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Ohio urges states to gear up for legislative battles

Amanda Nolz
Photo by Amanda NolzAdam Sharp, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Senior Director of Legislative Policy, says the industry needs to take a pro-active approach to livestock care challenges.

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Last November marked a tumultuous time for the agriculture industry. Because of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), an organization with a mission to abolish meat and dairy products from the American diet, seven states have now outlawed some type of livestock penning system. The most notable of the seven states would be when HSUS passed Proposition 2 in California in 2008, changing the use of veal crates, battery cages and sow gestation stalls.

So, when HSUS marked Ohio as their next target, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) knew they had their work cut out for them in the November 2009 elections. With a large amount of hard work, focus and dollars, the agriculture industry was able to pass their own ballot initiative, Issue 2, the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. They won 87 of 88 counties in the state, including all major urban counties. The polls favored yes 64 percent to 36 percent. How did they stand up to a well-oiled lobbying machine like HSUS? What can other states learn from their experience?

Last November marked a tumultuous time for the agriculture industry. Because of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), an organization with a mission to abolish meat and dairy products from the American diet, seven states have now outlawed some type of livestock penning system. The most notable of the seven states would be when HSUS passed Proposition 2 in California in 2008, changing the use of veal crates, battery cages and sow gestation stalls.

So, when HSUS marked Ohio as their next target, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) knew they had their work cut out for them in the November 2009 elections. With a large amount of hard work, focus and dollars, the agriculture industry was able to pass their own ballot initiative, Issue 2, the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. They won 87 of 88 counties in the state, including all major urban counties. The polls favored yes 64 percent to 36 percent. How did they stand up to a well-oiled lobbying machine like HSUS? What can other states learn from their experience?

Last November marked a tumultuous time for the agriculture industry. Because of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), an organization with a mission to abolish meat and dairy products from the American diet, seven states have now outlawed some type of livestock penning system. The most notable of the seven states would be when HSUS passed Proposition 2 in California in 2008, changing the use of veal crates, battery cages and sow gestation stalls.

So, when HSUS marked Ohio as their next target, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) knew they had their work cut out for them in the November 2009 elections. With a large amount of hard work, focus and dollars, the agriculture industry was able to pass their own ballot initiative, Issue 2, the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. They won 87 of 88 counties in the state, including all major urban counties. The polls favored yes 64 percent to 36 percent. How did they stand up to a well-oiled lobbying machine like HSUS? What can other states learn from their experience?


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