Brandon Kern

Ohio leaves its mark on AFBF policy

At the 104th American Farm Bureau Annual Convention earlier this month, Ohio Farm Bureau member-approved policies were shared with AFBF delegates for consideration.

“We had several policies that came from Ohio and were adopted as part of the delegate session,” said Brandon Kern, senior director of state and national policy with Ohio Farm Bureau. “More importantly, the issues we brought to the table were substantive policy, based on experiences that we have had in Ohio.”

One of those issues included approvals of ag technologies through the Environmental Protection Agency. In spring 2022, Ohio farmers in 12 counties were suddenly prohibited from using Enlist One and Enlist Duo herbicides as a result of label changes from EPA, catching them off guard after most had already made planting decisions for the year.

“New policy offered by Ohio Farm Bureau members tells the EPA to give growers more lead time to be able to adapt,” Kern said. “The agency just can’t make those changes overnight, and farmer-delegates from across the country agreed with that and made it AFBF policy.”

Another important policy Ohio Farm Bureau members offered during the delegate session was created because of a proposed rule by the Securities and Exchange Commission that could severely impact family farms by requiring climate disclosures by public companies.

“Our members reacted strongly to this vastly overreaching rule from the SEC that would require reporting greenhouse gas emissions by the entire supply chain of publicly traded companies,” Kern said. “Our message to the agency is simple. Stay on Wall Street and out of the farm lane.”

Outside of Ohio Farm Bureau’s suggestions, delegates to the American Farm Bureau business meeting voted to modernize the farm bill, bring more transparency to the federal milk pricing system, continue working with the Mexican government to drop a proposed ban on imports of biotech corn, and formalize Farm Bureau’s position opposing the 2022 Waters of the U.S. rule.

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