Agriculture: What is it, who is it and why is it important?

Agriculture by definition is the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products. But to me “agriculture” means people. It is the farmers I work with daily to help promote and protect their way of life, it is my neighbors, my friends, my family and our future. Most of all Agriculture is me.

  • Written by Jill Smith, Organization Director for the Ohio Farm Bureau serving Auglaize, Logan, Mercer, Shelby and Union counties

Kelly’s treatment was revealing, chilling

Bellefontaine native Katie Kelly’s terrific letter to the Forum, Examiner, Nov. 11, 2016, was both revealing and chilling. Democracy, free speech and dissent gone asunder.

Knowing this article will meet with contempt, or outright hostility, in pockets of Logan County, I’m appalled that Donald J. Trump’s hateful image as president will be America’s face to the world on Jan. 20, 2017.

It makes me ashamed of my own skin color: white.

The Bible-thumping, conservative, Republican mind-set, which has always prevailed around her in my lifetime (71), can be suffocating, in my opinion. Even menacing, as Kelly points out so well.

If you haven’t read Katie Kelly’s letter, I highly recommend that you do so.

It’s serious and timely if you supposedly believe that we will always live in a “free society.”

  • Written by Jerry Turner, Quincy

Doors of EnCOURAGEment opening again

It’s that time again. We are gearing up for another great “Doors” event and we need your help.    You know the excitement that the display brings downtown. You know that it’s about more than painting a door. You know the love, the care, the talent and time that is shared to create each work of art. Hopefully, you know that every penny raised stays in Logan County and directly benefits our friends and neighbors while going through cancer treatment. Every. Single. Penny.

But do you know how people benefit? Do you know that a person with a cancer diagnosis is eligible for up to $750 per month for fuel expenses to treatment and medical appointments? Do you know that they are eligible for up to $200 per month for medical supply reimbursement? Do you know that they are eligible for a wig value up to $300 annually? Did you know that there is also a fund for emergency expenses available to cancer patients?

Your support of the Doors of EnCOURAGEment event helps to make this assistance possible. 

  • Written by Melody Couchman, Bellefontaine

A community promoting peace

On Saturday, Sept. 10, the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Run/Walk was held at the University and through Urbana City with over 200 participants and many volunteers. On Sunday, Sept. 11, the Community Day of Remembrance was held at Urbana University with over 400 attendees.

International speaker, spiritual leader and New York Times best-selling author, Marianne Williamson electrified the audience with a passionate plea to everyone to become more actively involved in our democracy, to hold elected officials accountable for their action or inaction and to be the change we want for our country and world. She also talked about the healing power of forgiveness and the need for atonement. The World House Choir gave an uplifting performance about our common humanity.

President George Lucas, Betsy Coffman along with Urbana City Mayor Bill Bean warmly welcomed everyone. Mayor Bean announced the signing of a Resolution that designated the City of Urbana an International City of Peace. Through the efforts of the City, the University and the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund, Urbana becomes only the 140th city internationally to become a City of Peace. 

  • Written by John and Bev Titus, St. Paris

The overregulated American dream



Small businesses make up the backbone of the American economy, and in no place is this more apparent than Ohio. There are nearly one million small businesses in our state. More than two million of us — one-fifth of Ohio’s population — are employed by small businesses. We have some of the highest numbers of self-employed workers, including women and veterans, in the country. The ability of small and independent businesses to start here and grow is crucial to the economic health of our state, our communities and workers themselves. But there’s a regulatory barrier we need to address.  

Government regulations have a direct impact on the ability of independent businesses to keep the lights on, make payroll and create new Ohio jobs. The regulatory process in Washington should be designed to serve the public and keep people safe in a thriving economy. Instead, it is characterized by moving goalposts, complicated paperwork and overwhelming compliance costs — the sort that can make a small business go under and intimidate others away from business ownership altogether. Large corporations can survive in this environment. They have the resources — and lawyers — needed to absorb losses in time and money. Not every small business can.

Personally, I’ve been a Logan County entrepreneur since I was 17. I now own four local businesses and employ almost 40 people, including various subcontractors. In my own experience, navigating and complying with regulations is the single biggest challenge I face as a small business owner. I know I’m not alone in this and I know it can’t be what our lawmakers intended.

  • Written by Jason Duff