with broad support, a 96-1 vote, in the House. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Susan Manchester, R-84, and Rep. Mary Lightbody, D-19.
HB 95, the Family Farm ReGeneration Act, will authorize tax credits for those who sell or rent farmland, livestock, buildings, or equipment to beginning farmers. It also provides a credit for beginning farmers who attend a financial management program.
During her floor speech, Manchester noted that the average age of the U.S. farmer is 58.
“By decreasing their tax burden, House Bill 95 incentivizes retiring farmers to recruit beginning farmers to take over their operations,” Manchester said. “This program also sets beginning farmers up for success by giving them an opportunity to learn more about the financial management of a farm operation.”
Under the bill, the credit is limited to five years and allows up to $10 million for the total amount of tax credits awarded over those five years.
A similar program was implemented in Minnesota in 2018, which has already enabled 162 established farmers to sell or rent land to beginning farmers and allocated $1.4 million in tax credits.
During testimony, Bennett and Liza Musselman, part-owners and operators of Musselman Farms in Pickaway County, said, “Farm Service Agency provides opportunities for young and beginning farmers, but the time that it takes from application to loan closing is significantly longer than a traditional loan.
“Young farmers have an added obstacle of finding a seller that is willing to wait additional days for a sale to be completed. The passage of HB 95 will give a financial incentive for sellers to work with a young beginning farmer, and thus help level the playing field.”
To qualify, a beginning farmer would have to intend to farm in Ohio, or have been farming in Ohio for less than 10 years, have a household net worth of less than $800,000, provide the majority of the day-to-day labor for and management of the farm, have adequate farming experience or demonstrate adequate knowledge about farming, and participate in a financial management program approved by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
In a statement following the bill’s passage, Amalie Lipstreu, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association policy director, said, “Young farmers in Ohio are taking on the risks inherent in farming and working hard to build successful farm businesses. They are also facing significant obstacles that require creative policy solutions.
“Access to — and securing tenure on — affordable, high-quality farmland is the No. 1 challenge young farmers are facing. At the same time, millions of acres of farmland are changing hands as older farmers consider retirement and sale of their land. House Bill 95 provides an important bridge between landowners and those seeking land.”
The bill has support of the Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, and Ohio Soybean Association.
Lipstreu added, “The past year illustrated, in stark terms, the vulnerability of our food system. We must take the steps necessary to ensure that those interested in providing what is a paramount service to society — contributing to our food supply — are successful. We call upon the Senate to act by introducing and passing a companion bill in the coming weeks so that this bill is ready for the governor’s signature before the summer recess.”
FFA members got the opportunity of the full five days of camp and being split into groups, numbered from 1-12. Camp offered many opportunities for campers this year, from workshops, camp activities, a talent show, group activities and dances on the first and last night. The camp also had different activities and workshops for juniors, seniors and grads. The first morning, before breakfast, campers had the opportunity to plunge into the lake in what we call the Polar Bear Plunge. The campers also had the opportunity of doing a morning walk or run. These events get campers a various amount of points for their team. During camp, teams competed for points from those everyday activities and found out who was the winner at the end of camp week.
The day of arrival, members settled into their dorms, got introduced to other camp chapter members, learned camp rules, and participated in little activities to become more involved with other campers and the State FFA Officers. The day ended with a campfire challenging campers to step out of their comfort zone and change their daily routine a little bit.
The second day included group activities, state officer workshops, and high ropes for seniors and grads. Each day at camp, campers were given about two or three free time periods. In these free time periods, they could participate in archery, going to the shotgun/rifle range, playing cards, and canoeing/kayaking. Ending the day was a campfire and campers reflecting on the things they learned in the workshop and from fellow campers.
The third and fourth day included team building activities, various activities campers signed up for and were interested in. These activities included laser tag, hiking, archery, line dancing lessons, shotgun/rifle range, playing cards, playing ping pong, canoeing and kayaking. Later on in the day, campers participated in water games and State Officers workshops. The day once again ended with a campfire challenging campers to use their strengths to an advantage to try new things and meet new people.
The five days of camp ended with assigned morning cleaning of the camp, rewarding of highest boy and girl challenges, the top five highest camp groups points earned, and appreciation to the FFA Advisors, Camp Staffing, and State Officers. The State Officers also gave shout-outs to specific camp groups or campers. The shout-outs were for the change or impact they had seen on specific groups or campers in the five days attended.
Faith’s favorite part of camp was “participating and learning new things for the first time at the shooting range.” Jason and Travis’ favorite part of camp was “fishing and talking to other campers during free time.” Layne’s favorite part of camp was “having the opportunity to pie our advisor Mr. Wilhelm in the face.” Phoebie’s favorite part was “being able to meet new people, playing laser tag, and participating in high ropes.”
The Champaign County Commissioners are exploring grant opportunities to improve internet/broadband service. The first step is to collect data to determine the need for improved internet service, and this will be done through a survey. We need your opinion! Please take a moment to complete the survey (at your home), it can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LUCInternet.
Please share this information with others in Champaign County. Thank you!
New recreational opportunity in the works
The 225-acre park is a destination due to its valuable biodiversity and breadth of life forms, making it unique from other natural parks in the state.
Dr. Dave Smith, owner of Freshwater Farms and the committee’s aquaculture expert, described the “rich seasonal palette of natural beauty” resulting from six lakes and miles of hiking trails.
