Ohio’s largest family farmer organization is joining a respected environmental advocacy group to educate and hear from northwest Ohio farmers and other agricultural stakeholders on the topic of a cleaner Lake Erie Water basin.
“A healthy Lake Erie is an invaluable economic and natural resource,” said Roger Wise, president of the Ohio Farmers Union.
“All of us know Lake Erie has experienced some incredibly large and harmful algal blooms over the past few years. OFU is joining with the Ohio Environmental Council to put together an event where farmers and others who are dependent upon agriculture can learn and share their views and experience. This is a controversial topic for some in agriculture, but it is one that we need to address as an industry and a local economy,” Wise added.
Specifically, Wise is talking about the blooms of cyanobacteria – often called blue-green algae – that have plagued Lake Erie in recent years. Increasing levels of dissolved phosphorous in the lake’s water have been tied to these pollution events which are not only smelly and unsightly, but can emit toxins dangerous to human and animal health. The Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorous Task Force has said that the sources of the dissolved phosphorous are numerous but list agricultural fertilizers and sewage treatment plants as chief sources. OFU has adopted as one of its public policy priorities this year the promotion of voluntary nutrient pollution measures on Ohio’s farms.
OFU and the OEC will hold a northwest Ohio stakeholder education program on Friday, February 22 at the Hancock County Agricultural Service Center, 7868 County Rd. 140 in Findlay. The program will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch will be provided at no cost, but RSVPs are required. To RSVP please contact Linda Borton at 800-321-3671 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presenters at the event include:
- Joe Logan, Director of Agricultural Programs for the Ohio Environmental Council
- Ed Crawford, WLEB Program Specialist with ODNR, Division of Soil and Water Resources
- Dr. Yi Shi, Research Specialist from Michigan State University’s Institute of Water Research
- Representatives from Natural Resources Conservation Services and Ohio Sea Grant