In this turkey-carving season, we often forget our role in putting the Thanksgiving meal on the table. In western Ohio, we are blessed with so many fine farming families, and many working individuals who help to export our agricultural products to the world. The truth is this Thanksgiving that much of the food got its start on our farms in western Ohio.
Ohio is an agricultural leader in the United States. One in seven Ohioans has an agricultural-related job, providing career opportunities for over 1.7 million citizens. Not only are Ohioans working in the agricultural sector, but western Ohio will raise and process the most livestock in the state.
The 84th House District accounts for almost 15 percent of Ohio’s crop, livestock and agricultural marketing receipts. In Ohio, there are a little over 2.2 million hogs and 5.1 million turkeys, and more of them are raised on our local farms than anywhere else. Additionally, there are 1.5 million turkeys residing in Mercer County alone.
Last year over 300,000 turkeys were raised in Darke County. Shelby County produced over 100,000 turkeys last year and accounted for 101,760 hogs. In Auglaize County, over one hundred thousand hogs are raised annually. West-central Ohio is a key component in food production.
We can attribute our agricultural success to all the fine companies that have entrusted us to raise food for their brand and consumers. Some of the largest contributors to this success include Dannon Yogurt, Weaver Brothers and Cooper Farms, home of the 2014 turkeys used for the official Presidential Pardon, which came from a farm in Mercer County.
This Thanksgiving, take a moment to look around your table and account for how much of your family meal has been raised locally here in western Ohio.
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The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.