Farm Aid And Ohio Farmers Union Join Call To Veto Bill Prohibiting Local Regulation Of Large Farms

Columbus, Ohio - Farm Aid and the Ohio Farmers Union (OFU) today joined over two dozen Ohio farm and consumer organizations calling on Governor Bob Taft to veto House Bill 152. In dispute is an amendment attached to the bill that bars local government from regulating large livestock operations.

"We believe that local decision making is essential to the survival of local communities," said OFU President Joseph Logan. "Therefore we cannot support House Bill 152 in its current form, as it severely degrades local decision-making authority."

In the final committee hearing, the Animal Feeding Facilities Compliance Bill, HB 152, was amended to specifically deny the opportunity for local determination in matters related to large livestock operations.

"Farm Aid supports local efforts to strengthen family farm agriculture and sustainable food production," stated Carolyn Mugar, Farm Aid Executive Director. "Factory farms are a real and immediate threat to family farmers and rural communities. The amendment attached to House Bill 152 silences local residents and stifles local decision- making. Our hope is that the governor listens to the Ohio residents who are urging him to veto this bill."

"We want to support the viability of locally owned and operated farms and businesses as the basis for strong local communities," said Logan. "For more than two centuries, locally owned, independent businesses have been the basis for sustained economic growth in the U.S."

Two dozen Ohio organizations representing family farm, religious, environmental and good government groups on Monday sent a letter to the governor, calling for a veto of HB 152.