Supporting Ohio's Farmers

 
 

Agriculture has always been vital to the well-being of the people of Ohio...

Not only do our vast agricultural resources provide stable jobs for many hard working families, but the agricultural products that originate in our state help to feed the entire world. Agriculture is a complex industry that depends on science, technology, international trade, labor and so much more -- effective agriculture policy must understand these complexities. Because of the multifaceted approach necessary to support successful farming, I support robust and extensive funding for the Farm Bill. By supporting family farms, working to streamline government regulations, ensuring access to fair trade and international markets, and providing all Ohioans with access to the technology and education necessary to make them competitive and prosperous in the 21st century, we can ensure the prosperity of Ohio’s agriculture sector for years to come.

Technology

We must close the digital divide to ensure that Ohioan farmers and rural Americans will keep up with the rest of the country. One way to do this is through USDA’s Community Connect Grant, which funds increased broadband access for rural areas. From education aids to farming equipment, investing in rural communities and expanding access to modern technology will build capacity in these farming communities. With this increased toolset, we can help Ohioans remain productive and competitive in the rapidly changing environment of the 21st century.

The Next Generation of American Farmers

We must empower the next generation of America’s farmers with access to affordable, quality education in a variety of different fields. With continued research investment at land-grant universities and additional support for trade-schools and local community colleges, we can ensure that young farmers have the opportunity and ability to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to continue these vital farming practices. By increasing access to education and providing new opportunities for farmers to access capital, we can guarantee that young farmers have the chance to apply their hard-earned skills. This will benefit them, their local communities, and all of us who see their hard work on our dinner table every night.

Rural Families and Agriculture Workers

I pledge to fight for increased funding for our rural farmers, with a promise to press for programs that protect family farmers and agricultural workers from natural disasters, inclement weather, government overreach, and dangerous working conditions. I will fight to ensure that programs like the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard, which offers occupational protections to more than 2 million agricultural workers, remain in place. These kinds of programs, like ones that protect Ohioans from the harmful effects of pesticides and herbicides, or ensure access to adequate housing, or provide equity capital to expand rural farms and businesses, are critical to ensuring the success and prosperity of Ohio’s rural communities.

Preserving Our Land

We must also recognize the importance of preserving our most precious resource – the land on which so many Ohioans and citizens around the globe depend. By providing assistance to farmers who conserve their own natural resources and promoting programs like Farm Operating Loans and Farm Real Estate Loans (offered by USDA's Farm Service agency) that emphasize responsible farming practices, we can ensure that Ohioans will be able to use our land for generations to come.