Guest blog: Terry Boose differs from Governor on what will help Ohio agriculture

Editor’s Note:  State Rep. Terry Boose represents Ohio’s 58th house district, comprising the eastern third of Seneca County, all of Huron County, and western and southern portions of Lorain County.  This editorial was released to media outlets on 7/23/2010.

Strickland’s Agricultural “Deal” Detrimental to the Industry

Here in Ohio, farming represents a vital component of our economy and ensures the livelihood of a number of Ohioans. Agriculture ranks as Ohio’s largest industry, which is an indicator of its importance to the well-being of our communities as well as to Ohio’s economic success.

Lately, I have been hearing a lot of negative feedback from constituents about the “deal” Governor Ted Strickland has brokered between agriculture leaders and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Farmers in the 58th Ohio House District seem especially concerned with this troubling development. I am devoted to looking out for the best interests of my constituency, and Governor Strickland’s deal simply doesn’t reflect this objective.

This “deal” that the governor was instrumental in organizing was struck between the HSUS and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation on June 30th. It halted Ohioans for Humane Farms from submitting signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State, collected to put an HSUS-backed animal care initiative on the fall ballot. Strickland painted this agreement between Jack Fisher, CEO of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and Wayne Pacelle, CEO of HSUS, as a welcome compromise that reflects the best interests of both parties. In actuality, this deal negatively impacts farmers by placing on them a host of constraining regulations.

Ohio’s farmers and the agriculture industry as a whole did not need to enter into negotiations or make any of the compromises contained within this debilitating agreement. The Ohio Secretary of State’s office has noted that it was unlikely that the Ohioans for Humane Farms would have amassed the requisite 402,275 signatures to get their animal care initiative on the November ballot. Therefore, it was unnecessary for Ohio’s farmers to give in to any demands that would impede the success of their industry. It worries me that Governor Strickland would broker a deal that will have such a negative impact on our communities and economy.

I am listening to the feedback from the farmers in the 58th Ohio House District and will continue to address the concerns of my constituency. Many of the items that were negotiated in Governor Strickland’s “deal” have to be enacted with legislation for them to take effect. As your state representative, I will not support anything that is not also backed by the farmers of our community. My concerns lie with the well-being of Ohioans, and I will work to ensure that their livelihoods are not compromised by the governor’s ill-advised agreement.

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