Ohio’s House of Representatives is in the process of making important decisions about programs that affect Ohio farms and communities. The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation is encouraging members to express support for 4-H, water quality research, and workforce development initiatives.
The Ohio budget will determine funding for many programs and government agencies for the next two years. The Ohio House is currently considering the Governor’s proposed state budget and is in the process of drafting and considering amendments. Now is a critical time (while they’re deciding how they will vote) to let them know you support the following programs. Here is a summary from OFBF.
OARDC and Extension
Ohio State University Extension plays a critical role in making Ohio’s farms and businesses more profitable and efficient. OSU Extension plays such an important role in having successful and engaging 4-H programs and offers educational opportunities on everything from crop insurance to battling invasive pests to nutrient management and water quality.
The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) has a long history of conducting practical yet innovative research that creates jobs in Ohio’s communities. OARDC’s research has benefited society by helping in the efforts to keep Ohio waters clean and produce foods that are diverse, abundant, affordable and safe.
OFBF is encouraging members to Take Action Now, and send a message to House members and asking for support for OSU’s requested 3.1% increase in Extension and OARDC’s line items. The current budget package pending before the House proposed flat funding for these two critical programs.
Agricultural Technical Institute
ATI in Wooster is a two-year academic program and is the nation’s number one producer of two-year Associate Degree graduates in the areas of food and agriculture. Under the current budget proposal, ATI took a significant hit in funding. This program has a remarkable track record: within four months of graduation, 99% of graduates are either continuing on in school pursuing a Bachelors degree or are gainfully employed in the food and fiber sector. The graduates of this program represent the future of Ohio agriculture and funding to support ATI’s hands-on learning environment is critical.