At OFU’s recent summer picnic and full board meeting, I caught up with Executive Director Linda Borton and President Joe Logan to get a video update on how the organization is doing this year:
In the photo above, State Sen. Robert Hagan talks to Ohio Farmers Union members at the Statehouse last Wednesday about the state of fracking regulation and his proposal to raise the state’s severance tax. Hagan’s proposal calls for a 7.5 percent “frack tax” which is still well below other gas and oil producing states such as Oklahoma and Texas. Gov. John Kasich’s most recent proposal would raise the severance tax on fracked oil and gas to 2.5 percent – and put a good portion of the revenue into a state income tax cut that would primarily benefit upper income earners.
Above, State Rep. Tony Burkley discusses state budget issues and S.B. 150 the nutrient management bill pending in the House Agriculture Committee. L-R: Burkley, at desk; Sue Culver; Fred Culver; Jeff Navarre and Joe Logan.
Above, OFU Vice President Bill Miller discusses manure management and loopholes in current state law affecting waste management in livestock farming with Spencer Gross. Gross is the legislative aide for State Rep. Timothy Derickson, Miller’s representative. OFU’s lobbying day this year coincided with a tremendously busy committee schedule for both houses of the state legislature as senators and members dealt with opening hearings on the governor’s Mid Biennium Review bill (MBR). The MBR comes in the second year of each biennial budget and is the opportunity to tweak the state budget. Additionally, both houses are currently working on the first state Capital Bill in four years.
All Photos by Ron Sylvester, Ohio Farmers Union
Below are a couple of photos taken during the bill signing ceremony for SB 66 today. Clicking on the images gives you a full res shot to download.
L-R: State Sen. Cliff Hite (R-Findlay), SB 66 primary sponsor; Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
L-R: Roger Wise, president, Ohio Farmers Union; Linda Borton, executive director, Ohio Farmers Union; State Sen. Cliff Hite (R-Findlay); Christopher Collins, aide to Sen. Hite; Tony Anderson, Ohio Agricultural Commodity Advisory Commission; Mel Borton, Ohio Farmers Union; Allen Stockberger, Ohio Agricultural Commodity Advisory Commission. Seated, Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
A successful farmer-funded Ohio Department of Agriculture program will see its first changes in more than a decade during the first half of 2012 according to the ODA official who administers it.
The Ohio Grain Indemnity Fund, which protects producers from losing everything in grain elevator failures, is on track for a legislative overhaul sometime in the first quarter of 2012 according to the fund’s administrator, David Simmons.
On July 30 Linda Borton was named interim executive director of the Ohio Farmers Union. Linda has been serving and will continue to serve as interim secretary/treasurer of the OFU Board of Directors.
In the past year Linda has been instrumental in helping OFU – an organization she has been involved with for years – keep its head above water financially as OFU re-establishes itself after a former employee stole operating funds. The video below was taken at the OFU annual Summer Picnic in Clyde, Ohio: