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Farm Bureau members gathered in Columbus for 99th annual meeting

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest “Together With Farmers” was the theme of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 99th annual meeting at the Columbus Convention Center and Hilton Downtown Hotel.More than 600 attendees were on hand as OFBF established its policy on important state and federal issues, elected leaders and recognized the accomplishments of individuals and the organization.Some of the organization’s accomplishments of the past year were highlighted, including reform of Ohio’s Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) formula. The reforms will begin in the 2017 valuations, which farmers in 41 counties will receive in January 2018, and will be fully implemented for all counties after the 2022 reassessment, said Leah Curtis, policy counsel for Ohio Farm Bureau.“If you are in a 2017 re-appraisal county, that means you get your new bill in 2018. Your county auditor may have sent out an updated CAUV value for you. Not all auditors do that, so if you want to see what your new CAUV value is you can contact your auditor to find out,” Curtis said. “They will probably not know what your taxes are yet because they don’t get the finalized tax rates until later in December, but they should be able to tell you what your new CAUV value is. On average we saw those CAUV values about 30% lower than what they were in 2014, which is the last time those counties were appraised. The actual taxes are very dependent on your local tax situation. It would include local tax rates, what the property values have done, if levies were added or taken away — all of those things will play into the difference in the taxes you will pay. Tax rates are locally determined so you can talk with your auditor who may have an idea what your tax rates will do.”Water quality continues to be an important topic of discussion, said Jordan Hoewischer, OFBF Director of Water Quality and Research.“It is probably the biggest issue other than CAUV that is being talked about not only by our members but also our state board and our state staff. It is not going anywhere. This is year three of our partnership with USDA NRCS on our Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network in the Findlay area where we are demonstrating conservation practices that are new and some that have been used for awhile. We see the feasibility of farmers putting them out and the economics of how those practices are being implemented,” Hoewischer said. “We meet a lot with government agencies and this gives us something tangible to find answers for farmers to improve water quality. We have a suite of options for farmers all around the state and region to find solutions to improve water quality. Farmers are willing to do these things, we just need to help them get some good answers to help them make those decisions.”Energy was another big topic with delegates discussing alternative energy policy, royalty payments to landowners and eminent domain challenges. Assistance to members engaged in oil and gas, solar and wind projects in Ohio was also discussed. These and other organization priorities and positions for the coming year were debated and voted on by 358 delegates representing all 88 Ohio counties. Delegates supported OFBF’s continuing work on topics such as trade, immigration, crop insurance and federal conservation programs.In addition, at the Harvest Banquet, county Farm Bureaus that have carried out exceptional local programming were recognized as well as individuals who have made distinguished contributions to Ohio agriculture and Farm Bureau.Distinguished Service Awards were presented to Fred Finney of Wayne County and Ken Davis of Highland County. The OFBF Agriculture Educator Award was presented to Shirley Boyd of Franklin County.Young Agricultural Professional leaders and contest winners were also honored. Discussion Meet winner Danielle Burch from Columbiana County was announced. Greg and Rose Hartschuh of Sycamore were named winners of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2017 Excellence in Agriculture Award. Christian Hoffman of Stoutsville was named winner of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2017 Outstanding Young Farmer Award. Farm Bureau President Frank Burkett III led the policy discussion. Policy session Wayne County introduced some changes with regard to UAS technology. The OFBF Agriculture Educator Award was presented to Shirley Boyd. A Distinguished Service Award was presented to Fred Finney A Distinguished Service Awards were presented to Ken Davis Christian Hoffman of Stoutsville was named winner of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2017 Outstanding Young Farmer Award. Greg and Rose Hartschuh of Sycamore were named winners of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2017 Excellence in Agriculture Award Discussion Meet winner Danielle Burch from Columbiana County was announcedlast_img

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