Ohio’s secretary of state has announced that the ballot measure to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board will be designated as State Issue 2 on the Nov. 3, 2009 ballot.

If approved, the board will set standards for livestock and poultry care taking into account food safety, local availability and affordability of food and best farm management practices for animal well-being. Board members will consider those issues in the context of how they impact overall animal health, farm biosecurity, animal disease prevention, food safety and affordable food supplies.

Membership on the Ohio board will consist of three family farmers, two veterinarians (one being the state veterinarian), a local humane society representative, two members from statewide farm organizations, the dean of an Ohio agriculture college and two members representing Ohio consumers.

The 12-member board will be appointed, 10 by the governor and one each by the House and Senate. The director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture will serve as the 13th member and chair of the board.

Ohio’s farmers have banned together to provide the regulatory framework for the board to maintain a high level of consumer confidence in the food they produce. The effort is also being done in response to activist groups that want to ban modern food production and housing methods in disregard of scientific and practical evidence about animal well-being.

The ballot measure was placed on the November ballot through a bipartisan resolution that passed by an overwhelming majority in July in the Ohio General Assembly.