2019 Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium

January 3, 2020 Ohio Soybean Association

For an unusual year that included unprecedented weather and continuing trade issues, the 2019 Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium attempted to capture the challenges that farmers faced in the last 12 months and provide information that will help farmers prepare for 2020.

Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Director Dorothy Pelanda opened the meeting with remarks about what is coming down the pipeline at ODA.

“We have an obligation to think about future generations and doing what’s right for those future generations,” Pelanda said. She specifically spoke about the H2Ohio program and how it will work with the unprecedented partnership between agriculture and environmental groups known as the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative (OACI), saying “We know that moving forward requires every one of us pulling together in one direction to make a difference.”

ODA Director Dorothy Pelanda addresses symposium attendees. She focused on H2Ohio and the role commodity groups will play in the continuing effort to protect water quality.

Dr. Cathann Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University, gave an update on CFAES and how the college continues to improve agriculture. Rounding out the morning’s speakers was Ben Brown, OSU Farm Management Program Manager, who covered a wide array of topics about the current farm economy and the outlook moving forward.

“Maybe the best thing that happened nationally to balance sheets for corn and soybeans was that we had a production shortfall. We would have loved for this production shortfall to happen somewhere else in the world, but it did help bring prices back to levels that made cash flow a little more palatable,” Brown said.

The rest of the symposium focused heavily on helping farmers to prepare for 2020, with sessions about 2020 trade and policy outlooks, weather, the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative and the Renewable Fuel Standard. If you were unable to attend the symposium, presentations can be found at ohiograinfarmerssymposium.org.

OSA Chairman Scott Metzger speaks during a panel discussion between OSA and Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association leadership.

A panel featuring leadership from the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) and Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) discussed trade, including USMCA, water quality and what both organizations are prioritizing for 2020. OCWGA and OSA both held their annual meetings at the symposium as well, including electing Board of Trustees members. OSA re-elected Andy Stickel of Wood County to represent District 2, Patrick Knouff of Shelby County to represent District 7 and Ryan Rhoades of Marion County to represent District 9.