Gov. Dewine Outlines H2Ohio Water Quality Initiative

From: Ohio Ag Net

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine outlined his H2Ohio water quality initiative, which he is introducing as part of his proposed budget for the 2020-2021 biennium.

“Water is vital to everyone, yet communities throughout the state face real and different challenges, such as algae blooms, failing septic tanks, nutrient pollution, and threats of lead contamination,” Governor DeWine said. “We cannot continue to lurch from water crisis to water crisis. I am proposing an H2Ohio initiative that would allow us to invest in targeted, long-term solutions to ensure safe and clean water across the state of Ohio.” Continue reading

Meet and Greet Opportunities With ODA Director Pelanda

By: Ohio Department of Agriculture
Previously published by Ohio Ag Net

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is announcing the rest of a series of informal meet and greet events across Ohio with Director Dorothy Pelanda. The meetings will present the opportunity for Director Pelanda to introduce herself, share information regarding her background and listen to thoughts and ideas from members of Ohio’s food and agriculture industry. Continue reading

Lake Erie Bill of Rights Issue To Go To Toledo Voters

By Ellen Essman, Sr. Research Associate, Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program

The Ohio Supreme Court recently decided that a “Lake Erie Bill of Rights” initiative could be placed before Toledo residents in a special election Feb. 26, 2019. The Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) is a proposed amendment to the Toledo City Charter. Josh Abernathy, an opponent to the initiative, brought the lawsuit, seeking a “writ of prohibition”— meaning he wanted the Ohio Supreme Court to determine that the Lucas County Board of Elections must remove LEBOR from the special election ballot. Continue reading

New ODA Director Changes Course of Watersheds in Distress Rulemaking

By: Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Agricultural and Resource Law Program, Ohio State University

Less than a week into the administration of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, a new approach to watersheds in distress has emerged. Director Dorothy Pelanda assumed the helm of the Ohio Department of Agriculture in days ODA had changed the status of the proposed watersheds in distress rules in the Register of Ohio to “To Be Refiled.” Continue reading

Rep. Dorothy Pelanda Tapped to Lead ODA

Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) was nominated Thursday to serve as the next director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture by Gov.-elect Mike Dewine. In addition, Laurie Stevenson has been nominated to head the Ohio EPA.

Pelanda will be stepping into the ODA director role occupied by Tim Derickson since October and previously held by David Daniels. Derickson will stay at ODA and return to his position as assistant director. Pelanda served on the Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee during the 2013-2014 Legislative Session. Pelanda has been active on the state legislature, representing the 83rd House District, which includes Union and Logan counties, as well as most of Marion County. Continue reading

“Watersheds In Distress” Revisions This Month

By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor and Director, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

The legislative Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) has voted to send the “watersheds in distress” rule revisions back to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). JCARR reviews administrative rules to make sure they follow legal requirements. The “watersheds in distress” rules seek to address agricultural nutrient impacts on water quality. At its December meeting, JCARR members voted 8 to 1 to recommend that ODA revise and refile the rules for consideration at JCARR’s next meeting on Jan. 22, 2019. Continue reading

USDA Highlights Accomplishments In 2018

By: USDA

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue highlighted the accomplishments made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the past year. USDA has continued enacting President Trump’s goals of regulatory reform, streamlining government, and refocusing USDA to be customer oriented.

“In 2018 we have fought for American farmers, ranchers, and producers by delivering new and improved trade deals like USMCA and a re-negotiated KORUS agreement, provided trade assistance to farmers due to illegal trade retaliation, and helped our fellow citizens through devastating natural disasters,” Perdue said. “I am proud to say that every day at USDA we do our best to live by our motto to “Do Right and Feed Everyone.” Continue reading

How Will the Shutdown Affect USDA Functions?

By: Ohio Ag Net Staff

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today detailed which functions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will remain available in the event of a lapse in government funding.

“There may be a lapse in funding for the federal government, but that will not relieve USDA of its responsibilities for safeguarding life and property through the critical services we provide,” said Secretary Perdue.  “Our employees work hard every day to benefit our customers and the farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers who depend on our programs. During a shutdown, we will leverage our existing resources as best we can to continue to provide the top-notch service people expect.” Continue reading

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018: Initial review

By: Jonathan CoppessGary SchnitkeyNick PaulsonBenjamin GramigKrista Swanson, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, Ohio State University

On Monday Dec. 10, 2018, the House and Senate conference committee released the conference report for the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018; the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, the Senate moved quickly to pass the conference report with a final vote in favor of the farm bill of 87 to 13. On Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, the House voted overwhelmingly to pass the farm by 369 to 47 (16 not voting). Given that it passed by veto-proof majorities, it is likely that the President will sign it and the Agricultural Act of 2018 will soon become law. Continue reading

Could the Nuisance Cases in North Carolina Happen in My State?

By: John Dillard, Attorney. Previously published by Farm Journal’s Pork

More than two dozen nuisance cases have been filed by residents in North Carolina against Murphy-Brown, the live growout subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. So far, the juries have returned three cases to the tune of $50 million, $25 million and $473.5 million. Twenty-three more cases are scheduled, drawing international attention to the southwest portion of the state.

In addition to the immediate impact of the cases and what they might mean for North Carolina hog producers, it raises understandable concerns over whether similar cases could be filed in other states. Here’s a brief breakdown of the major issues in the cases: Continue reading