In his 2011 State of the State Address in early March, Gov. John Kasich had positive things to say about agriculture and its role in the future of the state.
“I’ve asked Jim Zehringer to think about agriculture in a completely different way. How many agribusinesses can we get? How many 21st Century products can we develop? And how do we think about ethanol when we have increasing dependence on countries like Libya and Venezuela to provide us our fuel? So we’re thinking about agriculture in an entirely different way,” he said. “It can be great prosperity. And here’s the thing about agriculture, it’s not your old man’s tractor anymore. It’s technology. It’s GPS. It’s weather patterns. It’s you’re your own boss and you fall in love with the good earth. There’s something about it that’s soulful and spiritual. And we need to recognize our farmers for the great work they have done. And it can allow us to touch the rest of the world through the ability to export and find new markets.”
Kasich also had some comments on the hot topic of oil and natural gas reserves in Ohio.
“In these areas where we have been underdeveloped, Marcellus and Utica Shale, it could transform Ohio. I don’t want to be saying it’s going to happen, because we’ve not had enough testing to this point. But I’ll tell you, the people who are the smart business people are investing like you cannot believe,” he said. “My team, the EPA director, Scott Nally, David Mustine, these guys working together with Jim Zehringer in agriculture, put together a program that will ensure environmental security that will make sure that people who are the land holders and the lease holders are treated fairly.”
Such resources could be major economic boosts to struggling local economies, Kasich said. “Folks, we need to take these assets and we have to leverage them.”