Ohio farmers meet with Congress to discuss energy prices, disaster relief


COLUMBUS – Ohio Farmers Union members returned to their farms after three days on Capitol Hill talking with members of Congress on behalf of farm families in Ohio and around the nation.
One-on-one. During the National Farmers Union grassroots legislative fly-in, Sept. 12-14, Ohio producers joined more than 200 farmers and ranchers from across the country.
The fly-in provides an opportunity for producers to visit lawmakers about issues that affect farm operations.
OFU members urged legislators to address rising energy prices, support weather related disaster relief, oppose budget cuts in agricultural spending and further study the implementation of the national animal identification system.
Participants. Representing Ohio in the nation’s capital meeting with legislators include Duane Shields of Darke County, Louis Smith of Sandusky County and Richard Babb of Clinton County.
Ohio Farmers Union Communications Director Maria Miller Gordon of Paulding County, and Ohio Farmers Union President Joe Logan of Trumbull County also attended.
Key issues. Fly-in participants asked Congress to address the economic effects of higher energy prices.
Producers are among the largest fuel users in the U.S. and face significant increases in operating expenses.
Ohio Farmers Union members also asked lawmakers to further promote renewable fuels.
“We could easily fill a large portion of the energy needs for our country by using ethanol and biodiesel from crops grown here in Ohio and across our nation,” Logan said.
The group also urged their representatives to fully implement the mandatory country-of-origin labeling law, extend dairy safety net provided by the Milk Income Loss Contact program, and to further study the implementation of the national animal identification system.
Awards. During the event, Ohio members presented the National Farmers Union’s Golden Triangle Award to Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Sherrod Brown.
Kaptur was honored for her support of mandatory country-of-origin labeling, fairer trade deals for domestic producers, leadership on seed-saving legislation, and her role in the appropriations process.
Brown was given the award for his work with international trade policies.

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