Ohio Farmers Union elects Wise as president

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COLUMBUS — Roger Wise was elected by Ohio Farmers Union delegates to lead the grassroots advocacy organization.

Wise, Sandusky County, succeeds Joe Logan, Trumbull County, who had served as president for the three two-year terms, the maximum allowed.

“My goals will be to expand membership, encourage more member involvement and promote the policy of our organization.”

Wise said the current concerns of the farm organization’s members include renewable energy, inclusion of Community-Based Energy Development in Senate Bill 221, reregulation of public utilities and public policy that will address manure waste management from concentrated animal feeding operations.

Brian Wolfe, Ashtabula County, who ran against Wise for the presidency, was subsequently elected vice president by delegates.

Annual meeting

Hundreds of family farmers and rural residents attended the organization’s 74th annual meeting, which was held Jan. 31 through Feb. 2 in Dublin.

Delegates supported the Ohio legislature’s overall actions to pass SB 221. The bill maps out future energy development incentives and goals. Delegates also recommended that SB 221 include Community-Based Energy Development language as well, as benchmarks and penalties relating to renewable energy goals.

In addition, delegates called for urgency in responding to global climate change by reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Ohio’s first lady, Francis Strickland, told delegates, members and guests that “agriculture will be a huge part of where our economy has to go.”

Katy Ziegler, National Farmers Union’s vice president of legislative affairs, offered a Washington insider’s look at the farm bill debate. She said the U.S. House and Senate have passed overall farm bills that offer much for the nation’s rural farmers, ranchers and rural communities.

She credited Farmers Union members for their legislative fly-ins to Capitol Hill. Due to those efforts, the farm bill proposals include implementation of country-of-origin labeling, a permanent disaster title and a livestock competition title.

Speakers

An array of speakers addressed convention attendees including Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Robert Boggs, National Farmers Union President Tom Buis, Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray and National Farmers Union Education Director Laura Monchuk.

In addition, educational break-out sessions were held on farm record keeping, a program to develop a sustainable food system and bio-char and bio-energy coproduction.

Seated on the Ohio Farmers Union Executive Committee were Marvin Thompson of Paulding County and Walt Streber of Clinton County.

Elected as member delegates to the National Farmers Union convention March 2–4 in Las Vegas were Gerry Landon of Williams County and Andy Remillard of Knox County.

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