Landowner rights, energy development and the Ohio State Fair were among the topics discussed by delegates at Ohio Farm Bureau’s 103rd annual meeting. A record 385 delegates representing all county Farm Bureaus participated in the debate and discussion.
“The policy work that our delegates do during our annual meeting is what being a grassroots organization is all about,” said Jack Irvin, Ohio Farm Bureau’s vice president of public policy. “Now that their work is done, our work begins with lawmakers in Columbus and Washington, D.C. as we continue to act on the issues important to our members and all of Ohio agriculture.”
Members supported transparency for landowner energy lease holders, including proper notification of lease transfers and a requirement of well inspection reports to landowners. Delegates also voted in favor of protecting the Ohio State Fair. They encouraged a strategic review to enhance the fair as an event, as well as protecting the current location and addressing the needs of the facilities of the Ohio Exposition Center.
Ohio’s hunger challenges also were addressed as members agreed to supporting government incentives for producers who distribute surplus and cosmetically imperfect produce to local food banks. New policy also calls for roundabouts to be engineered and constructed to accommodate modern farm equipment and tractor trailers and use graduated curbing where possible.
Other policy votes addressed recognizing the importance and promotion of urban agriculture and enhancing the process and notification procedures when rivers are designated by the state as wild or scenic rivers.
In addition, Ohio Farm Bureau’s officers were elected during the organization’s 103rd annual meeting Dec. 9-10, 2021 in Columbus.
Bill Patterson of Chesterland has been re-elected president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, which is the highest elected office in the state’s largest farm and food organization. Patterson has been on the state board since 2011 as District 4 trustee representing Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties.
Cy Prettyman of New Bloomington has been re-elected first vice president of the organization. He joined OFBF’s board of trustees in 2012. He will continue as the District 7 representative covering Crawford, Marion, Morrow and Richland counties.
Lane Osswald of Eldorado has been re-elected treasurer of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. Osswald has been a member of OFBF’s board of trustees for 10 years and represents members in his district that encompasses Butler, Hamilton, Montgomery and Preble counties.
Trustees were also elected. They are:
District 2 Trustee Bill Myers: Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky and Wood counties
District 9 Trustee Danielle Burch: Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage and Stark counties
District 12 trustee Kyle Walls: Coshocton, Holmes, Knox and Licking counties
District 16 Trustee Matt Bell: Guernsey, Morgan, Muskingum and Perry counties
District 21 Trustee Wyatt Bates: Jackson, Pike, Scioto and Vinton counties
District 22 Trustee Karin Bright: Athens, Gallia, Lawrence and Meigs counties
Northeast Regional Trustee Michael Boyert: Ashland, Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Harrison, Huron, Jefferson, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties
Northwest Regional Trustee Rose Hartschuh: Allen, Auglaize, Crawford, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Logan, Lucas, Marion, Mercer, Morrow, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood and Wyandot counties.