Bank, Country Financial and Farm Bureau Financial Services.

To apply for the 2020 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge, competitors can apply online by Sept. 30, 2019 at midnight.

“It takes faith, courage and creativity to start a business,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Rural entrepreneurs face a number of additional challenges compared to their urban counterparts.

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Legal with Leah: Ohio’s Gas Tax

In this Legal with Leah, Ty Higgins, Ohio Farm Bureau’s director of media relations, visits with Ohio Farm Bureau Policy Counsel Leah Curtis about the reasons for Ohio’s tax hike on gas, how those funds will be used and how the new gas tax compares to other states in the region.

Listen to Legal with Leah, a podcast featuring Ohio Farm Bureau’s Policy Counsel Leah Curtis discussing topics impacting farmers and landowners.


Ty Higgins: Earlier this year, Ohio’s gas tax increased to 38.5 cents per gallon for gasoline, 47 cents a gallon on diesel fuel. That’s a 10.5% and a 19% increase, respectively. For today’s Legal with Leah, we’re covering the reason for the tax hike on gas — how those funds will be used and how those numbers compare to other states in the region. I’m Ty Higgins joined by Leah Curtis, Ohio Farm Bureau policy counsel, and Leah we have heard a lot about America’s crumbling infrastructure and that was the main driver, no pun intended, for Governor DeWine to to seek this higher gas hike.

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Ohio Farm Bureau unveils new logo

After nearly a year of celebrating Ohio Farm Bureau’s Centennial, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Board of Trustees recently voted to adopt the “rosette” logo used to recognize the centennial as the organization’s new, permanent logo. Member feedback on the centennial logo was overwhelmingly positive. Over the coming months, Ohio Farm Bureau will be transitioning from the “FB” logo, introduced in the early 1980s, to the new rosette logo.

“Watching our members react to the new logo has been fun,” said Adam Sharp, Ohio Farm Bureau executive vice president. “Even though the new logo is an update on one from our early days, our younger members have been some of the most enthusiastic supporters of making it our permanent logo. I think that is great symbolism of the Farm Bureau brand: We’re proud of our history, but we’re always looking forward to the future.”  

In addition to seeing this new mark on all of Ohio Farm Bureau’s communications, barns and other structures across the state will also feature the rosette logo.

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Ohio manufacturers, ag producers need the USMCA

The following op-ed was distributed to newspapers across Ohio for publication. It was co-authored by Adam Sharp, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and Eric Burkland, president of The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association. 

Ohio’s farmers are enduring a tough year, as more than one in seven acres went unplanted this season due to relentless precipitation and flooding. This comes on top of several consecutive years of low prices for corn, soybeans, dairy, wheat and pork.

Meanwhile, many Ohio manufacturers face uncertain times, despite solid growth in the years following the Great Recession. U.S. manufacturing has experienced a significant slowdown during the first half of 2019, spurred by falling global demand and trade disputes.

Manufacturing and agriculture fuel Ohio’s economy. Both could use an immediate shot in the arm.

Adam Sharp - Executive Vice President
Adam Sharp

That is why we are calling on Ohio’s members of Congress to ratify the pending United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) without further delay.

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2019 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge winners announced

A team of three Ohio high school students took first place in the 2019 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge finals for their policy proposal about biosecurity at Ohio fairs.

Sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio 4-H and Ohio FFA, the challenge brings together youths ages 14 to 18 from around the state to discuss community concerns and then work together to propose policies and programs to solve the issues.

The 2019 winning team members are Caleb Durheim and Dustin Hill of Delaware County and Samantha Hinton of Seneca County. The team members share a $1500 prize for finishing first in the competition.

The challenge started in the spring when groups met to learn about public policy issues and began planning their proposals. A preliminary contest narrowed the field down to four teams, which competed in the finals during the Ohio State Fair.

The teams were judged on their public policy proposals dealing with a specific issue or problem.

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More than half the state designated an ag disaster area

Farmers in more than half the counties in Ohio are eligible to apply for emergency loans following a series of natural disasters since November 2018, culminating in a disastrous planting season this spring.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue granted the disaster designations following rain, flooding or other weather conditions that prevented thousands of acres to be planted in Ohio in 2019.

“We are so appreciative of our state leaders from the governor to both our U.S. senators, our entire congressional delegation and so many others working to draw attention to the plight of far too many farmers here in Ohio by asking for these disaster designations,” said Jack Irvin, OFBF senior director of state and national policy. “Having USDA take action on those requests is a welcomed step.”

According to USDA, a secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary and contiguous counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency, which may include Farm Service Agency emergency loans.

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Discovering my strengths: AgriPOWER Session 1 blog

by Devin Trout, AgriPOWER Class XI member

Opening session for AgriPOWER Class XI took place on the hottest weekend thus far of the summer. But that was okay because we took advantage of the cool air conditioning at Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau. 

All any of us can offer is the nucleus of a good idea,  Keith Stimpert, senior vice president at Ohio Farm Bureau, shared this in his welcoming message to us while kicking off the first session. Keith shared the importance of working with others to bring other unknown ideas to life. This really hit home for me as a Farm Bureau member. We are all walking a similar walk in life in the agriculture industry, but all have so many different ideas that we still don’t know we have. That’s why community is so important in agriculture — community helps build ideas and turns those ideas into goals then into plans. 

