COLUMBUS — Agriculture is the state’s top industry and economic driver, and officials involved with the 13th annual Ohio Farmland Preservation were adamant about the need to preserve farming’s top resource: land.
Ohio Agriculture Director David Daniels helped kick off the conference Jan. 17 at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, where he called farmland “the basic ingredient that provides food on our tables and keeps our economy strong.
“Governor Kasich has been laser-focused on creating jobs and improving Ohio’s economy, and recognizes the tapped — and untapped — power the agriculture industry holds for the state,” he said. “But to do this we need land.”
So far, the state has preserved 50,000 acres of farmland permanently in 55 Ohio counties.
Daniels said agriculture has been, is, “and will continue to be the number one industry in this state.”
Following his opening comments, he presented three individuals with the Ohio Farmland Preservation Ambassador Award.
They were Larry Frimerman of the Three Valley Conservation Trust, serving Butler, Darke, Hamilton, Montgomery and Preble counties; Dan Jackson of Montgomery Soil and Water Conservation District; and Roger Wolfe, a Fairfield County farmer.
Daniels also recognized ODA Assistant Director Howard Wise, who has helped with the farmland preservation program since its inception.