Ohio Farmers Union President Roger Wise will testify before the Ohio House Agriculture Committee on Tuesday in favor of proposed changes to Ohio’s grain indemnity law.
Known as Senate Bill 66, and sponsored by Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, the measure passed the Senate unanimously in April and was presented to the House Ag Committee earlier this month with Hite’s sponsor testimony. Under the proposed changes to the indemnity law, farmers would be codified as primary lien holders (first in line) should a grain elevator where they do business fail. Ohio’s farmer-funded Grain Indemnity Fund would also see its cap raised to $15 million and the trigger which signals when farmers pay one-half cent per bushel to replenish the fund raised to $10 million.
OFU has worked with the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture, the Ohio Agricultural Commodity Advisory Commission and ag-interested stakeholders for more than two years to see the law updated and strengthened. While it sailed through the Senate, producers need to be aware that there has been some grumbling from banking interests around Capitol Square about the priority lien being codified in the farmer’s favor. This is the time to call your state representative and let them know this is legislation which protects family farmers and that the fund and ODA activities in administering the fund and regulating grain handlers is in fact paid for by producers.
At this time, we believe the Ohio Agribusiness Association will also be testifying in favor of the changes to the indemnity law. Your testimony, whether written or given on Tuesday at the Committee is encouraged. Please contact Ron Sylvester (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Linda Borton (email@example.com) for more information.
The committee will meet at 10 a.m. in Room 116 at the Statehouse, Tuesday, May 14.