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Legal with Leah: New budget includes nuisance lawsuit protections

Some aspects of the new two-year state budget will better protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits. Ohio Farm Bureau Policy Counsel Leah Curtis visits with Ohio Farm Bureau Director of Media Relations Ty Higgins about the language included in the budget and its importance to agriculture.

Listen to Legal with Leah, a podcast featuring Ohio Farm Bureau’s Policy Counsel Leah Curtis discussing topics impacting farmers and landowners.


Ty Higgins: In mid-July, Ohio legislators passed a new two-year, $69 billion state budget. It was signed by Governor DeWine shortly thereafter. The budget, as you might expect, mostly consists of a lot of numbers, adding some funds to programs, taking away funds from others. There’s also some language in the new budget that will be better protecting farmers from nuisance lawsuits. That’s our topic for this week’s Legal with Leah. Along with Ohio Farm Bureau Policy Counsel Leah Curtis, I’m Ty Higgins and Leah, you and I visited about there being an affirmative defense for farms enrolled in an ag district with some caveats.

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North High Brewing supports Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation

A $5,000 contribution from North High Brewing to the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation expands a unique partnership between two organizations with shared values.  

The North High Brewing/Farm Bureau relationship began last year when the two partnered on the release of Cover Crop beer, created to help celebrate Ohio Farm Bureau’s 100th anniversary. The beer features locally grown farm products, which was a priority for both organizations. It has enjoyed great acceptance by both craft beer enthusiasts and Ohio’s farm community with its popularity far exceeding expectations.  

The beer’s name was chosen to reflect the two organizations’ commitment to nature. The term Cover Crop honors the revival of a farming practice that sustains the land and its surrounding environment.  

According to Jason McKibben, brewmaster at North High Brewing, “Every brewery in Ohio uses Ohio water and the largest ingredient in every beer is water. High quality beer can only be made with high quality water.

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2019 Ohio State Fair highlights

Ohio Farm Bureau and numerous partners unveiled a new and improved Land and Living exhibit at the 2019 Ohio State Fair, where v

Several other important events also took place during the fair:

Hemp Bill Signing: July 30, Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 57, which allows Ohio farmers to plant hemp.  The Ohio Department of Agriculture is expected to have rules written in time for farmers to plant the crop in 2020. The new law also legalizes CBD, a derivative of hemp, which has become a popular nutritional supplement.

Ohio Farm Bureau was engaged in the entire lawmaking process.  Following is the statement Farm Bureau issued upon the governor’s action: 

Industrial hemp will give Ohio farmers another crop option to help them diversify their farms and possibly find another stream of revenue to offset years of declining commodity prices.

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Farm Bureau, partners unveil redesigned 2019 Land and Living exhibit at Ohio State Fair

One of this year’s ‘must see’ attractions at the Ohio State Fair, July 24 to Aug. 4, will be the newly redesigned, highly interactive Land and Living exhibit featuring agriculture education activities the whole family can enjoy. Visitors to the Nationwide Donahey Land & Living Building will get in-depth, hands-on lessons about farming, food and high-tech agriculture.

Visitors to the exhibit will learn about how animals are cared for on the farm. They will also see how science and technology are helping farmers produce safe food while enhancing environmental resources, how scientists are researching solutions to the biggest food and farming challenges and how young people can have careers in agriculture. Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences will have a major presence at the building this year, where research and careers in agriculture will be featured messages. 

Another new exhibit is a sow birthing center brought to the fair by the Ohio Pork Council.

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Hemp legislation passes, rules are next

Growing hemp in Ohio got a big push from the state legislature July 17 as the General Assembly sent Senate Bill 57 to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk for his signature. SB 57 creates a hemp cultivator license as well as a hemp processing license program to be administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The House voted 88-3 to pass the hemp legalization bill. The House also voted to include an emergency clause, which was needed in part so farmers could plant hemp as soon as possible. The Senate agreed to the bill and the emergency clause and overwhelmingly passed the hemp legislation as well.

Before the hemp program can be fully operational in Ohio, rules still need to be developed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the state program sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its approval. However, this legislation is a positive step forward. 

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State budget includes initiatives for agriculture

The state’s main operating budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine after being passed by the Ohio Legislature July 17, two and a half weeks later than its June 30 deadline. 

Farm Bureau applauds the Ohio House and Senate for including two of our highest priority issues, preservation of the business income deduction and a collaborative plan to address water quality challenges through Gov. DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative, in the state’s operating budget,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “Farm Bureau also appreciates the funding increases for our partners at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Extension Services, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts, all of whom deliver critical information to our farmers regarding best practices.”  

The legislature allocated $172 million in funding for H2Ohio for this budget cycle through the use of budget surpluses.

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Budget passed, hemp closer to reality for Ohio farmers | Ohio Farm Bureau news update | 7/24/19

Welcome to this week’s news roundup from Ohio Farm Bureau. Click here for our front page news and information.

If you’re a member, thank you for your support. Be sure to take advantage of all of your member benefits, including the updated Ohio Landowner Toolkit.

If you’re not a member (or need to renew your membership), this is your invitation to joinLearn more about membership or contact your county Farm Bureau.

Current News

Budget (finally) passed with money directed toward agriculture

The state’s main operating budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine’s after being passed by the Ohio Legislature July 17, two and a half weeks later than its June 30 deadline. Several provisions are of interest to our members, including items about taxes and water quality.

Hemp one step closer to a reality for Ohio farmers

Growing hemp in Ohio got a big push from the state legislature July 17 as the General Assembly sent Senate Bill 57 to Gov.

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