COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Livestock Coalition (OLC) Board of Directors (Board) recently elected new officers and identified three key focus areas to guide its direction for 2013. Dick Isler, executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Producers Council, will serve as president of OLC. He will lead the organization as it addresses its priority issues, including antibiotics in food producing animals, nutrient management and water quality issues, and maximizing resources available from national farm organizations working on similar issues.
"The use of antibiotics in livestock and environmental management at farms are important issues for farmers and all Ohioans," said David White, OLC executive director. "The Board prioritized these focus areas that will advance our ability to engage in public dialogue and support our mission to assist Ohio's livestock farm community in expanding its positive contributions to the state by advancing environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable farming. "
The focus areas were approved at the Dec. 19, 2012, Board of Directors meeting. Board members also elected the following officers during that meeting:
• Dick Isler, president. Isler replaces David Glauer, DVM, who served as president the past two years. Dr. Glauer will continue to represent the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association on the OLC board.
• Roger High, who represents the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, will serve as vice president.
• Scott Higgins, who represents the American Dairy Association Mideast and is a past president of OLC, was elected to serve as secretary/treasurer. High held the seat previously.
"The OLC has a proud history of electing strong leaders committed to building trust in Ohio's farmers and food producers through open and proactive engagement with the public," said White. "This slate of elected officers continues that tradition."
"I am honored to be assuming this role with OLC," said Isler. "Under the leadership of Dr. Glauer, the OLC has served as an effective voice for livestock farmers and has established positive partnerships with opinion leaders and other Ohioans interested in farm and food issues. I am committed to continuing the work of OLC and look forward to this opportunity on behalf of the livestock community."
In 2012, OLC leadership developed a strategic plan to guide ongoing programs and strengthen OLC's ability to meet its vision and mission. The strategic plan identifies three priority areas for long-term success:
• Drive unity among Ohio's animal agriculture stakeholders;
• Shape perception of animal agriculture in Ohio; and
• Proactively identify emerging issues.
"Farmers are dedicated to responsible production as well as the standards and best practices that ensure the animals on our farms receive quality care, our natural resources are preserved and protected, and that our rural communities remain vibrant," said White. "I am confident the Ohio Livestock Coalition Board of Directors has set a positive direction for our efforts on behalf of farmers and their communities in 2013."
The OLC, formed in 1997, is a statewide trade organization consisting of diverse agriculture organizations and individual farmers committed to a mission of advancing environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable livestock farming practices. The OLC vision is to create an environment in which Ohio's farm community can prosper and grow, and is a trusted resource in sharing fact-based information about animal agriculture and food production.
To learn more about how Ohio's livestock farmers care for the environment, ensure animal well-being and provide safe, affordable food, visit OLC's website at www.ohiolivestock.org.