Kasich appoints Sen. David Daniels to lead Ohio Dept. of Agriculture

COLUMBUS—Governor John R. Kasich today announced the appointment of Sen. David Daniels (R-Greenfield) to serve as director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).

Daniels has represented Ohio’s 17th Senate District since January 2011 and will submit his resignation to the Ohio Senate on Wednesday. He is expected to be sworn in and begin his duties as ODA director on Thursday, February 16.

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Ohio’s organic dairy producers and marketers score rare regulatory win over factory farms, ‘Big Ag’

In a little noticed decision one week ago, an Ohio Department of Agriculture dairy labeling rule that was more stringent than federal Food and Drug Administration policy was dropped by the agency to the cheers of family farmers and others involved in the organic dairy industry.

As of 2008, ODA had demanded that dairy producers and marketers attach government-approved qualifying statements to labels when claims such as “Hormone Free” were used on the labels. Organic producers have been especially incensed over the rule because they control their dairy herds’ environment to be free of pesticides and from administering growth and other hormones to dairy cows such as rBST, a synthetic bovine growth hormone routinely given to dairy cattle in factory farming environments.

With the rule, organic dairies had to add statements to their labels that were unfair – and many would say unfounded – qualifiers. Now, USDA Certified Organic producers will be able to tout that fact on their labels as well as letting consumers know, without qualification, that their product is hormone free.

“Ohio’s abandonment of this misguided rule is a victory for consumers, farmers and manufacturers alike,” said Christine Bushway, CEO of the Organic Trade Association. (OTA)

“The organic label is a federally regulated program that provides consumers with the knowledge that their food is produced without the use of antibiotics, pesticides or added growth hormones. Consumers have the right to make informed choices about the foods they eat, and farmers and manufacturers can continue to communicate truthfully with consumers” Bushway added.

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Kasich Administration Sets New Fees for Weights & Measures Devices

The Ohio Dept. of Agriculture has announced a new $75 fee on the weights and measures devices used by many farmers.

Devices covered by the new fee include:

  • Vehicle scales
  • Railway scales
  • Livestock scales
  • Bulk rack meters
  • Vehicle meters
  • LPG meters

According to ODA, for 2011, device owners have until September 30, 2011 to register their devices. Registrations received after September 30, 2011 will incur a $20 late fee.

An ODA fact sheet on the fee may be downloaded here.