County Farmers Union looked forward and backward at its annual meeting PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN, Sentinel Farm Editor   
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 10:42
NORTH BALTIMORE - While one of the major topics of the annual meeting of the Wood County Farmers Union was Senate Bill 150 (see related story, beginning on page 1), there were various other things addressed at the meeting held at the Iron Skillet Restaurant in North Baltimore.
At the meeting Julie Baumgarner, the Wood County recorder, was a featured speaker. She updated those in attendance with some of the latest news from the Wood County offices, not just her office. She noted how she has seen the economy moving ahead slowly with some modest improvement in housing sales.
"The economy is getting better as we are seeing some building," Baumgarner said noting one new housing development going up. That is a trend which she has not seen for many years.
She also shared services provided to veterans by her office in regard to filing and accessing discharge papers.
One of the Farmers Union members, Karen Wood, gave a well-received presentation on the history of the Farmers Union, which included information on the national, state and local offices.
"We need to be a powerhouse like we were in the past," Wood said during her talk. "No matter the issues, we were the vanguard, sometimes 20 or 30 years ahead of others."
Among the unusual items she discovered is that there was a time when members could finance a piano, and that President Nixon was afraid of the organization and its members.
There was also a presentation on the Affordable Care Act and insurance options through the organization, discussion on the active role the organization is now playing at local farmer's markets, with Tom Harrison, the local organization's treasurer calling them a "mushrooming section of farming and agriculture." Harrison added, "This is something we have to tap into.
He also shared how both the county's chapter and the state organization are actively supporting the "COOL" (Country of origin labeling) initiative
Roger Wise, Ohio Farmers Union president, praised the local organization noting while many others talk about issues and concerns, "You folks also talk about it and you make it happen."
Wise also shared that at the upcoming state convention, there will be recommendations which he expects the delegates to support regarding  the opposition of raising the checkoff requirements on some commodities.

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