OABA meets with nation's lawmakers

Ohio AgriBusiness Association president and CEO Chris Henney and Board Chairman Herb Mayer joined other state and national organizations in Washington, D.C. for the 2012 State Agribusiness D.C. Fly-In.

Henney and Mayer joined other state and national organizations — including the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), CropLife America (CLA), National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) — in discussions with our nation’s elected leaders.

Henney and Mayer met personally with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, as well as senior majority and minority staff from the Senate Agriculture Committee. While in D.C., Henney and Mayer also participated in the ARA Board Meeting, during which U.S. Rep. Gibbs was awarded the Agricultural Retailers Association Legislator of the Year Award.

“We are really fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with our U.S. Senators and Representatives,” Mayer said. “We’ve been able to discuss federal agriculture-related legislation, and how it impacts Ohio agriculture, and ultimately OABA members.”

Main topics of conversation included the 2012 Farm Bill, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) pesticide general permit, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, and water quality.

During the meeting with Sen. Brown, the group discussed the 2012 Farm Bill, the Agriculture Committee’s hearing schedule, algal blooms in the Western Lake Erie Basin, and bio-based product manufacturing.

“We need to ensure the 2012 Farm Bill works for Ohio producers,” Sen. Brown said. “By meeting with groups like the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, the Senate Agriculture Committee is better able to address the challenges facing all of agriculture — from farms and fields to seeds and storage — as we write the next farm bill.”

U.S. Sen. Brown is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 40 years.

“We are grateful to have Sen. Brown representing Ohio on the Senate Agriculture Committee,” Henney said. “The OABA, and the Ohio agribusiness industry as a whole, are thankful for the relationship that we have with Brown’s office, and their partnership to help move the agriculture agenda forward in the Senate.”

Henney and Mayer also spent time with Rep. Bob Gibbs, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Agriculture Committee. He also chairs a Transportation Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment.

“Rep. Gibbs has been a true friend to agriculture and we appreciate having his farmer sensibility in Congress,” Henney said.

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