Farmers and Ohio Farm Service Bureau Comment on Issue 2

by Katie Jeffries on September 24, 2009 at 4:01 am


Television commercials are flooding Ohio’s airwaves telling people to vote yes or vote no for Ohio Issue 2.

If enacted, Ohio Issue 2 will create a 13 person livestock care standards board. Members would consist of family farmers, veterinarians, a local animal shelter person, and food experts.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) came to Ohio in Feburary and wanted to introduce legislation on how farmers would care for their animals. But the Ohio Farm Bureau says they believe passing Ohio Issue 2 will be more beneficial to farmers.

“We would much rather have this issue in our own hands and be able to deal with this locally, as opposed to having a national animal rights activist group telling farmers how they can and can’t raise their animals,” says Kari Burkey the Organization Director for the Ohio Farm Bureau.

Those opposed to Ohio Issue 2 say the board created will put the interests of the agriculture business ahead of the welfare of the animals. Burkey says this is not true and the majority of farmers already follow responsible animal care practices.

“It is not really a change I guess for me, I just see it as documentation of what we are doing.  That isn’t to say perhaps there will not be some changes, but my bottom line reason for supporting it is I think it is a far better choice than the threat of HSUS coming in and dictating what it is we will do,” tells Irv Bell, owner of Bell Farms Ag LLC.

Bell says he believes if Ohio Issue 2 fails and the Humane Society of the United States sets the guidelines it could hurt the agriculture business.

“We feel the pressure from outside animal rights groups wanting to come in and dictate to us without science, without the husbandry experience, how we should do it and we feel with the creation of the livestock care board we can have a well rounded board that can do it far better, far more responsibly than an animal rights group,” says Bell.

Ohio Issue 2 will be on the November 3rd ballot.

For more information on Ohio Issue 2 visit the additional websites provided.



Katie Jeffries