On July 18, the park will be open for a preview day with a plethora of events to welcome families, educators, corporate partners and others to experience the park.
While guests won’t be allowed to fish or enter the water on this preview day, activities will abound for all age groups and nature enthusiasts. Other educational displays and activities will be provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and three local libraries. Water demonstrations of paddleboard yoga, kayaking, and canoeing with Birch Bark Canoe Livery will be seen from the big lake. Hands-on nature exploration with Tinkergarten therapists to promote wellness in children will also be a must-see. Attendees can learn about amphibians, dragonflies, invasive plants, goats as sustainable weed control, and hike a number of trails all at the event.
Advisory committee member Allison Cox says she joined the re-opening effort to help create “generational change and bring together nature and wellness.”
The other members reflect similar interests in nature, wildlife habitats, hiking, camping, and community partnerships. Future events are being developed, and community members are encouraged to visit the City of Urbana’s website under the Parks and Recreation section if they have questions or wish to volunteer.
The park is trash-free, so attendees should not bring any disposables onto the property. Those attending on Sunday are encouraged to wear sunscreen, bring a reusable water bottle and wear comfortable walking shoes to the park.
To volunteer at this event, click here!
Will Retain Existing Workforce and Add Jobs
“Having worked with the Urbana community for many years, we are confident that Urbana is the ideal place to facilitate expansion. Between its hardworking people and its business-friendly environment, we look forward to continuing our growth in Urbana for years to come.”
Todd Winnenberg, general manager of the three Urbana operations, said, “It’s truly an exciting time to be a part of Sutphen Corporation. This move emphasizes the Sutphen family’s commitment to its employees by staying local and providing a great opportunity for area jobs.”
The Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), Sutphen leaders, and local, regional and state partners worked together to enable Sutphen to maintain and expand its operations and workforce in Champaign County, CEP Director Marcia Bailey said. Sutphen also considered a site in Pennsylvania and other locations in Ohio.
“I am grateful for everything our partners have done to help make this project come together and allow Sutphen to continue serving our community, now and well into the future, with a tradition of quality manufacturing, rewarding employment opportunities, and strong prospects for continued growth,” Bailey said.
Julie Sullivan, Executive Vice President of Regional Development for the Dayton Development Coalition, said, “We and our partners at JobsOhio welcome Sutphen’s plans to expand their manufacturing operations in Urbana. An Ohio company in its fifth generation of family leadership, the fire apparatus they make here take a piece of this state’s compassionate spirit to first responders across the country, making sure critical life-saving equipment is safely produced in the U.S.”
The new building will be built northeast of the intersection of State Route 55 and Edgewood Avenue, on 55 acres of land that will provide Sutphen ample room for further expansion in the future.
Julie Sutphen Phelps, a fourth-generation family member, vice president of Sutphen Corporation and president of Sutphen’s Hilliard, Ohio, facility, said, “This expansion allows our family-owned business to continue to grow and expand within Urbana and the fire industry as a whole. While we continue to grow, we know that our apparatus quality, our individualized customer experience and our dedication to our mission and values will not falter.”
The new building is being designed to optimize workflow of fire apparatus manufacturing, from start to finish, and will combine the operations of Sutphen’s three current Urbana facilities – the Sutphen Service & Technical Division, 49 N. Ludlow Rd. Urbana; the Sutphen Urbana Chassis Division, 1701 W. County Line Rd., Urbana; and the Sutphen Urbana Pumper Division, 1653 W. County Line Rd., Urbana.
Ground will be broken in August or September and Sutphen officials anticipate moving into the new building in the fall of 2022.
Sutphen to Recruit at July 10 Career Fair
Sutphen Corporation will be at the Champaign County Career Fair, July 10, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on the former Urbana University campus, to recruit for a wide range of current openings and future opportunities, for material handlers, assemblers, electricians, plumbers, fabricators and more.
The Sutphen booth at the Career Fair also will feature pictures and drawings of the new building and information about the company and employee benefits
Urbana FD Awaiting New Sutphen Pumper Truck
In addition to gaining a new Sutphen manufacturing facility, the local community will soon be served by a new Sutphen heavy duty pumper truck, purchased by the City of Urbana to replace a nearly 20-year-old pumper that the Urbana Fire Department will keep for backup service.
Urbana Fire Chief Dean Ortlieb said, “The quality of the Sutphen truck and the warranty and service agreement that Sutphen offered made it an easy decision. To be honest, no one came close to offering us what they did. And we are pleased to support local.” He said the truck will be delivered in August.
Harry Sutphen, a fifth-generation family member and owner of Heritage Fire Equipment, the Urbana-area Sutphen fire apparatus dealer, said, “My dad, Dan Sutphen, has worked with Urbana-area fire departments since the 1990s. Today, he and I work together throughout the community and are excited to see how Sutphen’s new growth benefits the area.”
About Sutphen Corporation
Sutphen Corporation, founded in 1890, is the nation’s largest and oldest continuously family-owned and operated fire apparatus manufacturer. With headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, the company manufactures the highest-quality, heavy-duty, custom-built emergency response vehicles. In addition to the Urbana facilities, Sutphen also is located in Hilliard, Ohio, and Lake Ariel, Penn.
The fourth generation of the Sutphen family currently leads the company, and fifth-generation family members work in various positions throughout the business.
This project is contingent upon approval of JobsOhio and local economic development incentives, which will be made public after final agreements are executed.