(per Adam Ward, director, CFAES Government Affairs)
Agricultural line items:
The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) line item was decreased 1.7% in FY22 and increased 1.7% in FY23 by the governor and House proposals compared to FY21; but the Senate increased the line item by $889,460 in FY22 and by $593,058 in FY23.
The Cooperative Extension line item received a $500,000 increase in each year of the biennium over the governor’s proposal from the House and an additional $610,540 in FY22 and $406,942 over the House from the Senate.
In total, the Senate added $2.5 million over the biennium for Ohio State University Extension and OARDC.
The Sea Grant line item was restored by the House to receive $299,250 in each year of the biennium, and the Senate retained the House-increased funding for Sea Grant.
Research Incentive Third Frontier: The 235634 line item provides earmarks for various research projects. The portion set aside for water quality has been increased from up to $2.0 million per fiscal year to $2.5 million per fiscal year. This is generally released in conjunction with Stone Lab/Sea Grant. This remains unchanged since the governor introduced his version of the bill.
Meat Processing Investment Program: The CFAES Department of Animal Sciences and OSU Extension would be eligible to partner with the Department of Development to receive grants to aid meat processors by adding additional training programming, and process improvements with $10,000,000 in FY22 funding added by the House and retained by the Senate.
Water Quality Pilot Program: A $4,000,000 pilot project was included earmarking H2Ohio funding for a water quality project at Shallow Run in Hardin County. CFAES has been working with stakeholders to obtain a federal grant via the Regional Conservation Partnership Program of the USDA as a match for this watershed project. This was added by the House and retained by the Senate.
Farm Production, Policy, and Financial Management Institute: A new line item, 600676 Farm Financial Management Institute, is created and funded in the Senate version of the budget to support a CFAES program. The program is funded at $250,000 per fiscal year.
Note: While this represents an increase for Extension over next biennium, it is still not an increase over pre-pandemic numbers. “I’d like to thank Adam, Dean Kress, our assistant directors, and or university Government Affairs partners, as well as all of you who have helped effectively tell the story of Extension’s impact across the state that led to this significant increase during a continuing pandemic. It speaks highly of your value and your critical contributions to serving our fellow Ohioans.” (Jackie Kirby Wilkins, director, OSU Extension)