WASHINGTON, D.C. — Dialogue is the keyword among Ohio Farm Bureau Federation presidents this week in Washington, D.C., where the top members from the state’s 88 counties are educating lawmakers about concerns, and learning a few things to take home, as well.

OFBF President Brent Porteus got the program started on Monday, reminding county leaders of the important opportunity they have to interact with Congress.

“You bring real (farm) experience to Washington, but you also are building relationships with your members of Congress,” he said. “Value your participation here in Washington on behalf of those you represent back home.”

From the farm
OFBF Executive Vice President Jack Fisher spoke to the group Tuesday morning, saying “it’s critically important that they (congressmen) hear from you off the farm — here in Washington.”

On Tuesday, Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, gave a morning talk on the 2012 farm bill, world trade and the resilience of Ohio agriculture. He announced his Grown in Ohio listening tour — a series of visits and roundtables to discuss new agricultural opportunities and existing challenges, and prepare for the farm bill.

Brown said agriculture is “by far the most important industry in our state,” and also emphasized its importance “in feeding the world.”

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