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Episode 46: Safeguarding Ohio Agriculture with ODA Director Brian Baldridge

 

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) stands as a silent guardian, safeguarding the interests of Ohio’s agriculture industry. In this podcast episode, ODA’s Director Brian Baldridge joined host Libby Wixtead to discuss the department’s multifaceted role and share his passion for agriculture’s enduring story. 

From Family Farming to Public Service

Born into a seventh-generation family farm in Adams County, Brian is no stranger to the hard work and resilience that define the heart of farming. Growing up, his family raised 20 acres of burley tobacco and managed a hybrid seed corn business. His upbringing was steeped in the values of 4-H and FFA, organizations that ignited his passion for agriculture. 

Despite his initial reluctance, Brian’s involvement in local politics began early in his career. He started as a trustee and served four terms as a county commissioner after, leading to terms in the state legislature and his eventual path to becoming the Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. 

 

The Ohio Department of Agriculture

The Ohio Department of Agriculture operates in a unique space, with regulatory responsibilities that encompass the entire spectrum of agriculture. Their areas of focus are far-reaching. From meat processing to plant health, to ride safety, and even food safety, Brian highlights that safety is their highest priority. 

Specifically, ODA is at the forefront of disease management, particularly in safeguarding poultry and swine against potential threats. ODA also plays a crucial role in the dairy industry, working to streamline the transportation of milk and the operations of commercial processing facilities. Additionally, ODA’s efforts extend into programs like Ohio Proud, which encourages consumers to support Ohio agricultural businesses. 

 

H2Ohio and Water Quality

One of ODA’s core initiatives is H2Ohio, a program that reflects Ohio’s commitment to clean water. Rooted in addressing algal blooms in Lake Erie, H2Ohio is a collective effort to tackle water quality challenges. Brian encourages farmers to participate in H2Ohio and share their success stories. “What we need more than anything, is for the folks who are participating in this, is to know what they're doing and their best practices, and they need to tell that story,” said Brian.

While H2Ohio currently boasts 2,400 participants covering 1.5 million acres, Brian wants all agriculture stakeholders to step up, enroll in the program, and play a part in enhancing water quality. The alternative, Brian explains, could be more stringent regulations. 

 

New Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab

Another significant development in the Ohio agricultural landscape is the replacement of an outdated animal disease diagnostic lab. This project, valued at around $80 million, aims to enhance Ohio’s capacity for testing and diagnosing diseases in animals. 

With required tests being performed at this lab, the new construction will allow for a swift response to potential outbreaks. Brian emphasizes, “What this means for Ohio is knowing that we have the cutting edge technology for when it comes to disease outbreaks and so forth, that we’re ready and able to respond.”

 

Farmland Preservation & Urban Connection

As Ohio gears up for substantial economic growth, residential expansion is encroaching upon tillable farmland. Brian asks, “How do we balance that economic development versus the ag community that is tasked with providing food for our state and our world?” Balancing this growth while preserving farmland is a key challenge that’s recognized by ODA. 

Thus, nurturing the next generation of agricultural leaders and sharing the story of agriculture with urban residents is more important than ever. ODA’s commitment to the Ohio State Fair is an impactful event that serves as a bridge for urban audiences to connect with rural life. Brian stresses that the state fair and Ohio’s 94 county and independent fairs are, “Our opportunity in the ag community to tell that story to that urban person who has no idea.”

 

Listening to the Past & Cultivating Stories for the Future

Brian encourages young and beginning farmers to learn from those who came before them. The wisdom and insights of seasoned farmers provide a foundation for navigating the ever-evolving agricultural landscape. 

Looking forward, Ohio’s agricultural story is far from over. Its future promises to be a vibrant and thriving one and Brian underscores that “we need to tell our story in the ag community whenever we can.”

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [01:07] Brian Baldridge shares his agriculture background and his career path in local government with his current role as the Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). 

  • [05:22] Brian summarizes what the Ohio Department of Ag does, which includes food safety, animal health, ag marketing, and much more. 

  • [08:35] Discussing the H2Ohio program, Brian shares his unique legislative and operational perspectives on the incentivized water quality program. 

  • [13:40] Brian shares why he thinks it is important for the ag community to capture the best practices they are doing and communicate their stories. 

  • [16:34] Brian shares information about a new animal disease diagnostic lab set to open in mid-2026. 

  • [19:49] Discussing farmland preservation, Brian shares that balance is key to Ohio’s economic development and its tillable land. 

