Farm Bureau sets policies for 2018

Caroll County Farm Bureau representatives attended the Ohio Farm Bureau 99th annual meeting in Columbus in December.
They include: Bernie Heffelbower, county president; Nicki Gordon-Coy, Bill Findlay, Kim Davis, Dan Kirk and Jerry Lahmers, District 13 state trustee.

Delegates at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s (OFBF) 99th annual meeting held Dec. 6-8 in the Columbus Convention Center set the organizations priorities for 2018.

Along with Carroll County Farm Bureau President Bernie Heffelbower, Nicki Gordon-Coy, Bill Findlay, Kim Davis and Dan Kirk represented the county at the event with more than 600 members and guests in attendance.

The priorities approved by the 358 delegates who represented all county Farm Bureaus include: Helping beginning farmers get a start, protecting landowners’ rights and coping with rural drug problems.

The OFBF is the state’s largest and most influential farm and food organization that establishes its policy on important state and federal issues, elects leaders and recognizes the accomplishments of individuals and the organization.

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 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.

Issues discussed by delegates included their strong support of 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; fuel quality, wildlife management and local infrastructure maintenance. Concerning energy issues, delegates discussed the need for investments in energy infrastructure and a balanced approach to incentivizing alternative energy sources.

Farm Bureau President Frank Burkett III and Executive Vice President Adam Sharp were in attendance and addressed the delegates. Burkett was re-elected president, along with Bill Patterson, re-elected first vice president and Cy Prettyman, re-elected treasurer.

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