Gov. John Kasich is running for president. And although that may not be a big thing to most Ohioans, I believe it is a big deal to the agricultural community in the Buckeye State.
Barely into the first half of the start of a second term, Gov. Kasich has joined an already overblown number of Republican candidates who feel that they are qualified to lead this country in an apocalyptic Obama administration.
There is a distinct difference between state and federal policies and issues regarding the agricultural community. And on the federal level, Obama has been no friend to the Ohio farmer. It was ridiculous how long it took to get a farm bill passed. And when it was all said and done the majority of that bill was loaded with non-farm-related pork specials. Although it eliminated direct payments and continued crop insurance, it pumps millions and millions of dollars into the abusive food stamp program and other piggyback programs.
On the state level however, Gov. Kasich has listened to and responded to Ohio farmers.”He sees the value in promoting small business and that includes farmers,” said Alan Davis, local farmer and business owner and my partner on “In Ohio Country Today.” He believes that Kasich will continue that role if elected president, promoting farming and lifting agriculture to new heights both domestically and internationally.
Erica Hopkins, communications director at the Ohio State Department of Agriculture, agreed that the governor would work hard to keep the agricultural industry in the forefront of growth. “Already under his administration we’ve cut taxes, eliminated the estate tax, cut red tape so farmers and those in the ag community can focus on building and growing their businesses,” she said.
“Ohio is stronger today than it was prior to Gov. Kasich taking office. Ohio Proud, the marketing arm of the Department of Agriculture that promotes Ohio-made products and businesses, has more partners then ever with over 500 companies actively involved in the program. He has made sure that there is funding in the budget for Ohio Proud regardless of other departmental cuts,” added Erica.
Ohio is a friendly place to do business — especially agri-business — and when I look over the landscape I am amazed everyday by the growth and diversity of businesses here.
Serious issues remain, water quality, immigration, rural energy and more that impact the ag industry. And I personally would like to see the governor concentrating on completing his second term giving 110 percent to Ohio and not a part-time gig — as running for president will demand much more attention as we draw nearer to primary season.
When I first met the governor prior to his first term, I somehow knew he might be heading on to bigger challenges. And I wonder how much further he can bring this state while campaigning, yet wonder if his talents are meant to be shared with the rest of the country.
Here’s seeing you, in Ohio Country!
The writer is the owner of Wilson 1 Communications. He is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for over 30 years and the co-host and producer of “In Ohio Country Today,” a nationally recognized television show, and offers radio commentary and ag reports including locally for 92.1, the Frog WFGF Lima.