Ohio Department of Agriculture stops in Marietta as part of state tour

Published: Apr. 1, 2019 at 6:39 PM EDT
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Officials with the Ohio Department of Agriculture visited Washington County to hear concerns and issues facing farmers and residents.

After being appointed by Governor Mike Dewine, ODA director Dorothy Pelanda launched a statewide "listening tour" to hear concerns and challenges facing agricultural workers, as well as learn about positive practices that could help others around the state.

Pelanda was supposed to speak to Washington, Monroe and Noble county residents in Marietta but was called back to Columbus for an emergency meeting with the governor. Assistant director Tim Derickson filled in and spoke to local farmers, educators and county officials about several issues, including water quality.

Our purpose of this listening tour is really to listen and see what is working and what's not working," Derickson said, "and take that back and implement what we can but how better to do it than by listening to the folks who are actually on the ground."

"To have someone actually come to southeast Ohio, Washington County in particular to listen to our concerns," Washington Soil and Water Conservation district manager Sandy Lahmers said, "and to just see our terrain so they better understand what our issues and concerns and what our major problems here are means a lot to us."

The goal of the tour is to improve the agricultural sector across the state.