COLUMBUS, Ohio - Today, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation announced its support for Rob Portman, naming him a "Friend of Agriculture" during a stop on the Portman for Senate Campaign's "Moving Ohio Forward" RV Tour, which will make 50 stops across 30 counties and cover over 3,500 miles.
Much like the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18, the Ohio Conference of Teamsters, and the United Mine Workers, former Governor Ted Strickland sought out the Farm Bureau's support in April. Unfortunately for him, the Farm Bureau agreed that Rob is the only candidate in this race with a proven record of delivering results and standing up for Ohio farmers and their families. Following the event, Frank Burkett, president of the Ohio Farm Bureau and Rob issued these statements:
"Senator Portman has demonstrated consistent and unwavering support of Ohio Farm Bureau's priority issues as well as issues important to the entire agricultural community and we are proud and excited to designate him as a Friend of Agriculture," said Frank Burkett, President of the Ohio Farm Bureau.
“Our agricultural heritage in Ohio is a way of life that we must protect," said Rob Portman. "I am honored to receive the 2016 ‘Friend of Agriculture’ Award, and I look forward to working side by side with the Farm Bureau in order to enact sensible policies to increase growth and jobs and help Ohio farmers be successful."
With more than 200,000 members, Ohio Farm Bureau is Ohio's largest general farm organization, a federation of 87 county Farm Bureaus representing all 88 counties. Members include farmers, food enthusiasts, teachers and anyone who enjoys rural Ohio
Rob was proud to support the 2014 Farm bill that included some important fiscal reforms while still providing for programs that provide certainty to Ohio's farmers. (Cleveland.com: Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman help pass major farm bill, February 4, 2014)
Rob supported recent legislation that was signed into law, S. 764, which allows Ohio farmers to continue to use agriculture biotechnology and gives consumers increased access to information about their food through labeling. Rob voted in support of this law because a patchwork of state laws is not feasible and would have increased food costs for Ohio's families already feeling the middle class squeeze.
Rob is opposed to the recent Waters of the U.S. rule out of the Environmental Protection Agency because the rule is a burden on agricultural development across Ohio and for farmers across the country. If the new rule is allowed to stand it will make it harder and more costly for Ohio's farmers to update, alter or change their farming operations to remain competitive with the global market. (Senate vote 5, January 21, 2016)
Rob is a long-time advocate of tax policies that help Ohio farmers compete on the global market and to re-invest in their operations. Last year he fought hard to have an important tax provision made permanent that allows Ohio farmers to deduct the purchase of farming equipment. This deduction allows farmers to purchase state-of-the-art equipment to remain competitive and now they have the certainty to plan for the future. Rob has also called for the repeal of the death tax that will further ensure Ohio's family farms are able to be passed down from generation to generation.
Ohio farmers are feeding Ohio and helping to feed this country and even the world. Currently 1 in 3 acres of Ohio farmland is planted for exports and Rob believes they deserve expanded access to global markets. Rob's goals on trade are to expand foreign markets to increase American exports, and to protect all Ohioans from unfair imports and trade practices.