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Issue Position: Agriculture

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

Rob Portman Supports Ohio Farmers

Ohio is blessed with fertile farmland and a proud farming tradition. In fact, agriculture is Ohio's No. 1 industry, with 75,000 farms contributing $98 billion to our state's economy. Ohio ranks 2nd in the country for chicken eggs; 6th in corn production; 6th in soybean production; and10th in hog production. The farmer, the farming community and our Ohio agriculture heritage are an important part of the fabric of the Buckeye State.

Supporting Ohio Agriculture

Supported the Freedom to Farm Act:

In Congress Rob supported the Freedom to Farm Act, which helped get the government out of the way of the farmer. The legislation abolished production controls in effect since the New Deal to ensure that Ohio farmers would be free to farm whatever they choose.

Protecting U.S. Farmers:

Ohio's farmers feed Ohio and the world. The crops from one out of every three acres planted in Ohio are exported. In 2007 alone, Ohio's agriculture exports totaled $2.2 billion. Ohio farmers also help keep Ohioans working because these exports supported 23,445 Ohio jobs on and off the farm. Under Rob's leadership, the United States brought a successful World Trade Organization action against Canada for its protectionist sanctions against U.S. wheat exports. Similarly, the WTO affirmed the United States' claim that Mexico's 20% tax on beverages made with high-fructose corn syrup were discriminatory and should be removed. In both instances, the interests of the American farmer and agriculture sector were honored and protected.

Supporting Issue 2:

Rob supported passage of Issue 2 on the state ballot in 2009, which ensured that harmful, potentially job-killing restrictions and limitations are not imposed on Ohio's agricultural sector. Rob will continue to work with Ohio's Agriculture community to remove barriers that prevent the farming and agricultural community from creating an environment that promotes growth and keeps Ohio agriculture jobs secure.

Representing and Supporting Farmers:

While serving in Congress for 12 years representing seven counties in Southern Ohio, Rob strongly supported the farmers in his District. He was a consistent supporter of the Junior Fair (4H) Auctions and of the Agriculture Marketing Service.

Friend of the Farmer:

During his 12 years in Congress, Rob consistently received the "Friend of the Farmer" award from the Farm Bureau for his support of agriculture. Rob is a proud member of the Ohio Farm Bureau.

Strengthening the Market for U.S. Meat Producers:

Working with the Russian government, Rob negotiated and signed an agreement that would provide additional certainty and protections for U.S. cattle, pork, and poultry producers, many of which are located in Ohio. The agreement confirmed that U.S. meat producers could access the Russian market, not only strengthening the agricultural relationship between the two nations, but also helping to stabilize the Russian market for all American meat producers.

Protecting Ohio Lands for Farmers and Sportsmen

Funding for Farmland Protection:

While the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Rob proposed a significant increase in funding for conservation programs under the Farm Bill, so that Ohio farmers and ranchers could plant stream buffers and reduce soil run off.

Conservation Tax Incentives Act of 2003:

Rob introduced a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income 50% of any gains from the sale to eligible entities for conservation purposes of specified land or an interest in land or water.

Protected Ohio Sportsmen and Ohio Land:

While the Director of the Office of Management and budget, Rob worked to improve the relationship between government and sportsmen by creating a 10-year plan to reverse the decline in hunter participation and to improve the management of wildlife and recreational.

Expanded Opportunities for Ohio Sportsmen:

Rob worked to prepare an Executive Order that was signed by the President directing federal agencies to expand and enhance hunting opportunities and the management of game species and their natural habitat.

Provided Funding to Improve Ohio's Landscapes and Wildscapes:

Rob increased the budget levels for programs designed to remove obsolete dams, which would help fish passage and improve fishing opportunities across the nation. He also increased the budget for thinning our overstocked National Forests to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and improve the health of the forests so that wildlife populations could grow. Finally, he increased the budget levels for wetland restoration and protection, to provide a healthy habitat for ducks and migrating waterfowl.

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