Bill gives farm institute bigger role

A bill that would enable The Ohio State University’s Farm Financial Management Institute to have a greater role in addressing issues facing the state’s agricultural industry has been approved by the Ohio Senate and has had two hearings before the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.
Senate Bill 128 expands content and priority enrollment specifications for the institute which trains individuals related to the agricultural industry to help growers deal with financial management problems.
If the bill becomes law it would change the name of the program to the Farm Production, Policy, and Financial Management Institute and appropriate $250,000 in fiscal 2022 and fiscal 2023 each for the institute.
Adam Ward, director of government affairs for the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environment Sciences at OSU, testified in favor of the bill before the House committee.
“The current and emerging challenges to Ohio’s agricultural industry cannot be overstated. Agriculture has entered its fourth revolution – digital revolution. From inconsistent climatic conditions to invasive species like the Spotted-Lanternfly, from a volatile international trade environment to pandemic-induced constraints on the food supply – these are challenges that the ….institute is well positioned to triage and effectively address through its expertise and by leveraging partnerships with key stakeholders,” he said. “Farmers and agribusiness across Ohio rely heavily on the unbiased research and education provided by The Ohio State University and OSU Extension to guide them in maximizing yields and farm profitability in an environmentally friendly manner.”
The bill adds “farm owners and managers” to the list of individuals considered for priority enrollment in the program. Currently, priority enrollment is for employees or representatives of banks and other farm credit agencies, agricultural teachers, and faculty and employees of OSU and its extension service who agree to assist Ohio farmers in completing a financial statement and other related subjects, according to the Legislative Service Commission.
Ryan Rhoades, of the Ohio Soybean Association, and Tony Seegers, of the Ohio Farm Bureau, also testified before the House committee as proponents.
Sen. Bob Peterson is the primary sponsor of the bill.


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