Next Tuesday I get the honor (?) of being a panelist at The Ohio State University Environmental Professionals Network Breakfast Club panel discussion titled "Ohio's Water Resources and Citizens at Risk - Ag-related Practices and Policies to Prevent Harmful Algal Blooms, Post-Toledo."
I'm on the 'Policy' panel along with a representative from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and a representative of the Ohio Environmental Council. I'm guessing I'm there to serve the Mills Lane role between the farmers and the environmentalists?
They are expecting close to 200 guests including multiple memebrs of the Ohio legislature. So somehow I have to figure out a way to diplomatically say that phosphorous prices should be higher, renewable fuel standards ethanol mandates should be removed, residential use of phosphorous should be reduced (most residential fertilizer companies no longer include phosporous in their N-P-K formulations, which is why most store labels for fertilizer now read # - 0 - # ), municipal run-off needs to be better managed, water treatment needs to be addressed, and while good intentions make me feel all warm and fuzzy, voluntary compliance mechanisms are unlikely to come close to the 40% reduction in Lake Erie phosphorous levels being called for. Throw on top of that issues of stored phosphorous sinks in soils combined with increased severe Spring rainfall events (should I even bring up Climate Change?) that serve to flush the proverbial phosphorous toilet (I think that was one of Jesus' first proverbs), and an amazing collective aversion to the word 'tax' in Ohio and I'm unlikely to make very many people in the room happy.
But I haven't really decided what I'm going to say in my 5 minutes of opening remarks yet, so feel free to make suggestions in the comments.
*"I can't have an F, I can't have it and I know my parents can't have it. Even if I aced the rest of the semester, I'm still only a B. And everything's ruined for me."