Pressures on agricultural land being developed and acres taken out of production were key topics discussed by delegates at Ohio Farm Bureau’s 104th annual meeting. In all, 366 delegates representing all county Farm Bureaus participated in the debate and discussion.
“Robust discussion from the delegate floor speaks to the passion of our members and the core of our grassroots organization,” said Ohio Farm Bureau Vice President of Public Policy Jack Irvin. “Policy has been set by our members and it’s now our job to advocate for those policies at the Statehouse and in Washington, D.C., on behalf of them and Ohio agriculture.”
New policy included support of clear standards for oil and gas pipeline construction and standards for the repair and remediation of land impacted by utility easements. Delegates also supported the call for additional funding for the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP) to help meet demand and better reflect agricultural easement values.
Policy to establish impact fees to be assessed when solar development sites take farmland out of production was supported by delegates. In the policy, money generated from such impact fees would help fund the purchase of farmland preservation easements in the state. Community scale solar projects outside of Ohio Power Siting Board jurisdiction should be subject to local zoning regulation under another new policy adopted at the annual meeting.
In the area of eminent domain, a new policy recommends the compensation awarded to a landowner in an eminent domain case include compensation for lost future income from the land being taken. Additional policy recommended new disclosure requirements whenever a landowner is threatened with eminent domain.
The organization also established several new policies in the area of wildlife management. Policies to help prevent crop damage caused by wildlife and the identification and containment of wildlife diseases were considered and adopted.
More than 700 members and guests attended the meeting in Columbus Dec.8-9. Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen the state’s communities.
For more from the 104th annual meeting, visit ofb.ag/2022annualmeeting.
Submitted by Ty Higgins, senior director of communications and media relations, Ohio Farm Bureau.