Story aired on October 19th 2009 during Athens MidDay on the WOUB network out of Athens, OH Ohio Ballot Issue #2 Election Preview
COLD OPEN: (Not pictured in video) And local farmers are up in arms on State Issue number two … <:45 the idea is to protect Ohio farms. Let them continue the way they are>
ANCHOR INTRO: The Ohio Farm Bureau pioneered state ballot issue number 2 to set standards for livestock care, but local farmers are up in arms over the measure. Athens Midday reporter Pat Henderson has more on the debate.
LIVE INTRO: State issue # 2 has been met by a lot of opposition by local farmers. It would make an amendment to the state constitution creating a board to set standards for livestock and poultry care. Many say they don’t think the issue will affect them at all, and others aren’t sure what to think.
PACKAGE: SOT: J.B. King - King Family Farms :55 I’m not sure I’m in favor of issue2.One, I think we didn’t look for any regulation and tried to resist regulation till all the sudden the humane society of the United States wants to do something and we got ahead of ourselves and decided we were gonna put this issue on the ballot. 1:10 TRACK: J.B. King isn’t alone in his skepticism … most of the farmers at the Athens Farmer’s market agree. State issue #2 has caused a lot of local farmers to put their guard up. Some feel the board that would be created by the amendment is a grab for power by bigger farms. SOT: Ed Perkins – Sassafras Farm 8:27 This has been proposed and supported by the big livestock operations in Ohio, the feedlots, the confinement chicken operations where they have hundreds, thousands of animals on feedlots and in cages this is who supports this. Follow the money. They are the money behind this. 8:45 TRACK: Perkins says any decisions the board makes will be in favor of big business. And that small farm owners would be ignored. Others say they think it sounds like a good idea … but they aren’t sure about the process… SOT: Marjie Shews - Shews' Orchard 7:04 The crux of it seems like an intelligent idea to me …to do that. As far as making it part of the constitution, I’m not so sure about that part. That seems a little weird to have animal care as part of your state constitution, but Ohio does make a lot of money from agriculture so that’s good, too. 7:26 TRACK: Supporters say it would benefit animals and improve care, but others disagree. The Athens County Humane society was unavailable for comment, but the Humane Society of the United States has made a public statement against the measure. They say the amendment gives the appearance of helping animals, but is really just a grab for power. J.B. King says he thinks farmers should know how to treat their animals, and the state should let farmers handle the issue. SOT: 1:53 We all as farmers should know what’s right and wrong and follow what is right and wrong and wise practices. Then there shouldn’t be any issue. 2:02 I think if … We as farmers should produce what consumers want, and if consumers don’t want what comes out of confined operations, then we should learn to adjust and produce what the consumer wants. 2:17
LIVE OUT: Supporters say the measure would benefit animals and improve care, but the National Humane Society - which has sponsored this type of ballot issue in other states - disagrees. The Humane Society agrees with the Athens farmers we talked wtih - that this particular ballot issue is just a grab for power. Stay tuned with Athens MidDay for continuing coverage of the debate over issue two. Reporting with Athens MidDay - I'm Pat Henderson.