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 COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- During Ohio's AG Day celebration, Gov. George V. Voinovich today unveiled an action plan aimed at revitalizing Ohio's livestock industry and encouraging the retention and expansion of packing plants in Ohio. "Improving Ohio's business environment is critical because it means jobs for Ohioans and expanded markets for our livestock producers," said Voinovich.
 The action plan addresses the findings of the packing plant task force, which was organized 18 months ago to research opportunities for the retention and development of Ohio's packing plants. The action plan outlines recommendations to help revitalize Ohio's livestock and packing industry. The actions include:
 1. Implementing changes in the "BUY OHIO" program, giving Ohio packing and processing companies preference over Ohio brokers selling meat products to Ohio institutions.
 2. Conducting visits to Ohio packing and processing companies and out-of-state companies to assess needs and encourage expansion or relocation to Ohio.
 3. Making information regarding state financial assistance programs such as low interest loans and training programs readily available to Ohio packing and processing companies.
 4. Encouraging herd expansion in all species.
 5. Providing industry support for reforming Ohio's Worker's Compensation program pursuant to recommendations of the McKinsey & Co. Report.
 6. Developing an Ohio identity logo program.
 7. Meeting with Ohio grocery chains, independent markets and their professional associations to encourage the purchase of meat products from Ohio packers and processors.
 8. Providing funding for cost-sharing of livestock pollution abatement equipment through H.B. 88.
 9. Encouraging the expansion of livestock specialists at The Ohio State University Cooperative Extension Service.
 10. Providing a sales tax exemption on materials used for single purpose livestock and poultry structures.
 11. Assisting Ohio packers and processors in developing international markets for their products.
 "In order to help Ohio's agricultural industry remain competitive in the future, we must retain and expand existing packing plant facilities," said Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Director, Fred L. Dailey. "I believe this action plan is a step in the right direction," Dailey continued.
 The goal of the packing plant task force is to accomplish the action plan during the next year. The task force is comprised of more than twenty individuals representing nearly every segment of Ohio's livestock industry, Ohio State University, producers, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ohio Department of Development. For more information on Ohio's Packing Plant Task Force contact, Kirby Hidy at 614-466-5338.
 -0- 3/16/93
 /CONTACT: Jenny Camper of the Governor's Office, 614-644-0957, or Kim Norris of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, 614-752-4505/

CO: Ohio Department of Agriculture ST: Ohio IN: AGR SU:

KK -- CL008 -- 6529 03/16/93 12:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 16, 1993

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