  • [24:12] Brian encourages the ag community to share their story, and expresses appreciation for the opportunities the Ohio State Fair provides to connect an urban audience with agriculture. 

  • [25:06] Brian leaves with some advice for young and beginning farmers. 

 

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Transcription

Voiceover (00:08):

Welcome to AgCredit Said It. In each episode, our hosts sit down with experts from all parts of the agriculture industry to bring you insights and must-have information on all things from farming to finances and everything in between.

 

Libby Wixtead (00:27):

All right, welcome back to AgCredit Said It. This is Libby Wixtead and I'm down here in Reynoldsburg at the Ohio Department of Ag and we are with Director Baldridge. How are you today?

 

Brian Baldridge (00:39):

I am great.

 

Libby Wixtead (00:41):

We are so glad to have you today. We're going to talk a little bit about what ODA does and also we're going to dive into a little bit of what Governor DeWine has challenged Director Baldridge with over his term here. So Brian, Director, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself and your path to becoming the Director of Ohio Department of Ag?

 

Brian Baldridge (01:07):

Yes, absolutely. Well, my path, I started down in southern Ohio to family farm, seventh generation family farm in Adams County, and farmed all my life. It's a way of life and it still is today. We farm a few hundred acres and raised some beef cattle still at the home, seventh generation farm. My wife and I are in the middle of remodeling that farmstead, 1852 farmhouse, as we speak. So maybe not the smartest thing in life, but a fun project for us to do together. But that was the start.

 

(01:39):

And growing up we were a very diverse farm operation and including, we were tobacco farmers, we raised about 20 acres of burley tobacco. Also had a hybrid seed corn business, which was unique to southern Ohio, and Ohio in general. So always kind of knew what hard work was, whether it was detasseling corn or cutting tobacco. And so that was always a great family operation and just great opportunities for that. Grew up very active in 4H and FFA. Had opportunities, had a couple of great FFA leaders and 4H advisors that drug a number of us across the, at least eastern part, from the Mississippi to the east, doing a lot of general livestock judging, and had a lot of opportunities with that.

 

(02:26):

And when it comes to the political side of it, my dad was involved in local politics, and as a youngster, that 17-year-old, they said, "What do you want to do?" And I said, "I don't know what I want to do for sure. I know I want to farm. I want to do that, and I know I don't want to get into politics." Well, yeah, that didn't quite work out the way I had it planned. But yeah, so I started at a local government level, just basically my start was with the local volunteer fire department, but then got involved with the local township and said, "I kind of like this." And ran for trustee.

 

(03:05):

And probably the pivotal move that got me more engaged, maybe even at a larger scale, is the state level. I ran for the Ohio Township Board of Directors. And my claim to fame on that speech was at that time I was employed as a fire medic down the east side of Cincinnati. And I said, "On this board, I'll represent the sixth-largest township in the State of Ohio population-wise. And as a board member, I will represent the smallest township as an elected official on the Board of Directors." So did that. And so that was a great opportunity. And then ran for County Commissioner and was a four-term County Commissioner. And the same thing, I got involved with the State Association, so always was close to the State House and close to policies that affected local government.

 

(03:48):

And then lo and behold, term limits in Ohio. And my state representative was term-limited out. And I said, "Okay, let's take a peek at that." And then being involved with that, had the opportunity to serve a couple of terms in the legislature and this opportunity came about and that's what finds us to this seat, sitting here, the ODA here in Reynoldsburg, and representing the State of Ohio. On a personal note, my wife and I, 33 years together, have two children, and I'm on grandbaby number three, three little girls and the oldest is three and a half, four months, and one month.

 

Libby Wixtead (04:22):

Oh, my goodness.

 

Brian Baldridge (04:22):

So, my life is great, and I look forward... I raise my kids through the agricultural way of life and those 4H and FFA opportunities. I look forward to helping be a good guide to raise my grandchildren on that same path.

 

Libby Wixtead (04:35):

Yeah, that guidance from a young age and 4H and FFA, I think looking back and even us talking off record here, how important that is and just the impact that that has of where I am in my career, and obviously where you've gone in your career and how you grow up to, well, you never say never, right? Exactly.

 

Brian Baldridge (04:57):

Exactly. Exactly.

 

Libby Wixtead (05:01):

So can you share with our listeners exactly what does Ohio Department of Ag do? For a lot of farmers, I feel like, yeah, we know you guys are there. We know, okay, I had told you, okay, I have to get permits for my pig barn. But what else is there and how are you impacting the everyday farmer?

