Ohio moves closer to naming livestock board members

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Ohio moves closer to naming livestock board members

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Jan 31, 2010
By dvm360.com staff
Columbus, Ohio -- Membership of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, created through a livestock welfare ballot initiative in November 2009, is expected to be in place by March, according to the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA).

A bill that outlines the duties of the board and how farm regulation will work under the new voter-approved system must be approved first, but is expected to move quickly, says OVMA Executive Director Jack Advent.

The bill, Ohio House Bill 414, was introduced Jan. 19, and Advent says passage is expected by early March. Appointments must come within 45 days of the bill’s passage, and 10 of the appointments must be made by the governor.

Of those members, one must represent family farms, one is to be knowledgeable about food safety, two must represent statewide organization that represent farmers, one must be a licensed veterinarian, one must be the dean of an agriculture department of an Ohio college or university, two members must represent Ohio consumers, one must represent a county humane society, one must be a family farmer appointed by the speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and one member must be a family farmer appointed by the president of the Ohio Senate. The chair of the board will be the director of the state department of agriculture, and no more than seven board members can be members of the same political party at any given time. Initial terms of the board members will expire in January 2011, but subsequent terms will last for three years, according to proposed legislation.

OVMA supplied a list of suggested member appointments to the Ohio Department of Agriculture back in November, which included Rick Daugherty, DVM, of Sugar Creek; Mel Wenger, DVM, of Orville; and Ken Gloyeske, DVM, of Anna for the licensed veterinarian position. Michael Hockman, DVM, of Columbus and Jeff LaJeune, DVM, of Wooster were recommended for the food safety expert seat, and Michelle Holdgreve of the OVMA in Columbus was recommended for the public consumer board position. The following people, all DVMs, were recommended by the OVMA for the family farmer positions: Steve DeBruin of Millersport, Todd Price of Sycamore, Leon Weaver of Montpelier, Dave Shoup of Smithville, and Michael Sim of Greenfield.

“The mission and duties of this new board will greatly impact animal care and public health in Ohio,” Advent wrote in a letter to Department of Agriculture Director Robert Boggs. “The individuals we recommend have wide-ranging experience and could bring a wealth of knowledge and thoughtful consideration to the discussion … The individuals we recommend are qualified and capable of providing the science-based and balanced perspective needed.”

The purpose of the new board, established during the Nov. 3 election with 64 percent of Ohio residents in favor, is to address animal welfare standards relating to the state’s livestock industry.