Sen. Sherrod Brown Solicits Local Input on Agricultural Issues

August 31, 2017

WC’s Collegiate Farm Bureau Hosts Roundtable Forum

Wilmington College’s Collegiate Farm Bureau student organization hosted members of the local agriculture community at a roundtable forum Thursday (Aug. 31) in which they shared rural concerns with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s legislative aide.

(PICTURED) Sen. Sherrod Brown’s legislative aide, Jonathan McCracken (right) leads a discussion on the local agriculture community’s priorities with regard to the upcoming Farm Bill. 2014 alumnus Christopher Cowman is seated next to McCracken.

Brown is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and chairs the Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation. His aide, Jonathan McCracken, shared the senator’s thoughts on the upcoming Farm Bill while seeking input on priorities from a variety of local persons in agriculture.

McCracken alluded to Brown’s commitment to the importance of American agriculture on a global scale in reminding everyone that agriculture is Ohio’s largest industry and constitutes one of every seven jobs in the state.

The guests ranged from grain farmers to those with livestock operations and specialty produce like pumpkins, to those engaged in such ancillary areas as crop insurance, conservation and agriculture extension work.

Chris Cowman, a 2014 Wilmington College agriculture graduate, relished the opportunity to share his concerns and priorities at the meeting.

“Growing up on a farm, it was easy learning farming from my dad and grandpa,” he said, “but I lacked political information, how Washington D.C. affects farms in Ohio.”

Cowman said his WC experience generated an interest in that crucial facet of the industry when he visited the Chicago Board of Trade and learned how to lobby elected representatives on a College trip to Washington D.C.

Since he graduated and is engaged in farming full time, he regularly has taken advantage of legislative forums with members of Congress, which today brought him back to him alma mater to meet with Brown’s staff.

“With the Farm Bill changing every five years, it’s important to raise issues and stay on your toes,” he said.

The event also brought another WC alumnus back to campus. 2015 graduate Ellen Short is an assistant on the senator’s staff.