Supply chain, landowner rights, and broadband top OFBF priority list
Strengthening the food supply chain, landowner rights, and broadband are among Ohio Farm Bureau’s 2022 priority issues.
Brandon Kern, senior director for state and national policy, says the organization will promote policies and programs to increase meat processing capacity.
“The theme this year is building on the success we had last year. Last year our Action Plan for Agriculture and Rual Communities focused on a lot of the issues we experienced with the logistics and supply chain. One of the things that the pandemic made very real is the need to increase meat processing capacity here in the state. We were successful in getting some economic development dollars set aside for that purpose. Now it’s about getting that out to where it’s most needed so that we can increase capacity. There was a lot of demand, more demand than the dollars that were set aside for that program. So, one of the things we’re talking about with policymakers is should we revisit this and allocate more funding to meet the total demand.”
He says another priority is protecting landowner rights.
“This year we have some specific asks to reform the eminent domain program here in Ohio. We want to make sure that program is fair and transparent for lawmakers and so we do have some specific reform measures that we would like to introduce to policymakers and hope they’ll consider those to make landowner rights here in Ohio a little stronger.”
OFBF says reform is needed to ensure Ohioans can have confidence that eminent domain is reserved for necessary projects and not speculative private enterprise.
Kern says broadband remains a priority.
“A lot of federal and state dollars have been allocated for broadband in the last year,” he says. “Now we’re going to be focused on making sure those dollars get to places that are in true need for increasing broadband capacity.”
OFBF says it supports legislation and initiatives that brings proper infrastructure, affordable broadband, and high-speed internet access to unserved and underserved parts of the state.
More than 350 Ohio Farm Bureau members met with legislators to discuss these priorities during Ag Day at the Capital on Wednesday.