OFBF: Letter writers misquoted us



Recent letters to the editor regarding Ohio Farm Bureau’s involvement in the wild and dangerous animals issue have contained several factual errors.

The letters attribute three quotes to Ohio Farm Bureau representatives: “We are always supporting things our members don’t”; “We have always stood against exotic animal ownership”; and that we said nontraditional animal owners are “acceptable collateral damage.” These quotes are fabricated.

Additionally, the letters claim Farm Bureau leaders are ignoring members’ wishes. Every voting member of every county Farm Bureau may vote on who should represent them at the annual business meeting. In turn, these elected voting delegates establish policies and elect state board members. The state board carries out the policies and applies them to emerging issues.

Specific to Farm Bureau’s engagement in nonfarm animal issues, the board based its decision on existing policies and extensive member input. Subsequently, the board’s decision was affirmed by the full delegate body, not once, but at each of the next two annual business meetings.

Because Ohio agriculture is so diverse, there are few issues on which every farmer will agree. It’s Farm Bureau’s job to reach consensus and to carry out the resulting policy.

We welcome dissenting voices, but ask that those voices not quote us incorrectly or mischaracterize our policy process.

–Joe Cornely

Columbus, Ohio

(The author is senior director, corporate communications, with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.)

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  1. Then what does this mean, copied directly from the 2012 Farm Bureau Policies book?

    5 Animal Care 301
    6 We support properly researched, veterinary approved and industry-tested poultry and
    7 livestock practices that provide consumers with a wholesome food supply. We recognize
    8 that animals are personal property and we oppose legislation and/or ballot initiatives that,
    9 unless clear abuse is evident, restricts the private ownership or use of animals or that

    Does OFB recognize that animals are personal property, or not?

  2. With all due respect, Mr. Cornely, Ohio Farm Bureau took a position on SB310 that completely contradicts state policy. I explained that very clearly in my letter to the editor in this publication. Perhaps in the future, we should all carry tiny tape recorders when speaking with the state FB folks, so we are not accused of “fabricating”.

  3. What right does Farm Bureau have to help dictate over exotic animals? How are they an interested party? ANother Org that has decided they want their name on something?

  4. Mr. Cornely,
    I called and spoke with Chris Hennsey after the OFBF choose to sign the agreement with HSUS and former Gov. Strickland. I specifically asked if he could answer questuons on behalf of the OFBF and he said yes. You may read my original letter here on farm and dairy website at http://www.farmanddairy.com/news/animal-industry-considered-acceptable-collateral-damage/15642.html. He said OFBF and Jack Fisher acccepted the dog and exotic industries as collateral damage to save the farm animals.

  5. I was at the SB310 hearing and there is no misquote. OFB sold out animal agriculture to the animal rights agenda. SB310 will affect all Ohioans not just exotic owners. Read the bill.

  6. As indicated in my original letter that helped spark this debate, Ohio Farm Bureau’s state policy (Section 301) says:

    “We recognize that animals are personal property and we oppose legislation and/or ballot initiatives that, unless clear abuse is evident, restricts the private ownership or use of animals or that inhibits free trade of any animal provided it meets Ohio Department of Agriculture testing and import requirements….”

    SB310 clearly restricts the private ownership and use of animals, and it not only inhibits free trade of the animals, it bans it completely.

    Farm Bureau quoted their other state policy when they testified in support of SB310. That policy (Section 302) states:

    “We support more specific regulations governing the housing, care and movement of exotic animals by private individuals.” (Note: “Specific regulations” do not equal a ban on ownership of these animals. See Section 301 above.)

    Farm Bureau is supporting SB310 because of the agreement they signed 2 years ago with HSUS and then-Governor Strickland to sacrifice the exotic animal industry in order to keep HSUS from introducing their ballot initiative that, if passed, would have overturned the Livestock Care Standards Board. They apparently feel bound to that agreement, which they never should have signed in the first place; and Ohio’s exotic animal industry strongly resents being the sacrificial lambs to an animal rights organization (HSUS) whose goal is not only to eliminate private ownership of exotics, but also to destroy farming as we know it.

    • If memory serves me correct, part of the “Buckeye Agreement” as it was called also gave HSUS the power to keep the list of signatures to use at any time they felt the parties that signed (Jack Fisher, 6 Commodity Leaders) where not upholding their end of the agreement.

  7. This letter smells like some of the bulls the OFB used to support I know the OFB said exotics can be lost to keep H$U$ out of ohio I record all my phone calls to People that don’t tell the trurth all the time Its called cover your rear Keith and Brent from The OBF should have done the same then they would have known what they said went they was kissing Butt

  8. What farmers need to understand is that animal rights groups go after the soft targets first. They chip away incrementally at rights of animal ownership and build success one loss at a time. Poultry cages, horse slaughter, green house gases and gestation crates are a good examples of ways that the industry is being attacked incrementally. Dog breeders have been in the cross hairs for decades, true attacks on traditional animal ag are just gearing up. Animal rights groups create the images & words that incite emotion and use them to sway the public. You can circle the wagon but unless you understand that every form of animal ag should stand together for strength, you’ll fall one by one.

  9. This Bill get passed I am sure the TV stations in Ohio and across the U.S. would love to hear how Ohio Farm Bureau Sold out all the animals owners Lets see how many people want to run and join the OFB then

  10. Well the Ohio Farm Bureau Was at State House Last night to do more damage to the animal owners When The League of Humane voters was asked would this bill give HSUS more control of the animals put on the list she said yes When asked how SB310 would be different from HSUS manipulate Livestock Standard Care Board she told them none When ask how they got a seat on the LSCB She said the agreement with Ohio Farm Bureau and Ted Strickland gave them the power So I ask why give your $60.00 dollars to group that is selling you out Would you keep a milk cow that didn’t give milk Would you keep a hog that did get fat Would you keep a chicken that didn’t lay eggs Then why keep a group that does nothing for you other than join hand with the enemy Make no mistake Animal Rights Groups are no friend to the Farmer Give them a inch they will take a mile

  11. Why are we letting HSUS or PETA controll our lives,,who are these groups that think they have the power to do so. These groups are not ran by the govt. they only have the power we give them,time to take that power away.They have no right,thay have no authority to come into a state and tell us how to care for our animals,or what animals we can and can’t own.They have no right to make up laws they say we must obey,they have no right to come onto anyones property and take thier animals,only law enforcement has that right and they better have a warrent to do so..


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