 

Brian Baldridge (05:22):

Sure. The unique side of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, is we are in the regulatory space, but we are everything agriculture is a good way to put it. We put safety number one, and I'll just kind of go down through as we look at some of the regulatory side as we look at things. But whether it's meat processing, plant health, farmland preservation, or ride safety, that's another one with that tragedy. We had a tragedy here in 2017, and we want to make sure that all rides across our great state are safe.

 

(05:55):

And Weights and Measures, what a great partnership that division partners with our local county auditors to provide their service locally across our state. Food safety. We are part of that safety chain that we all take for granted when we go to the stores or we go to restaurants knowing that food safety is always a top priority, and our folks are, all across the state, making sure that samples are pulled, tests are done, and just keeping our state and our world safe.

 

(06:28):

Animal health when it comes to disease and working through that and making sure that all our agricultural animals are safe. And from a standpoint of as we always are concerned about being proactive and looking at disease pressures, that can really, really impact especially our poultry and our swine. So we are forefront of that led by our state vet, Dr. Summers. And then we get into the Dairy Division, which works with not only those dairy farmers and those producers but also the transportation of milk and the commercial processing facilities.

 

(07:08):

Another thing we work on is marketing, and the sub of that is Ohio Proud. And that division is just marketing ag in general. And from a standpoint of Ohio Proud being that kind of, I put it in a mindset, buy local... those businesses that are maybe a little smaller that really want to put that label on and be proud of who we are and what agriculture means to us.

 

(07:30):

And then you touched on a little bit ago, as far as the processing from our DLEP, and that's our large CAFO facilities, those are regulated through ODA, just making sure those facilities are properly engineered and put in place to make sure that that management is in, doing the proper things, proper management, proper application of manure on our fields all across our state.

 

(07:53):

And I'll kind of go to the last one, and that's our Soil and Water division that we work with. Again, partners in our local counties, but knowing that's the division that heads up H2Ohio and that is a top, top priority of the Governor, a top priority of mine, and it should be a top priority for all of us in the ag community. We're fortunate in Ohio to have an abundance of water. Other states, I was just out at our national conference in Wyoming, and their conversations when it comes to water is completely different from here in Ohio. So we have an abundance of water, but we want to make sure that water quality is the top priority, as well.

 

Libby Wixtead (08:30):

We all have water issues, they're just different issues.

 

Brian Baldridge (08:32):

You are absolutely right.

 

Libby Wixtead (08:35):

Can you go into a little bit more about H2Ohio and the importance of that because where AgCredit is is in northwest Ohio and that is what's impacted the most. I will give a plug. They do have an equipment interest-savings program going on right now. So anybody that's listening, if you are going to purchase any equipment that is going to be with manure handling or anything like that with nutrients, talk to your local AgCredit account officer and see if there's any opportunity to get that savings. I know the money will go fast, but there could be still some there when this podcast comes out. But go ahead, Director.

 

Brian Baldridge (09:15):

Absolutely. From a standpoint of H2Ohio, the priority that's put in place, and this started obviously we look at history and we know what brought this forth in the algae blooms. And I remember sitting back in the County Commissioner's Association, State Association board meeting and myself and other ag folks were on that board, and there were folks who were not from the ag community and there was a lot of pointing of fingers and saying, "Hey, what are you guys doing? This is all your guys' fault and the ag community is really wrong in this space." And it was great, I think back at that time to stand up and to have a voice and say, "No, we're part of it. We all are. This is a societal issue and whether mistakes were made in over-application, or improper application, from the ag community, but it's also the private septic systems. It's the municipality septic system.

 

(10:13):

So knowing that we are as a state all in this together, and not only as a state, but as we look at Lake Erie and water quality, our neighbors around, we're all in this together. And what a great program. I was fortunate to sit in the legislature in the subcommittee of the finance regarding agriculture. And that's where the governor's initiative in 2019, when Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Husted looked at making this an incentive program, making water quality a priority, and just figuring out how we're going to do this. And so it was amazing as I look back on the policy side of it, and got to be part of that in 2019, but now with this opportunity in this role to now look at it on the other side of it, and that's on the operational side of it.

 

(11:01):

And I really, really appreciate and lift up our employees who work within that program here at ODA and again, our partners and our local Soil and Water Boards. And from a standpoint of what makes this program successful, one, it's a great opportunity to look at incentives. We're incentivizing, best practices all across our state, and knowing that is the way I like to, when it comes to policy and how to fix a problem, that's looking at best practices and how it's working and it's a great program.

