Guest Column from Congressman John Boehner: Issue 2 is good for Ohio farmers, consumers and livestock

No out of state group has the right to target our way of life

In Ohio’s 8th Congressional District, we are blessed with some of the richest farmland in the world. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the counties in our District are leading producers in a state well known for its deep agricultural roots.

The agriculture community in the 8th District is helping Ohio lead the nation in production of everything from the freshest local meats and produce to polymers, plastics and clean fuels. During these challenging times, it is also worth noting that agriculture remains the state’s leading industry, contributing more than $90 billion annually to our economy and employing nearly 1 million Ohioans.

But agriculture means so much more than a bottom line; it is a way of life. In fact, the American family values of self-reliance, courage in the face of adversity can all be traced to our agriculture community.

As your representative, I am proud to call myself a friend of farmers and have worked to ensure that agriculture in the 8th District remains strong. That’s why I sought a seat on the House Agriculture Committee upon my election in 1990, which I held for more than a decade. And that’s why for each of the past 19 years I have held a farm forum where agricultural leaders from across the country and around the state have come to the 8th District to discuss agriculture policy and listen to the concerns of local citizens.

Over the past several years, a number of local farmers have voiced their concerns to me about efforts of extreme animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the United States – which is in no way related to your local animal shelter – to impose their radical agendas state by state. Policies advocated by HSUS have already raised food prices and cost jobs in states like Florida, Arizona and California. Now the organization, which would like to see the United States become a nation of vegans, has set its sights on our state.

Ohio farmers work hard each and every day to put affordable, nutritious food on our tables. For nearly every one of these farmers, the well being of their flocks and herds is a top priority. From my experience on the House Agriculture Committee, I know the importance of establishing sensible policy that allows our agriculture community to thrive and compete both nationally and globally.

That’s why I’m proud to join Ohio leaders in endorsing State Issue 2 to amend Ohio’s Constitution and create a state Livestock Care Standards Board made up of Ohio farmers, veterinarians, and food safety experts. This board will protect the availability of affordable and nutritious locally produced food, and guarantee that Ohioans can rest assured that the livestock and poultry in our state is cared for in a manner that is safe and humane.

No out of state group has the right to target our way of life by hijacking Ohio’s debate on animal care. State Issue 2 is good for farmers, consumers and livestock. It deserves your vote on Tuesday.

John Boehner represents Ohio’s 8th Congressional District, one of the most agriculturally significant districts in Ohio. He serves as the House Minority Leader.