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Issue #2 in Ohio

November 1st, 2009

There are a few big issues on the ballot here in Ohio this week. I always take time to research in order to make an informed decision on election day. I’m interested in safe, healthy, local food. Therefore, Issue #2 is of particular concern. If you don’t have an animal care issue on your ballot, you probably will soon.
vote_no_on_issue_2_in_ohiovote_yes_on_issue_2_in_ohio
I started seeing signs for Issue #2 about six weeks ago. At first glance it seemed like a great thing: “Safe, Local Food. Excellent Animal Care.” YAY! But then I noticed signs supporting Issue #2 in front of factory farms. HUH?
vote_yes_yard_sign
Everywhere you look you see signs that say “YES for ISSUE #2”. This past week we received 3 mailings for “YES for ISSUE #2”. The TV says to vote “YES for ISSUE #2”. But what about the other side?
Vote_yes_on_issue_2_fliers
Issues with great signage, TV commercials and mailings obviously have lots of money behind them. Lots of money points to corporate funding and special interests being involved, and that generally means it’s bad for the little guys I like to support (particularly when it comes to agriculture). In fact, “Big-Ag” is the last thing I think of when it comes to “Safe, Local Food. Excellent Animal Care.”

It is a red flag for me if an issue is heavily funded to one side. I came across this informative article: Analysis of contributions and donations for Issue #2

It was an eye-opening read. It definitely backed my suspicions that there is a lot of agri-business money behind “Yes for Issue #2”. Here are a few excerpts from the article:

The 12 largest contributors (all agribusiness interests) contributed at least $100,000 and gave a total of $1.4 million which is 35% of the total funds contributed. Three out-of-state interest groups contributed a total of $413,000 or 10% of all contributions to the PAC (United Egg Producers-Georgia), National Pork Producers Council (Iowa), Pioneer Hi-Bred (Iowa based seed and agrochemical firm).

Hog trade associations and operations contributed $624,106 (15%), egg trade associations and operations contributed $477,298 (12%), poultry associations and operations contributed $271,695 (7%), beef, dairy, and other livestock interests contributed $257,944 (6)%.

I find it interesting that none of largest donors are listed on the “Yes for Issue #2” website as a groups that endorse this issue.
vote_yes_on_issue_2_flier_closeup
Large agri-business would never back an issue that would cost them more money and make their work more difficult unless there was a hidden agenda.

So… who opposes Issue #2? A few organizations I regard highly are on the “Vote No” side.
groups_against_issue_2_in_Ohio
These include: the Organic Consumers Association, The Weston A Price Foundation, Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association, Food & Water Watch, the Center for Food Safety, Cornucopia Institute, the Ohio Farmer’s Union, Local Matters, and many more.
vote_no_on_issue_2
Furthermore, I’m uncomfortable that Issue #2 amends the state constitution to create a board of people that aren’t elected and have no term limits. This board would have significant power and would be able to override the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture, any act by the state legislature, or any initiative or referendum brought before the citizens of Ohio. This means we lose our power as voters to a board of 13 people we did not elect. There are two government agencies in Ohio that are supposed to be providing us with “Safe, Local Food. Excellent Animal Care.” Why do we need a third? This just opens more doors to special interest groups.
turkey
I then ran across this article in the Madison Press with which I agree. We do need changes in the area of animal care not just here in Ohio but all over the country, but Issue #2 is like putting a bandaid on a severed limb. Passing Issue #2 would also make it more difficult to implement better legislation in the future. I’ve always believed that if you’re going to do something you better do it right the first time. Fixing it later will take more work and cost more money!

I think we can do much better than Issue #2. With the number of factory farms in Ohio we need to do better. I’m sure you can guess which way I’ll be voting on Issue #2.

I hope you spend some time digging and trying to figure out if the issues on your ballot are all they are cracked up to be. Try checking the funding, that’s usually where I find my answers.

How do you decide how you’re going to vote for the issues/bills in your state?

16 Comments to “Issue #2 in Ohio”
  1. annie avery on November 1, 2009 at 7:47 am

    thanks for this article. i live in new york state, but am very concerned for the future of our food. i have posted this in Organic Consumers under the Ohio State forums as well as adding the article from the madison press.. .. thanks again.. :)

    Reply to annie avery's comment

  2. annie avery on November 1, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Reply to annie avery's comment

  3. Christine on November 1, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Honestly, besides the last presidential election, I haven’t really taken much of an interest in politics. Granted, I’ve only just turned 20, so I haven’t had very much time, but it’s definitely something that I should look into more. This was a great post about something very important to me. I found it very very interesting to see who was backing which side of the issue (which I feel says a lot about which side I would align myself with). Thanks!
    .-= Christine´s last blog ..And the snails go ‘nom nom nom’ =-.

    Reply to Christine's comment

  4. Pauly Z on November 1, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Suzy; I used to farm for a living. My farm was registered with OEFFA and still is technically organic, as I’ve done nothing to change my status. I also know many big and small farms that are farmed organically and conventionally. I’m saying this so you’ll know I’m on your side for the great part and hopefully know what I’m talking about: Big Money will do whatever it wants and will never give up…my best advice is to continue your life like it is and fight for the right to grow your own food and to be left alone. Anything else is just a huge, huge battle against people whose God is money and whose every waking moment is spent protecting what is “theirs”. We also have something else going on here; two extremes muddying the water for everyone else…but it takes too much typing for me to explain what I’m thinking there :)

    Reply to Pauly Z's comment

    • Mr. Chiots on November 1, 2009 at 10:15 am

      Who is John Galt?

