Eminent domain and support for H2Ohio among policy priorities for Ohio Farm Bureau

Ohio Farm Bureau members are discussing policy priorities with state senators and representatives as the Ohio General Assembly continue.

Van Wert County Farm Bureau Vice President Ryan Mohr participated in his first Ag Day at the Capital today in Columbus.

“It’s been a wonderful way to interact with our representative and senator and get the word out about agriculture,” he says.

He says several policy issues were brought up while meeting with lawmakers.

“In our county it’s logistics. We have some concerns for some infrastructure builds coming down the road and then just in general the sense of agriculture and letting lawmakers know we’d love their support for everything they do and can do for us,” he says.

Eminent domain is another priority for Ohio Farm Bureau members as challenges to private property rights continue across the state. OFBF is introducing Eminent Domain Reform legislation to help make the process in Ohio more fair for the public and landowners.

Mohr is a fourth-generation farmer from the northwest part of the state.  

“For me personally, I just feel that the landowner should have final say in that. Some of our ground has been in the family for four generations now and to have someone tell me what I can or can’t do on that ground is aggravating,” he says. “That’s the biggest thing we’re trying to keep to the landowner. Mainly common sense is what it comes down to.”

The organization continues to promote the H2Ohio program that supports voluntary practices that improve the state’s water quality and conservation.

Williams County Farm Bureau President Dave Cunningham says farmers and livestock producers are doing what they can to improve water quality.   

“Water quality is high on everybody’s mind as far as importance. All farmers drink water and our livestock do too. Sometimes we’re targeted as being the chief polluter with our livestock and it’s really not true if you look at what we’re doing to hold the water and fertility on our farm,” he says. “Economically we don’t want the fertility running down the stream, we want it in our fields so we’re doing everything we can in the way of cover crops, less tillage, or managing all the aspects of our farms to minimize loss and maximize profit.”

Cunningham, who is farm manager of Bridgewater Dairy in Montpelier, says it’s important that conversations with lawmakers are a two-way street.

“It’s always good to talk with representatives and senators and tell them what we think the issues are and hear what the issues are from their side. It gives us something to work on too,” he says. “For example, my group met with Ohio State Representative Jim Hoops and we know him very well and he knows us very well. We appreciate that.”

More than 300 Ohio Farm Bureau members participated in the 2023 Ag Day at the Capital. Be on the lookout for more coverage from the event.

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