Ohio Farm Bureau set to make annual trip to Washington

STEUBENVILLE – The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation is making its annual trek to Washington, D.C., to lobby on behalf of landowners and farmers this week.

Dave Boring, president of the Jefferson County Farm Bureau, will be among the 88 county presidents from the Buckeye State making the trek to the nation’s capitol, where sessions and briefings are expected to include time with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

The American Farm Bureau is host for the visit and sets the agenda and appointments.

Boring, in his second term as president of the 3,300-member Jefferson County Farm Bureau, said he has attended the lobbying week in previous years.

Boehner, he said, always gives time to the Ohio group. In addition to being from Ohio, Boehner was a ranking member of the agriculture committee before becoming speaker, Boring said.

“We are definitely a lobbyist organization, an advocate of farm policy. We’re there to show the government that we want to help them, to be involved in their legislation,” Boring explained.

The recently passed five-year farm bill was in part the result of efforts by the American Farm Bureau, he said.

“While that is a five-year bill and the pressure is off a little bit there, the buzzword now across the country and especially in Ohio is clean water – water issues and water rights are issues that our government and the farm bureau are taking on. I’m sure that will be one of the major things we talk about,” Boring said.

He said Ohio is dealing with the Lake Erie watershed having a rising level of phosphorus.

“We’re trying to analyze if it’s coming from the farm community or the lawn community or if it is industrial, but farming, unfortunately, takes most of the blame,” Boring said. “We feel that we are part of the problem, but we are not all of the problem, so we want there to be an equitable solution.”

In addition to the 88 county representatives, about a dozen reporters from around the state accompany the group to report on the farm bureau’s efforts and issues.

Herald-Star reporter Paul Giannamore was selected as one of the reporters to go on the trip this year and he will be filing stories from Washington during the Farm Bureau’s visit.

Boring and Giannamore will travel with a group from Harrison, Tuscarawas, Carroll counties set up by Michelle Specht, organizational director for the four counties, and will link up with the rest of the state’s delegation in Washington.