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Serving: OH

Ohio Farm Bureau elects leaders

Bill Patterson, Cy Prettyman, Lane Osswald and Dennis Summers
Pictured (from left) are Bill Patterson, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation president; Cy Prettyman, OFPF vice president; Lane Osswald, OFPF treasurer; and Dennis Summers, Ohio state veterinarian.
Ohio Bits: Conservation easement deadline approaches; leader opposes Build Back Better bill; state veterinarian named.

A 26-year member of the Geauga County Farm Bureau, Bill Patterson of Chesterland was recently reelected president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

Patterson, a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau’s state board since 2011, previously served terms as both OFBF’s first vice president and treasurer. He will continue to serve as the District 4 trustee representing Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties.

Also, reelected were Cy Prettyman of New Bloomington as first vice president, and Lane Osswald of Eldorado as treasurer.

Patterson farms with his family, raising apples, strawberries, peaches and producing maple syrup. The agritourism operation includes a farm market, bakery, fall fun fest, pick-your-own apples and strawberries, and a wedding venue. The family also wholesales apple cider throughout northeast Ohio.

Patterson received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Ohio State University. He also is a graduate of Ohio’s Leadership Education and Development Program — Class VII.

Prettyman, a board member since 2012, will continue as the District 7 representative covering Crawford, Marion, Morrow and Richland counties. 

Osswald, a 10-year board member, represents members in Butler, Hamilton, Montgomery and Preble counties.

Deadline approaching for wetland conservation easement funding

The deadline is approaching for Ohio landowners wishing to protect and restore critical wetlands by enrolling property into conservation easements. Applications for Agricultural Conservation Easement Program’s Wetlands Reserve Easement Program (ACEP-WRE) are taken on a continuous basis, but the deadline to receive fiscal 2022 funding is Feb. 18.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service program, which has restored more than 25,000 acres of wetlands in Ohio, identifies eligible land as farmed or converted wetlands that can successfully be restored; croplands or grasslands subject to flooding; and previously restored wetlands and riparian areas that connect protected wetland areas. 

ACEP-WRE enrollment options include permanent easements, 30-year easements and 30-year contracts. NRCS staff are available to help landowners plan and implement individual projects, and the agency will pay a percent of the purchase value, as well as restoration costs for each easement option. 

For more information, visit ACEP-WRE in Ohio or contact Michael Hasty, Ohio ACEP-WRE easement coordinator, at 614-255-2442 or michael.hasty@usda.gov.

OFB says Build Back Better Act would hurt rural Ohio

Bill Patterson, Ohio Farm Bureau president, says he’s concerned with the ideas in the Build Back Better Act, also known as the reconciliation package. He noted that the cost of living is continuing to rise at a staggering rate, while there is decreased availability for many goods farms and farm family need and rely upon. 

“As an organization, we struggle to see how the colossal Build Back Better spending bill addresses these issues,” he said in a statement. “This package would make changes in the tax code and impact production practices on farms directly, both of which conflict with Ohio Farm Bureau’s policies set by members at the grassroots level.”

His statement follows American Farm Bureau Federation’s letter recently sent to the U.S. House of Representatives opposing the Build Back Better Act.

“We urge lawmakers to take a different approach to solving these challenges by focusing directly on the causes of the inflation, supply chain and labor woes we are experiencing today,” he continued. “We are asking them to find practical solutions, rather than an unorganized plan spending a massive amount of taxpayer dollars only to create additional uncertainty. It's time to get back to basics.”

Summers named Ohio state veterinarian

Dr. Dennis Summers has been named the chief of the Division of Animal Health and is charged with protecting and promoting the health of Ohio’s livestock and poultry industries. In that capacity, he serves as Ohio’s state veterinarian and oversees all operations for the division.

Summers first joined the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2014 as a field veterinarian for the Division of Meat Inspection, then was transferred to ODA’s Division of Animal Health in the same capacity in 2015. He was appointed to the position of assistant state veterinarian in 2018, and then interim state veterinarian in 2021.

Before his service at ODA, Summers was a private practitioner in Vermont, Ohio and Pennsylvania. His areas of practice focused on large-animal medicine and surgery, mainly dairy, equine and beef, but also some small ruminants and exotics.

Dr. Kristy Shaw will serve as assistant state veterinarian.

Ohio receives federal funds for private lands conservation 

Ohio is part of two of 19 new projects the USDA is awarding $15 million under the Conservation Innovation Grants program. These projects focus on helping agricultural producers mitigate the effects of climate change and increase the resilience of their operations. Many of the projects focus on providing conservation benefits for historically underserved producers.  

CIG is a competitive program that supports the development of new tools, approaches, practices and technologies to further natural resource conservation on private lands.

Projects Ohio is involved in include:

High-clearance robotic irrigator for in-season nutrient management. Ohio State University will demonstrate the 360 High Clearance Robotic Irrigation System for in-season nutrient applications, which aligns nutrient application timing to a crop’s nutrient needs and improves irrigation efficiency.   

Nutrient loading reduction through phosphorus recovery demonstration program. The Maumee Watershed Alliance will demonstrate phosphorus recovery technologies at three different sites with the aim of illustrating 80% total phosphorus removal over extended demonstration periods. The MWA will also explore the market value of two resultant co-products — dewatered manure solids and amorphous calcium phosphate.  

For full project descriptions, visit the NRCS website.  

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