After reviewing an informal poll about our farmer-board members, I’ve recognized one thing: The goals of OCGA in 2010 coincide with the goals of the nation—with an overarching result to revive the economy.
The Washington Post and numerous other media outlets say now that the health-care debate is wrapping up in D.C., the focus is back to jobs.
While I won’t comment about the health-care debate, I can tell you that the farming industry is in the business of providing jobs to Americans, even as segments of other industries ship out jobs overseas.
Agriculture in Ohio is nearly a $98 billion industry. It supports an array of jobs both for farmers and businesses that support farming, such as equipment dealers, fertilizer suppliers, ethanol plants and seed companies. Ohio’s ethanol plants have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into providing new jobs and new uses for the abundant corn crop grown here in the Buckeye State.
In February, we will accompany our farmers on a mission to Washington, D.C., to talk about how farming contributes to the economy and why votes in favor of agriculture help all Americans.
For example, ethanol production has spurred job growth not only in Ohio but also in many other states; we need to continue to provide information showing the economic, environmental and national security benefits of this domestic fuel. We are educating lawmakers about the need for higher blends and advocating for an increased ethanol-blend requirement as ethanol production creates green jobs, stimulates corn demand and reduces foreign sources of energy.
Food is vital for survival. Therefore, OCGA will continue to focus on the issue of safeguarding livestock production to ensure a safe, reliable food supply. As corn growers, we provide feed to livestock and poultry in Ohio and overseas that maintains this food supply. Numerous studies and reports show that more and more people will go hungry in the coming years because they lack access to this abundant supply. By advocating for improved trade agreements that open foreign markets to U.S. agriculture products, we can continue to feed the world while keeping and creating jobs in the U.S. And by protecting livestock production in America, we can keep up with demand for food in our own country.
Another way we’re guaranteeing our economic climate is to be at the table in talks about greenhouse gas legislation. Year after year, farmers are producing more with less and reducing emissions. OCGA will remain visible in this debate to ensure that agriculture is seen as a solution to increased emissions worldwide and at the same time, is not penalized by any legislation that could negatively impact our industry.
Come February, our grassroots advocates—your farmer neighbors—will have materials in hand to show legislators what agriculture means to the economy in Ohio.
Corn’s portion of economic success is secure and continues to grow with the nation’s needs.
I look forward to blogging about my experiences in D.C. as I campaign for corn’s increased role in supporting America’s economy.