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Blog: Matt Reese

Farm bill calculator has Ohio roots

As the extremely important decision about the Farm Bill programs draws nearer, farmers can take advantage of more tools that are becoming available to help in that decision. And, as is the case for so much at the federal level, Ohio has played an important role in the development of some of these tools.

Anthony Bush, a Morrow County farmer and Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association member, is very interested in the recently released Farm Bill Calculator that allows growers to compare and contrast how the different Title 1 programs in the farm bill will work with their farm numbers and price projections.

The idea for the calculator was created by farmers at the national level while Bush was Chair of the Public Policy Action Team for the National Corn Growers Association.

“I am extremely excited about that calculator. We worked on this for a long time. When I saw this thing in action, I was really impressed and I am glad that producers have this tool available,” Bush said. “Every farmer is going to be able to use this tool. It was partially developed with significant resources from the Ohio Corn Marketing Program and the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff. It is simple to use. You can create different pricing scenarios and you can use your own farm numbers. You can also put your crop insurance selections in the equation to see what levels work best for you with your farm bill programs. If you don’t like what you see, reset it and do it again. These tools are easy to use, even for people that may be mostly computer illiterate.”

The calculator is available at: http://farmbilltoolbox.farmdoc.illinois.edu/arc-plc-decision-steps.html. Much more so than in the past, the 2014 Farm Bill offers many tools to help producers make the right decision for their farm.

“Take your time on this decision and do your homework and use the tools that are out there,” he said. “You have until after the first of the year to make decisions. By then you will have a pretty clear idea of what you are going to see price wise for the first year of your farm bill program.”

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Author: Matt Reese

I grew up on a small farm in northwest Ohio and spent most of my youth writing, doodling, taking pictures, reading and exploring the surrounding farmland. With a family full of teachers, I also grew up around a culture supportive of education. I was active in athletics in high school before graduating from Ohio State University where I studied agricultural communications. This led to my career in agricultural journalism.

I continue to work on the family Christmas tree farm in Hancock County. I married my wonderful wife, Kristin, in 2002. We live on a small farm in Fairfield County with sheep, rabbits and chickens. We have a daughter Campbell Miriam who was born in the fall of 2007 and a son Parker Matthew born in August of 2009. We are active in our local church and with numerous other organizations. I help with the agricultural program at Ohio Christian University in Circleville as well.

I have worked for Ohio’s Country Journal since 1999. I also write a column for numerous newspapers around Ohio, Fresh Country Air and do freelance writing and photography work. I have written and self-published six books to date. To find my books, visit lulu.com and search for “Matt Reese.”

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