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October 6th, 2009 · No Comments

Tim Fine, Extension Program Assistant, Miami County

Issue 2; What is it all about?

At a recent pasture walk in the southwestern part of the state, the conversation quickly turned from rotational grazing and getting the most out of pastures to livestock care and what, exactly will happen if Issue 2 passes in November. One of the producers brought up a very good point and I am sure that many others in the livestock feel the same way. His question was, in not so many words, “Do we really need a constitutional amendment and more government oversight to tell us how to raise our animals?”

My official answer to this question is that I cannot provide an official answer because I cannot persuade a person to vote one way or the other in an official capacity. What I can do, however, is try to help explain what the issue is all about and hopefully provide some insight into why this issue is on the ballot in the first place.
By now, I am certain that most people reading this newsletter are familiar with the issue and how it got started, so I won’t bore you with the details. What Issue 2 will do is set up a board, more specifically the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. This board will create the standards that livestock in Ohio will be raised by. The board will consist of the Director of the ODA, a food safety expert, three family farmers, two members of organizations representing farmers, a licensed Ohio Veterinarian, the State Veterinarian, a Dean of an Agricultural College in Ohio, two Ohio consumers, and a County Humane Society Representative. Basically, the board will consist of Ohioans actively involved in producing livestock.

Now that you know what Issue 2, if passed, will do, I would encourage you to go and find out more about the Issue yourself. To do so, please visit http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/elections/IssueProcBallotBd/BallotBoard.aspx#Issues. At the web site mentioned above you will be able to see the Issue as it will be worded on the ballot, arguments for and against it, and a financial analysis.

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