 

(11:42):

What we need more than anything in this program, we are going through the re-enrollment process right now and a lot of the ag community who has participated in this program is re-enrolling. But what we've got to do is really, we started in that 14 counties and we expanded to 24 counties. But what we need more than anything is the folks who are participating in this, knowing what they're doing and their best practices, they need to tell that story.

 

(12:11):

And I'll put it in my perspective when I go to a local restaurant and drink a coffee, I want to encourage folks who have participated in this program to tell the story to their friends and neighbors who are not participating because we do need everybody to step up because this is an incentive program. The other option is that it can go down that path of regulation. And I don't think any of us in the ag community want to see that. So we need everybody to step up and be part of the solution. I'm encouraging that as I've had the opportunity to go to some of the kickoff meetings and re-enrollment meetings, but we really... that's the strongest message that I have today is making sure that we need everybody to participate.

 

Libby Wixtead (12:52):

And I know in my county, we were one of the counties that was added as the 24 to make it the total 24. And we had a lot of people who were already doing those practices and they're like, "Well, why not just enroll," and trying to encourage others who... We have a lot of hogs in Marion County. We do. And encouraging others to enroll in the program, because it's like, you're already doing this and then you get paid for it. It is a win-win other than people just looking at your records. But if you're already doing it and you're doing what you should be doing because you are a steward of the land, which most farmers are, it's an awesome program to be in.

 

Brian Baldridge (13:40):

And that's a great point. I mean, we know that there are a tremendous amount of folks in the ag community that are doing these practices already, but what it helps us to do from the Department of Ag and from the State of Ohio is to capture that information and to really be able to tell a narrative that, "Folks, we are part of the solution in the ag community. We care about soil. We care about water. It kind of goes into our business model and we care about that foundation of our business model." And so it's really that opportunity to help tell the good story of what our ag community is doing in best practices.

 

Libby Wixtead (14:23):

And I think just in everything in agriculture, it's tell your story. We just have to share what our story is. And if you guys can have the information too, to say, "We are doing our part," then the negative tone towards ag can get changed around. And that perception changed because you guys have the data right there when we're already doing the practices that you guys are suggesting.

 

Brian Baldridge (14:46):

Yeah. We get the brag right now of 2,400 participants signed up in those programs, about one and a half million acres, but those numbers need to go up. I'll be the first one to say that. And I had some friends, it was great to be at the state fair and walk through the hog barn that I grew up in and raised my kids in, but I caught some of the folks in that northwest corner, a couple of them, and I said, "Hey," I said, "are you signed up?" And they said, "Nah. We looked at it." And I said, "Well, let me tell you the other side of it. We need that participation, even though if you're doing those. We need to be able to help tell the story because that's the pushback we get to do from the ag community to say all the great things that we're doing in this space."

 

Libby Wixtead (15:26):

Yeah, tell your story. Everybody tell your story.

 

Brian Baldridge (15:30):

Absolutely.

 

Libby Wixtead (15:32):

And also when you were going through that list of all the areas that you guys cover, I think you can come back to saying that safety... going again with water quality, like you said, safety is the number one thing going through the food security piece of it, the rides. There's so much more that we don't even realize that you guys are covering and realizing that really, I mean, I guess I, just listening here, I didn't realize that safety is a priority in everything that we do. And like you said, you have your granddaughters and that is why that list is very important to you because of them and our kids. And so that's an awesome thing.

 

(16:15):

Going along with the safety aspect, can you share with us what Governor DeWine has kind of charged you with here with obviously H2Ohio and then I believe the other one was having an animal testing lab?

 

Brian Baldridge (16:34):

So we're fortunate here at ODA, Ohio Department of Agriculture, to have been awarded through the legislature... and maybe I was there and got to vote for that. Okay, I was. But I want to thank my colleagues that I'd served with previously for that to really support our animal disease diagnostic lab replacement. This is an outdated building. This is a lab that is in dire need of replacement. That funding was put in place. We're at a dollar figure of approximately $80 million. And what this means for Ohio is knowing that we have the cutting edge technology, when it comes to, as we touched on it earlier, as far as disease outbreaks and so forth, we have to be willing, ready, and able to respond from that standpoint. And we have a pretty good capacity today, our normal tests that go on day in and day out, thousands of tests that are done through that facility.

