Belmont County gets nine stars

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BETHESDA, Ohio – Several Belmont County politicians were present or represented at the recent Farm Bureau annual meeting in Bethesda.
Included were Rep. Bob Ney, Rep. Alan Sayre, prosecuting attorney Chris Berhalter, Rep. Shane Thompson, and county commissioner candidates Kirke Porterfield and Dick Stobbs.
They listened to the discussion of policy resolutions by Farm Bureau members and added comments to help clarify issues.
Policy. All resolutions passed but with some dissension and amendments.
National proposals support the current USDA system of animal disease control but gives no support for the National Animal Identification System. Members voted to limit use of eminent domain.
Members also support declaration of English as our national language and a migrant worker program that requires them to return to their original country after a specified time.
Two proposals from the floor urged upgrading electric power grids to avoid blackouts and to develop better plans for disaster evacuation and aid.
State. State proposed policies would support mineral mining laws to bring them to the standard of both surface and underground mining, bonding of underground mining to cover surface and subsurface damage and adequate compensation of property owners for inconvenience and lost use.
Wildlife proposals ask for a controlled area project to compare damages with uncontrolled areas, incentives to shoot more deer, more deer kill permits where damage is severe, and a reduction in permit costs to induce more deer hunting.
Other proposals dealt with brownfields, Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, alternative energy and recycling.
Local. Local policies would cause changes at the James Carnes Center by having Belmont County take ownership of it, the agricultural society and the county tourism council payoff its indebtedness and have offices in it.
Members support open season on female deer, current dog laws and county recycling and litter prevention.
Resolutions would encourage county officials to explore countywide zoning and to gather and preserve all the historic county records. Members urge county officials and citizens to oppose any longwall mining under Dysart Woods, Fox Commerce Park, Ohio University East, Barkcamp State Park, Carnes Center and the new fairgrounds.
A final resolution urges repair or replacement of township bridges for better safety in the county.
Star awards. Belmont County Farm Bureau leaders received achievement awards in nine categories.
Merlin Wentworth, state trustee, presented membership awards to Brenda Hoskinson and Don and Carol Carpenter.
The county received a silver plowshare award for a successful membership drive as well. Belmont County has 1,700 members and 668 farmers.
Awards were given to Floyd Simpson, government affairs; Martha Giffen, policy development; Becky Keefer, promotion and education; Mike Simpson, safety coordinator; Joe Hart, agricultural ecology; Vickie Temple, advisory councils and young farm couples; Eric Rubel, Nationwide sponsor; and Glenna Cain, information coordinator.
Bob Groves received a president’s award and was appointed to the Ohio Farm Bureau policy development committee. That group will consider all the resolutions from each county in Ohio in order to form state resolutions for a vote of members at the OFBF annual meeting in Columbus in December.
Business. Board members for the upcoming year are Vickie Temple, Jerry Ebert, Rick Oberdick and Don Carpenter.
Delegates to attend the annual meeting in December 2007 were Pat Groves, Elda Rubel and Vickie Temple. Alternates are Rick Oberdick and Eric Rubel.

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