Ohio Farm Bureau’s annual Ag Day at the Capital is typically a jam-packed one day event, when Farm Bureau county leaders visit with lawmakers in Columbus. This year, it is a full Ag Week, and those visits will be happening virtually or on the farms of Farm Bureau members.
“More than ever before, Ohio Farm Bureau is being looked to by state officials to help strengthen the food supply chain and provide guidance on how to recover economically from COVID,” said Frank Burkett, president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “As a grassroots organization, it is crucial for our message to legislators to begin with our members.”
On a call with county leaders prior to Ag Week, Burkett emphasized that Ohio Farm Bureau is considered experts not only regarding agriculture but also on many other topics that impact Ohio’s communities like property rights, broadband access and water quality.
“We have built this trust by taking the time to meet face-to-face with our legislators and building relationships,” Burkett said. “That is why it is so important for our membership to meet with legislators and build on the relationships we as an organization have with them.”
During Ag Week, the Ohio Agriculture and Rural Communities Action Plan will be unveiled, laying out the major policy concerns Ohio Farm Bureau members have. Those policies include recovering from the economic fallout of COVID-19, reopening fairs, helping local businesses and investing in rural broadband.
“This action plan helps create a sense of focus for our partners in the legislature to help ensure agriculture and rural communities’ unique set of issues are addressed as part of Ohio’s recovery plan,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “The great work our members do during Ag Week sets the tone and makes possible all the important advocacy work Farm Bureau will do for the rest of the year.”