Two good but opposing Blade letters on the topic are view-able HERE.
Info below came from State Senator Steve Buehrer's piece published in the Hicksville (OH) News Tribune who did not indicate support one way or another. He notes that the opponents in the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) and other animal rights groups say the proposal is a hurried attempt by agribusiness to block meaningful improvements to the ag industry in Ohio. Other opponents argue that this particular board creation does not belong in the state constitution and that it's just designed to help large agri-business --not the small family farms who already have more free-ranging animals.
Supporting Issue 2 are The Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Livestock Coalition, and Ohio Poultry Ass'n. arguing that the amendment would help preserve the availability of affordable, locally-grown food, while strengthening transparency in ag production to assure consumers that Ohio farmers are operating responsibly, animals are well cared for and the food they are eating is safe...the standards board would ensure that future decisions about lifestock and poultry care in Ohio are made by an experienced group of veterninarians, food safety experts and ag professionals, as opposed to out-of-state interests.
You see, in California, the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) influenced voters to pass a ballot initiative, effective in 2015, "that would make it a criminal offense if farmers do not follow certain rules for confining pigs, calves and hens. Many in Ohio's ag community believe... [such action effected here by the likes of outside national organizations like HSUS] could increase costs for Ohio farmers, raise food prices ...and reduce availability of locally-grown crops."
I'm not sure how the crop issue mentioned by Buehrer fits in here --except anything from the HSUS that affects agri-business, as in California (home of happy cows : D,) would also affect crop-growing farmers as well? OH! It occurs to me that there will be less crop-land to feed people if the mega-farms (the money-making ones) are required to free-range all the animals!!??? It's that old argument in the musical Oklahoma! "O the farmer and the cow-man should be friends...!"
In any case, the Legislature, in response to competing concerns, approved Senate Joint Resolution 6, a constitutional amendment ...to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to establish and implement guidelines for the care of livestock and poultry in Ohio --ISSUE 2 on the BALLOT NEXT TUESDAY, NOV. 3. Mandated to be on this board would be 3 family farmers, 2 vets, a food safety expert, an Ohio humane society rep, 2 members from state-wide farm organizations, the dean of an Ohio ag college, 2 reps for consumers, and the Ohio Ag Director.
I think this means Ohio hopes to be realistic in recognizing that farm methods for feeding Ohioans and the world may not always please the radical animal rights folks of the HSUS --some of whom don't realize that humans are the highest creation charged with subduing and using AND replenishing the earth and not just evolved mammals themselves who have no right to kill and eat other animals.
Not that there should be a license for UNNECESSARY cruelty to animals per se--but what would the HSUS say about Granny chopping off the turkey's head for Thanksgiving Dinner--as many of our ancestors did??? or FISHING? So far, the vegetarians still believe vegetables don't feel pain and don't experience "death" by chopping! ; therefore, plants are still fair game for our tables! May the vegans enjoy their macaroni and beans for Turkey Day!
I conclude that local control of our ag-business is in our best interest. Note, also, that the Ohio Director of Ag (an already existant officer) would serve as chair of this Board. The article did not say how these people would be chosen, nor with what compensation. I would think one advantage to a board is public accountability of the ag director to the concerns of the various ag interests. If someone can tell me we already have an ag board that should/could/does address such interests, that would be a reason to vote NO. But no one is giving that as a reason that I've seen so far.
I suspect that all these reps have competing interests and by putting them on a constitutional board together, the legislature hopes to not hear from them for awhile!!
Buehrer says farming is Ohio's no.1, multi-billion dollar industry.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible