COLUMBUS, Ohio — There’s an old saying that legislation either lives or dies in committee. Committees and their chairpersons play a critical role in determining whether an idea makes it through the legislative process and becomes a law. So let’s take a look at the new members and chairs of Ohio’s agriculture committees, recently appointed for the new two-year session of the 134th Ohio General Assembly.
After announcing a change in the committee’s name from “Agriculture and Rural Development” to “Agriculture and Conservation Committee,” House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) finalized his committee appointments. The new committee will include:
- Rep. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) will return as Committee Chair. Now in his fourth term in the Ohio House, Rep. Koehler has a background as a software engineer and working for his family’s tool company but has raised livestock and refers to himself as a hobby farmer. Rep. Koehler recently received the “Friend of Agriculture” endorsement from Ohio Farm Bureau.
- Rep. Rodney Creech (R-West Alexandria) will serve as the new Committee Vice Chair during his first term in the House. Rep. Creech farms in Preble County, owns a lawn care business, and has served as a township trustee and county commissioner.
- Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) will also return to the committee as its Ranking Member. Rep. Brent is in her second term in the House, with a background in non-profit and community engagement work.
- Rep. Brian Baldridge (R-Winchester)
- Rep. Adam C. Bird (R-New Richmond)
- Rep. Sarah Fowler Arthur (R-Geneva-on-the-Lake)
- Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo)
- Rep. Don Jones (R-Freeport)
- Rep. Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville)
- Rep. Joseph A. Miller (D-Amherst)
- Rep. Michael J. O’Brien (D-Warren)
- Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum)
- Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon)
On the Senate side, Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) announced the members of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, which will include:
- Sen. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) as the new Committee Chair. Sen. Shaffer is in his third term in the Senate and was also elected to the Ohio House for four terms. He is also an association executive in the private sector, and has earned the “Friend of Agriculture” award from Ohio Farm Bureau along with over a dozen other awards for his legislative service.
- Sen. Stephen A. Huffman (R-Tipp City) will serve as the Committee Vice Chair. Following two terms in the House, Sen. Huffman is in his first term as a Senator. Sen. Huffman is a practicing physician and will also chair the Senate’s Health Committee.
- Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) is the committee’s Ranking Minority Member. A two-term Senator also elected to three terms in the House, Sen. Fedor is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Ohio Air National Guard and a retired teacher for Toledo Public Schools.
- Sen. Bob Hackett (R-London)
- Sen. Tina Maharath (D-Columbus)
- Sen. Sandra O’Brien (R-Ashtabula)
- Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House)
The House Agriculture and Conservation Committee holds its first meeting next Tuesday, February 16. Follow the committee through its website, which includes meeting agendas and minutes, bills under consideration, and video of committee meetings.
The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee began its work last week with consideration of a bill authorizing the use of owls in the sport of falconry. Meeting agendas and bills under consideration are available on the committee’s website.
— Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law
Ohio State University CFAES
For more articles out of Ohio, click here.