COLUMBUS, Ohio — On July 1, Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio’s new budget for Fiscal Years 2022-2023. The $74 billion budget addresses a number of issues vital for Ohio’s farm and food sector.
“From rural broadband and local meat processing capacity, to funding for H2Ohio, the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio State, lawmakers and Governor DeWine heard from Ohio Farm Bureau and our members and responded to the issues laid out in our Ohio Agriculture and Rural Communities Action Plan with this new budget,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “We appreciate the legislature and the administration for their recognition of the challenges facing Ohio’s farm and food sector and for the action to provide funding to address the concerns of their rural constituents across the state.”
The Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative (OACI) issued the following statement on nearly $170 million in funding for H2Ohio included in Ohio’s biennial budget:
“The budget will not only allow H2Ohio to continue to thrive and flourish, it provides the opportunity to expand the initiative and its positive impacts,” said Kris Swartz, Chairman of OACI. “Governor DeWine’s leadership on H2Ohio and the initiative’s commitment to working with farmers will help improve water quality in Ohio’s lakes, streams and rivers. We thank the Governor and the legislature for the investment in this vital initiative. OACI is proud to partner with H2Ohio to address Ohio’s water quality challenges, and we look forward to working together as this program is made available to farmers throughout the Western Lake Erie Basin.”
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) applauded the continued funding for H2Ohio and other beneficial policy changes for Ohio soybean farmers. OSA farmer leaders have been working at the Statehouse throughout the budget process to ensure its members voices are heard.
“We thank the General Assembly and Gov. DeWine for their continued support of the H2Ohio program,” said Jerry Bambauer, OSA policy committee chair and Auglaize County soybean farmer. “These funds will maintain the success of H2Ohio and help even more farmers implement best management practices.”
Additionally, OSA supported the following:
- Rural broadband expansion
- The Ohio State University (OSU) Extension Service and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC)
- OSU’s Farm Production, Policy, and Financial Management Institute
In addition, OSA applauds the Ohio House for the recent passage of House Bill 95, sponsored by Rep. Susan Manchester (R-Lakeview) and Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Plain Township) The bill allows tax credits for farmers, businesses and landlords that work with beginning farmers. Trish Cunningham, OSA board member and Delaware County soybean farmer, testified in support of the bill.
OSA was also pleased to see the recently announced 2021 Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) tables. Farmers continue to see low tax rates after adjustments were made to CAUV from legislative reforms in 2017.
“After years of high tax rates prior to 2017, it’s good to see that the hard work of both our legislature and OSA’s advocacy efforts are paying off and tax bills are at a reasonable level for Ohio soybean farmers.” Bambauer said.
— Ohio Farm Bureau Fedaration
— Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative
— Ohio Soybean Association
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