A bipartisan group of elected officials and candidates have been recognized for their support of agriculture. Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Agriculture for Good Government Political Action Committee grants the "Friend of Agriculture" designation to state candidates, and the "Friend of Farm Bureau" goes to U.S. congressional candidates.
The award recognizes incumbents and those running for office who stand out as advocates for Ohio's diverse agricultural community. Democrats and Republicans both are recipients of the recognition. As a nonpartisan organization, Farm Bureau awards its "Friend" designation regardless of political affiliation; it goes to individuals who have demonstrated their willingness to collaborate with Farm Bureau to the benefit of its members and all Ohioans.
The "Friend" recognition for incumbents is based primarily on the elected official's voting record on key issues of significant importance to Ohio agriculture. State level key issues this year included transportation, the Great Lakes Compact, voluntary marketing agreements and farm loan programs. Federal issues included free trade agreements, air and water quality and small business tax issues.
In addition to voting records, county Farm Bureau boards of trustees provide input on how well the elected official works with the agriculture community in his or her district.
For open seats where there is no incumbent running for re-election, the award is based on a screening interview conducted by farmer leaders in the district and the screening committee's recommendation to AGGPAC.
Judicial support is determined by comparing candidates' past rulings with Farm Bureau positions on legal issues.
AGGPAC is funded by the voluntary contributions of members of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. In 2010, 85% of the farm-friendly candidates supported by AGGPAC won their races.
Ohio Farm Bureau's list of "Friends" for 2012:
Ohio House districts: 01 Ron Amstutz, 03 Tim Brown, 04 Matt Huffman, 05 Craig Newbold, 06 Marlene Anielski, 07 Mike Dovilla, 08 Armond Budish, 09 Barbara Boyd, 10 Bill Patmon, 11 Sandra Williams, 12 John Barnes, 13 Nickie Antonio, 14 Mike Foley, 16 Nan Baker, 17 Michael Curtin, 18 Michael Stinziano, 19 Anne Gonzales, 20 Nathan Burd, 21 Michael Duffey, 22 John Patrick Carney, 23 Cheryl Grossman, 24 Stephanie Kunze, 25 Kevin Boyce, 26 Tracy Heard, 27 Peter Stautberg, 28 Connie Pillich, 29 Louis Blessing, 30 Lou Terhar, 31 Denise Driehaus, 32 Dale Mallory, 33 Alicia Reece, 34 Vernon Sykes, 35 Zack Milkovich, 36 Anthony Devitis, 37 Kristina Roegner, 38 Marilynn Slaby, 40 Michael Henne, 41 James Butler, Jr., 42 Terry Blair, 43 Roland Winburn, 44 Michael Ashford, 45 Teresa Fedor, 46 Matt Szollosi, 47 Barbara Sears, 48 Kirk Schuring, 49 Stephen Slesnick, 50 Christina Hagan, 52 Margaret Conditt, 53 Timothy Derickson, 54 Pete Beck, 55 Matthew Lundy, 56 Daniel Ramos, 57 Terry Boose, 58 Robert Hagan, 59 Ronald Gerberry, 60 Lori Dinallo, 61 Ron Young, 62 Ron Maag, 63 Sean O'Brien, 64 Tom Letson, 65 John Becker, 66 Doug Green, 67 Andrew Brenner, 68 Margaret Ann Ruhl, 69 William Batchelder, 70 Dave Hall, 71 Jay Hottinger, 72 Bill Hayes, 73 Rick Perales, 74 Robert Hackett, 75 Kathleen Clyde, 76 Matt Lynch, 77 Gerald Stebelton, 79 Ross McGregor, 80 Richard Adams, 81 Lynn Wachtmann, 82 Pete Schlegel, 83 Robert Sprague, 84 Jim Buchy, 85 John Adams, 86 Dorothy Pelanda, 87 Jeff McClain, 88 Rex Damschroder, 89 Chris Redfern, 90 Terry Johnson, 91 Cliff Rosenberger, 92 Gary Scherer, 93 Ryan Smith, 94 Debbie Phillips, 95 Andy Thompson, 96 Jack Cera, 97 Brian Hill, 98 Alan Landis, and 99 Casey Kozlowski.
Ohio Senate districts: 01 Cliff Hite, 02 Randy Gardner, 04 Bill Coley, 06 Peggy Lehner, 08 Bill Seitz, 10 Chris Widener, 12 Keith Faber, 14 Joe Uecker, 16 Jim Hughes, 17 Bob Peterson, 18 John Eklund, 20 Troy Balderson, 22 Larry Obhof, 24 Tom Patton, 26 Dave Burke, 28 Tom Sawyer, 30 Lou Gentile, and 32 Capri Cafaro.
US House districts: 01 Steve Chabot, 02 Brad Wenstrup, 04 Jim Jordan, 05 Bob Latta, 06 Bill Johnson, 07 Bob Gibbs, 08 John Boehner, 10 Michael Turner, 12 Pat Tiberi, 15 Steve Stivers, and 16 Jim Renacci.
Ohio Supreme Court: Robert Cupp and Terrence O'Donnell.