To the Editor:
I have noticed several letters about Issue 1 in this publication that as a fifth-generation Ohio farmer give me pause. I have raised crops and pigs for my whole life in west-central Ohio and I know how to produce food for consumers around the world that’s consistent, cost-effective, and sustainable. However, I can assure you that I, and my fellow farmers won’t be able to do that if Issue 1 fails to pass on Aug. 8.
For generations, our state’s family farmers have cared for their livestock based on science, technology, and above all, a dedication to doing what’s right for people, animals, and the environment. Unfortunately, today, that’s not enough to satisfy wealthy, out-of-state extremist groups who are poised to undermine this blend of common sense, science, and passion. How? By taking advantage of our state’s current constitutional amendment process that currently disenfranchises many rural residents by not requiring that voices from all 88 Ohio counties be heard and counted.
As it stands right now, I’m concerned that these well-funded anti-ag activists are ready to seize all of Ohio agriculture as their next victory if everyday Ohioans don’t get engaged and vote “yes.” These special interest groups are counting on complacency and confusion. That’s exactly what happened in California with their Prop 12 that puts nonscientific mandates on how farmers raise their animals and what can be sold in stores, which only leads to less choice and higher prices for consumers.
I want Ohioans to realize that on Aug. 8 we can fight back against these extreme groups by improving our state’s democratic process and allowing our state’s farmers to do what’s best for everyone by producing safe, affordable, nutritious, and sustainable food.
I’m proud to be an Ohio farmer and always will be, but what’s at stake goes far behind pride and even my family’s way of life. It’s about the future democratic process of representation and overall prosperity of our state. Simply put, will our farms be able to continue to produce the food Ohio’s consumers want, need, and can afford? I certainly hope so, which is why I’m asking all of us to come together and protect Ohio’s family farmers and consumers by voting “yes” on Aug. 8.