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Strategies for the Family Farmer is theme for OFU
By CELESTE BAUMGARTNER
Ohio Correspondent

DUBLIN, Ohio — Strategies for the Family Farmer is the theme of the 72nd Ohio Farmers Union (OFU) Annual Convention, which will be Feb. 2-4 in Dublin.

The weekend will kickoff on Thursday evening with three breakout sessions. Two will involve renewable energy, said OFU President, Joe Logan.

Steve Lankenau, American Ag Fuels, LLC, Defiance, Ohio, will talk on Biodiesel Processing and the potential of biodiesel for economic development and also energy independence.

Harvey Wasserman’s topic is Harvesting the Wind: The Next Step. “He will talk about the potential and ongoing current activities of the National Farmers Union (NFU) with regard to development of a wind turbine placement in Ohio,” Logan said. “The national folks have been talking with some finance people and we think we have a project started in Minnesota and we want to do the same thing in Ohio.”

The third breakout session will feature Kim Burton, vice president of Bath Bank in Indiana.

“Kim has studied the issue and the problem of the availability of credit for farmers especially family farms of the last decade,” Logan said. “She’s been very good about reaching out into local communities and finding those individuals and families that are habitually underserved and finding ways to give them the availability of the credit they need to build and sustain their business.”

Friday morning Dr. Daryll Ray, Agriculture Policy Analysis Center at the University of Tennessee, will speak on Re-establishing a Farmer-Oriented Vision of Farm Policy.

“Professor Ray is one of the most thoughtful and creative policy analysts that this nation has to offer especially with regard to agricultural policy,” Logan said. “This year we are staring down the barrel of a farm bill and we need to have some thoughtful and creative options to put before our legislators. Professor Ray’s proposals are truly exciting.”

Delegates will then meet for policy consideration and adoption. Logan called that “one of the most important aspects of our convention each year. We expect to have a great robust session as we always do,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Ohio), a candidate for governor, will speak at Friday’s banquet. Also speaking will be Tom Buis, NFU vice president of government relations, who will “give the low-down on federal farm policy,” Logan said.

Dave Frederickson, NFU president, will speak at the Saturday luncheon, which concludes the meeting.

The convention will be held at the Embassy Suites. For information, visit www.ohfarmersunion.org or phone 800-321-3671.

Published in the February 1, 2006 issue of Farm World.

2/1/2006