|The ADA Mideast Office in Columbus|
One important issue facing Ohio is water quality. Ohio Farm Bureau and many other agriculture groups have come together to work on policy and solutions that maintain clean water. A little over half of Ohio’s land is in farms. The other half is woods/forest/natural areas and urban/cities. We all play a role in water quality, but sometimes it feels as if agriculture is singled out as the “problem”, so I was curious to see what Scott Nally, Director of Ohio EPA, had to say.
|My son, Jack, and I enjoying one of the wonderful lakes in our county|
I’m glad to see Director Nally working with the Directors of the Department of Agriculture and the
Department of Natural Resources to focus on all “legs of the stool”, not singling out one.
Our group shared with Director Nally how the U.S. dairy industry has used technology to become
more efficient. Today U.S. dairy farmers use less land, feed and water and produce less manure to
make a gallon of milk. These efficiencies benefit the environment and water quality.
During the ADA Mideast meeting, we were fortunate to have a special guest, Dr. Dan Ross,
Commissioner of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA). We as dairy farmers are
connected with Dr. Ross because chocolate milk is the official beverage of the OHSAA. He
advised that the OHSAA is very selective about who they choose as partners. They are looking for wholesome organizations with integrity.
Dr. Ross is a genuine and inspirational person who shared several stories illustrating when perseverance, integrity and teamwork were displayed by high school athletes. I think the best thing he said was, “Our job is to prepare kids for the next level of life, not the next level of sports. I want the students to learn life lessons they will need in their lives and jobs.” He went on to say that sports are a great way to learn teamwork and allows students to learn by making mistakes. This humble man has visited 462 of the 600 high schools in Ohio. He regularly has lunch with student athletes to recognize the good they have done. He really seems to care about the students he serves.
The ADA Mideast partnership with OHSAA has allowed Ohio dairy producers a presence at numerous high school sports activities around the state to spread the word about how nutritional dairy products, including chocolate milk, are an important part of student athlete’s healthy and active lifestyle.
|Smith Dairy's Fat-Free Cow|