Many challenges currently threaten our nations agricultural industry. That is especially true here in the 8th district of Ohio. It is urgent that we get a handle on the looming issue of global warming in order to protect our agricultural industry. Dr. Enoch will fight for environmental legislation that will protect the nations farmers. Dr. Enoch had the opportunity to attend the Farmers Union Convention in Lima, OH this year.
Under the current administration, US trade policies have harmed our agricultural industry. I don’t disagree with the use of tariff’s and effective trade policies. I simply believe that all policy needs to be well thought out.
Local farmers and ranchers have made it clear that they aren’t interested in government handouts to offset the damage done from bad trade policy. In the long-run, Farmers need access to new markets, so that they are less reliant China, Canada and Mexico. It’s too late to undo the damage already done at this point, so of course there remains a need for subsidies until more effective policy can be implemented. It certainly doesn’t help that while farmers suffer the impact of the trade wars, policy makers are doubling down by making it difficult for struggling families to access food through programs such as the Child Nutrition Programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that feeds hungry children and families. These programs are the lifeblood of our agricultural industry, and they help sustain families in difficult times.
The US must urgently expand trade with current trade partners and identify new markets where farmers can sell their products going forward. There is also a need to support the diversification of crops. I recently attended the Farmers Union Convention in Lima, OH. It was enlightening to learn more about the benefits of hemp and CBD oil, and the importance of Industrial hemp production to Ohio’s Agricultural future. For decades Hemp was demonized in the US, deny farmers access to once viable markets, while other countries continue to benefit from the crop, and Americans have been denied access to the healing properties of hemp and CBD oil. In addition to the healing properties of hemp, it is also a sustainable alternative to materials like plastic, cotton and fossil fuels.
The federal government can play a major role in helping to expand this market, and allowing the participation of federally regulated banks to make loans and handle deposits from this industry.
I certainly don’t know all of the answers, but my goal is to give farmers a direct link to help develop policy by introducing bi-partisan Policy Advisor Circles, in each of the counties in the 8th congressional district (Butler, Clark, Darke, Mercer, Miami and Preble Counties) to discuss their issues and concerns, and to give them the opportunity to make recommendations for policy solutions.