Portman touts agriculture on tour

UPPER SANDUSKY – Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, came to North Central Ohio Friday to celebrate a local business’ 50th anniversary and to kick-off Agriculture Week in Ohio.

Portman took a tour of Kalmbach Feeds in Upper Sandusky and afterward spoke about the importance of agriculture in Ohio, which he said is the No. 1 industry in the state.

“It is providing jobs for Ohioans who appreciate the work, and it’s also provided a lot of income for our state,” he said. “That’s why farm week is an important time to talk about the importance of agriculture, and the importance of doing the right things – in my case through the federal government – to encourage farming.”

Portman said Ohio has great land and work ethic, which has helped the state become one of the most successful agricultural places in the country.

Portman said he encourages the federal administration to seek and for Congress to give trade promotion authority – to get more trade agreements, which is good for agriculture and jobs.

He said he will introduce a bipartisan bill to get more trade agreements.

“We will be producing more and more in Ohio and will have more and more markets overseas,” Portman said. “When given a fair shake, no one can beat us.”

Portman also spoke on regulations that affect farmers.

“Frankly, I think Washington has gotten too far out on the regulatory front,” he said.

He said he is working on a couple of bipartisan bills that will require the federal government to go through a cost-benefit analysis, which will make the government follow policies in the least costly and least burdensome way possible.

“This administration, frankly, has put out more of what they call ‘major’ rules – which are big, expensive rules – than any administration in history,” Portman said. “If we don’t begin to pull back on some of these regulations, again it makes us less competitive in a global market, and that’s where we’re competing.”

Portman also spoke on the across-the-board, sequestration cuts.

“We do need to get the spending under control because our debts and deficits are so large – record levels – and so I support the reductions in spending,” he said. “I don’t support the way it’s being done because the way it’s being done, one: very heavily on defense and two: in an across-the-board way that doesn’t allow for funding priorities. Instead it cuts important things the same as it cuts something you can save money on.”