Morning reading – Dec. 17

Staff report

* On Tuesday, The Buckeye Institute and the Fraser Institute released an economic freedom ranking of every state and province in North America. According to the new report, Ohio ranks 40th among the 50 United States in economic freedom, held back by high government spending on public employee pensions, workers’ compensation, and social programs.

Economic Freedom of North America 2015 ranks jurisdictions based on their levels of economic freedom (as measured by government spending, taxation, and labor market restrictions) using data from 2013, the most recent year of available data.

“Despite important tax reforms, Ohio’s economy remains shackled to the detrimental policies of the past, which continue to hinder economic prosperity and freedom in our state,” says Rea S. Hederman, Jr., Executive Vice President of The Buckeye Institute. “It’s no coincidence that neighboring states that have expanded freedom are enjoying more economic growth than Ohio has in recent years.”

* Sometimes, the best way to get is to give.

Other student organizations have been busy during November and December, taking part in a variety of service activities. For example, Buckeyes Against Hunger created a cardboard city to raise awareness about homelessness, while the Poultry Science Club donated a 24-pound turkey left over from its Thanksgiving sale to a local shelter.

Another organization, The Ohio Student Service Society, organized a drive to raise money and purchase gifts for Operation Christmas Child. The group reported getting enough presents to pack 92 boxes.

“I think volunteering is a great opportunity, especially having the ability to go back to see how the work we accomplished has impacted the area in the future,” Boehnen said. “Having the chance to volunteer while at Ohio State and with friends and other club members, creates a memory that will be shared for a long time.”

Find out more about CFAES student clubs and organizations at

* Although cropland values in Ohio have increased in recent years, low projected profit margins next year will likely restrict land values from increasing in 2016 and may, in fact, cause land values to decrease, an agricultural economist from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University said.

Ohio cropland values rose 3.5 percent in 2015, with bare cropland averaging $5,850 an acre, said Barry Ward, production business management leader for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

Ward, citing statistics from the Ohio Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, said continued lower margins together with the potential for higher interest rates suggest farmland values will be lower in 2016.

Staff report