 

(17:37):

But we know that about 30% of the testing that is done, needed, and required for our state, is done at our labs here. And I'm a huge buy local person. So it's exciting to say, "Okay, with this new lab, we increase our capacity, and we're going to be able to keep those tests and provide those services to our industry here in Ohio and get that number from 30% up as high as we can, to just provide that local, and again, I'll go back to that buy local, and be able to serve right here in our state and take care of the folks in that space in our state."

 

(18:18):

So that's our responsibility from the standpoint of government to do. And so this is an exciting time. We are groundbreaking here in the next couple of months on that facility and should be up and running in mid-2026. So current lab is still functional, but this gives us the ability to really expand out our employees and expand those services that are really needed for Ohio in the ag space.

 

Libby Wixtead (18:45):

Absolutely. I feel like Ohio is just... Ohio is such an awesome state because we are leading so much in agriculture. I feel like we're almost trying to get ahead of everybody else and just be that leader within the states and with the lab testing, I think that's great because there are so many that are sent out of state and you have to wait. And having that relationship of just having it right here, having that data, too, for you guys tracking things, and there are some diseases out there that can be really scary coming into the United States. Obviously, I'm a pig person, so I think of African swine flu coming in, and that impact that that could have which I know you guys are very also involved with that and trying to come up with a plan when that comes through. Is there anything else that Governor DeWine has challenged you guys with that he would like to see done other than really the water quality and the lab testing?

 

Brian Baldridge (19:49):

Sure. I'll touch on a couple of others. One is a discussion of farmland preservation.

 

Libby Wixtead (19:55):

Absolutely.

 

Brian Baldridge (19:56):

Here in Ohio, it's a good thing that we feel the pressures from a growth in economic development. We know just a little bit northwest of here, the announcement of Intel and what that means for our great state. And that's exciting. And so with that comes residential growth, but we'll flip that to the side as ag producers, that puts pressures on the foundation of our operation, and that's farmable tillable land. So we're feeling those pressures. So there's a lot of discussion, how do we balance that economic development versus that... the ag community is tasked with providing food for our state and our world. And so we've got to be able to do that. So it's a constant conversation of how we look at farmland preservation, in general, and how do we balance the economic development side of things with us and ag community.

 

(20:59):

And then one other is, it's amazing, and I appreciate so much Governor DeWine and his vision for the state fair, and know that that connection to the state fair is that connection to our 94 county independent fairs all across our state. And we talk about the next generation in ag, and this is that opportunity for that next generation to learn, to showcase, to understand 4H and FFA, in general. And the other side of it, as we talked about telling stories a minute ago, it's our opportunity in the ag community to tell that story to that urban person who has no idea. And yes, just to be clear, chocolate milk doesn't come from brown cows. Steaks don't come from Kroger's. It is part of the cycle, but we get to tell the story at our fairs, our state fair, our expositions, our county fairs, and we get to tell that story from an ag standpoint.

 

(21:56):

So it's exciting to know that the governor's put a priority. Again, the legislature has stepped up and we're excited about the projects that are going to kick off here after the Quarter Horse Congress. We're going to see a lot of, we've got some demolition going on, we've got some infrastructure as far as our utilities that are going to be really, really upgraded that have been in dire need to do that here at state fairgrounds. But what an opportunity to connect with urban and ag, all in one spot, to showcase the great things. I know at the Lausche Building this year, Intel was there and COSI and it's ag, but it's the ag story to tell. And it's a collaboration of all of Ohio. And don't forget the food. I love fair food and there's plenty of that at our county fairs and our state fair.

 

(22:47):

So knowing that's a priority that the governor has put... he's put the task force together as far as the 2050 plan, I have the privilege of being Director of Ag to sit on the Expo Commission. So it's great to be part of that opportunity and that vision as we look forward. And I got to say something, I got to do a shout-out for my dear friend, the General Manager, Virgil Strickler.

 

Libby Wixtead (23:09):

Absolutely.

 

Brian Baldridge (23:09):

Who is retiring. We're going to miss Virgil. He has been an icon at that state fair and the service and the vision that he has had in running the state fair and the expo facility, in general. He's been great. So we're going to miss him. He won't be far, but I got to give him a plug and thank him for all his service in that role.

