Last month, thousands of Ohioans from across the state flocked to their annual county fairs and the Ohio State Fair to showcase the best in agriculture. These events provide a wonderful opportunity for our youth to be involved in Ohio’s strongest industry, and to gain valuable experience for their futures. From our county fairs all the way to Columbus, the youth of House District 84 have shown great promise and represented our home outstandingly.
Ohio is a very unique state, in that it has an extremely diverse economy. Manufacturing, commerce, small business, and, yes, agriculture, have all thrived under Republican leadership in recent years. Agriculture, in particular, has even been touted as “Ohio’s strongest industry” by Governor Kasich, and, he’s quite right. When taking into account every facet of the industry, from farm to table, it contributes over $98 billion to Ohio’s economy each year, employing 1 out of every 7 Ohioans. As a state legislator, I am proud to represent communities that make this a reality through hard work and dedication to the trade each and every day.
However, we must not forget in our successes the importance of continuing this trend and training up the next generation to take the reins. It is for this reason that it is vital for our youth to be involved in agriculture, through clubs like 4-H and FFA, and events like the county and state fair. In a world where college is considered necessary for success, and more and more students pursue white-collar careers, we must not miss the opportunity to pass agriculture, as a trade, on to our children from a young age. Without these kids, who will farm for the next generation?
As I mentioned earlier in this article, House District 84 is home to many boys and girls who have set a wonderful example of this “passing of the torch.” Our own Mary Buehler of Anna was announced as President of the Ohio FFA earlier this year. Dozens of kids of all ages competed at the state fair last month, bringing home numerous honors and proudly representing our home and five students from around the region were Grand Champions in this year’s Sale of Champions. Our county fairs each year are host to even more competitors who have embraced agriculture and dedicated themselves to learning these valuable skills.
These students represent the best of House District 84, and they and their parents should be very proud of all of their accomplishments. As their Representative, I know I am proud of all of the contributions they make to our communities, and the potential they have to continue making those contributions for years to come. As they shape the future of agriculture in our state, they both need and deserve our utmost support.
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The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.