      Reply to Mr. Chiots's comment

    • Susy on November 1, 2009 at 10:29 am

      So true. I’m already voting by spending my money at small local farms and at the farmer’s market. I don’t buy meat from CAFO’s. If enough Americans did that changes would be made from the bottom up.

      It is extremely difficult to make educated decisions on political issue when there’s so much misinformation out there, on both side of each issue. It’s usually like choosing the lesser of two evils.

      Well, I’m off to drink my raw milk latte.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • 1916home.net on November 1, 2009 at 11:26 am

        +1 on the raw milk! Thats all we drink anymore. And for those of you who avoid milk because you are lactose intolerant, try some raw milk and you wont have any problems.
        .-= 1916home.net´s last blog ..How to Toilet Train your Cat =-.

        to 1916home.net's comment

      • Susy on November 1, 2009 at 11:44 am

        Yep, I’m lactose intolerant and can only drink raw milk. So is the farmer I buy my milk off of, I mean the farmer that boards my cow that I drink my raw milk from :)

        to Susy's comment

      • 1916home.net on November 1, 2009 at 12:20 pm

        When I really got into being concerned about the food I put in my body… maybe 3 years ago, it was impossible to find raw milk in southern california. There was one company making it, and I would have to drive every other week about 30 miles and wait in line with other like minded people for our share of raw milk. I only did that a couple times and monitored the industry and always kept asking my local markets like Whole Foods (and others similar called Sprouts) to carry raw milk. I think with enough people demanding it, they started carrying it. Now, whenever I make it to the store… if I dont get there early enough, the raw milk is gone! But it is ooooohhhhhhh ssssooooooo goooooooooddd. :)

        to 1916home.net's comment

  5. the inadvertent farmer on November 1, 2009 at 11:23 am

    You are wise to look behind the ‘veil’ and see who is sponsoring different issues…it will always say alot about what the real agenda is.
    .-= the inadvertent farmer´s last blog ..Its Sunday and I’ve got Nothing =-.

    Reply to the inadvertent farmer's comment

  6. 1916home.net on November 1, 2009 at 11:24 am

    A great read thanks… You know, this sort of thing has happened all around the country without people realizing. There are now secret panels of unelected officials making decisions every day about the fate of Americans all across the country. Child Protective Services (here in Cali) is one of them off the top of my head. No judge, no trial, no jury.

    Ohio sounds like it has some challenges ahead! Unfortunately, all of us Americans may have to bow down again if we dont find new bills arising in congress. They are pushing a new bill S.B. 510 and the House has its own counterpart bill, H.R. 2749.

    http://www.ftcldf.org/news/news-07Oct2009.html

    Luckily, there are farmers and everyday folk trying to do something to stop all of this such as the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.

    http://farmandranchfreedom.org/content/

    What these bills will do is regulate what YOU grow in your backyard. It will set up an ungoverned and unelected new department with “officials” (I use that lightly) going around and inspecting everyone. This is going to cause more paperwork, more headaches, more bureaucracy, and you can bet more fees.

    Its really time we stand up for our rights and not let government or big business win this one.

    Reply to 1916home.net's comment

  7. Teresa O on November 1, 2009 at 11:25 am

    This is one of the muddiest issues I’ve seen with a lack or genuine information for voters to sort through to find out what it’s really all about. As someone who lived on a family farm for 20 years and experienced, not just a loss of income, but a drastic change in lifestyle, this issue hits a nerve. I’m voting no on Issue 2 and standing up for the rights of small growers and sustainable farming and saying no to a panel of cronies that want nothing more than to determine for Ohioans how to grow, raise, garden, and farm.
    .-= Teresa O´s last blog ..A Halloween Night =-.

    Reply to Teresa O's comment

  8. Paul on November 1, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Issue 2 is Big Ag’s power grab to thwart basic animal welfare improvements that are being enacted in several other states. If you oppose animal abuse, voting NO on Issue 2 is the right call.

    More at:

    http://www.hsus.org/legislation_laws/ballot_initiatives/ohio_issue_2.html

    Reply to Paul's comment

  9. Miranda Wildman Efird on November 1, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    thank you for putting your time and research into this. I live in NC where there are a lot of factory farms. I am a voter and encourage people to vote for the politician that have a care for our local food and and farmers. The health of our families and our planet depends on it. We also have a good amount of awesome local farms where we concentrate on eating from. Thanks again!

    Reply to Miranda Wildman Efird's comment

  10. Robbie on November 3, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Very apt that this issue comes to vote on the day a very important movie about the food industry is released on DVD. Food Inc.

    (from the website) In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.

    I’ve posted the link to their webiste above, and I strongly encourage anybody interested in this issue to see this movie. It was released today, and can also be found onilne with a little digging. Thanks for your vote and post, it’s important for people to see that they can find out a lot about the issues if they look who’s funding them.
    -Robbie

    Reply to Robbie's comment

  11. uberVU - social comments on November 4, 2009 at 4:06 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile: Issue #2 in Ohio: There are a few big issues on the ballot here in Ohio next week. I always take time to resear.. http://bit.ly/GsWyT

    Reply to uberVU – social comments's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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