State Issue 2 is an important debate that will affect farm animals, farmers and Ohio consumers.

It's pitting political leaders, farm and business groups against animal rights' groups and others who want to keep overly specific issues out of the state Constitution.

A "yes" vote on Issue 2 is in favor of creating a 13-member board of Ohio farming and food experts to make rules about caring for livestock.

It is on the ballot as a way to pre-empt initiatives from the Humane Society of the United States to phase out keeping pigs, veal calves and chickens in crates and cages.

The group claims millions of animals live in inhumane conditions on big "factory" farms, mostly in Northwest Ohio.

Seven states have adopted such measures by popular vote or legislative action.

Opponents of such measures in Ohio rejected animal protection groups' overtures to discuss similar regulations here.

Brenda Hastings is the face on commercials being run by Issue 2 supporters, promising a "safe, affordable and local supply of food."

She and her husband raise 600 dairy cattle in Burton in Geauga County.

She is not in favor of more regulations.

But if new regulations are coming because of consumers' greater interest in what they eat, she wants them made by Ohioans and based on "the best management practice and science."

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