Governor Kasich on Sunday, June 30 signed the state’s biennial operating budget into law.
Yvonne Lesicko, Senior Director of Legislative and Regulatory Policy for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) describes it as a really good budget for Ohio agriculture, citing funding for both Heidelberg’s Water Quality Lab and the state’s Sea Grant Program as victories.
“We received funding for both of those and we did receive an increase in funding for Extension and OARDC, so we were pleased with both of those victories, those laid the groundwork for what we were looking for,” said Lesicko. “Then other things came along, ag education, Clean Ohio funds, some changes for our commercial grain handlers with the CAT (Commercial Activity Tax) tax, so overall a really good budget for Ohio’s agricultural community.”
Lesicko credits the work of Farm Bureau members, calling their legislators throughout the session for their successes.
“We were putting out action alerts throughout the process to our Farm Bureau members, letting them know here’s what you need to communicate, here’s what you need to call your legislator about,” Lesicko said. “That’s always where the effectiveness comes from.”
With the state budget behind them, the OFBF Senior Director of Legislative and Regulatory Policy says their focus now turns to the federal level, where they will be working on the next step in getting a Farm Bill passed and immigration reform.