 

Libby Wixtead (23:29):

Yeah. And I'll say I'm a product of going through... I showed at the state fair. I showed pigs and chickens and just what he had done for the fair. He was there the whole entire, I guess, time that I was in 4H and FFA. And so we do thank him for the opportunity for us to come to the fair and to showcase our projects. And there are so many kids that still have benefited from that. And like you said, sharing that story to urban people and our 4H and FFA kids, it is so neat to see them at that level, because with them communicating and talking to the public and just sharing their story, I mean, they're almost better than we are.

 

Brian Baldridge (24:12):

Yeah. I tell you, when our young folks are up on those microphones... I was at the FFA Legislative Luncheon the other day and I thought, "Boy, I got to step up my speeches because these young men and women are just doing a great job speaking about ag. But it is truly that opportunity. We need to tell our story in the ag community whenever we can because it's a story that... it's a great story, but we got to tell it. If we tell it amongst ourselves, that local restaurant over coffee, we all know that story, but we need to expand that out and tell folks across our great state what a good story it is.

 

Libby Wixtead (24:49):

Yeah. So I guess you guys have a lot of projects going on, a lot of big projects that you guys are tasked with.

 

Brian Baldridge (24:55):

A little bit. Just a few.

 

Libby Wixtead (24:58):

I guess lastly, my question would be what advice would you share with young and beginning farmers?

 

Brian Baldridge (25:06):

Sure. One of the good pieces that I would share from the standpoint of just listening to the folks that came before you. I do a lot of listening. I try to... two ears, one mouth, and try to really listen and learn from folks who came before us. Now, that doesn't mean that... Technology is definitely ever-changing in the ag community, and it is different, but to understand the foundation and the pride, the boots on the ground that we have in the ag space, the first is just to listen to those stories of the folks who came before us. And there are good opportunities for the next generation of ag folks, the men and women who are going to take care of that after I'm out of the space, and providing food for our state and our world. There are opportunities.

 

(26:05):

One of the things that is run through to ODA, which was another piece of legislation recently was the beginning farmer tax credit. And just to touch on that a little bit, that not only helps that beginning farmer and that young person coming into the space, but it also helps that end-of-career person that's retiring out of ag. So it works on both sides. And that was the goal behind the legislation. So I encourage young folks, folks who are looking to get into agriculture to reach out to ODA here, and we'll get you in touch with that division and try to explain it the best we can and see if it fits for your future.

 

(26:49):

But, I tell folks anytime, especially when I'm talking with young groups, what a great story to tell in agriculture. And our future is bright. When it comes to ag, as we look at our young people participating in ag today, and we want to continue to expand that. But our future is bright not only in ag, but just as our great state with our young people and our next generation. So that's exciting for me to continually... I get to travel around to come to some of these fairs. I was at Coshocton County the other day and got to speak before their steer show. And one, thank the young people who are participating, but also thank the moms and grandpas and dads and everybody that were there at the show watching them.

 

Libby Wixtead (27:35):

Yeah, we haven't started yet. We're almost there. My son's in kindergarten, so we're trying to figure out where we're going to go.

 

Brian Baldridge (27:41):

I know. Aubrey, my three-and-a-half-year-old, oldest grandbaby, I told my wife Lori, I said, "I got to get back into these show pigs. I'm going to have to get a few sows here." I got shot down pretty quick, but we'll keep working on that. She's got a couple of years.

 

Libby Wixtead (27:57):

Yeah. Well, you sound like my dad.

 

Brian Baldridge (28:00):

Yeah, exactly.

 

Libby Wixtead (28:01):

And you got the same thing.

 

Brian Baldridge (28:02):

Exactly.

 

Libby Wixtead (28:02):

Well, Director Baldridge, we would like to thank you for taking the time to share what ODA, all that it entails, and also what your number one priorities are, and we appreciate your time.

 

Brian Baldridge (28:14):

Well, thank you. It's great to represent this agency and I appreciate Governor DeWine giving me the opportunity, and Lieutenant Governor Husted, and it's just an amazing place. I encourage anybody, if you're in Reynoldsburg, you're in Columbus and want to stop out here, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and we have 530 employees, 10 buildings, five laboratories, just on the east side of Columbus here in Reynoldsburg. So please stop out and we'll be glad to show you around and it helps us tell the story, but I want to educate folks and just see the great things that we do out here. So thank you very much.

 

Libby Wixtead (28:48):

Yes, you're welcome. And that was an invitation, so anybody who wants to come, you better go. It's a neat place down here. That will do it for this episode. We will see you guys next time and be sure to subscribe to our show and like us on Facebook and Instagram and we'll see you next time on AgCredit Said It.

 

Voiceover (29:10):

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