State Government Roundup: National Guard; Orphan Wells; Meat Processing Services
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National Guard to Send 30 Air Defense Soldiers to DC Area

The Ohio National Guard announced Monday that approximately 30 members of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade will deploy to the U.S. capital region. A call to duty ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, with Adjutant General John Harris seeing them off.

According to a release, the brigade’s personnel “will provide command and supervisory oversight support to the homeland defense mission, which includes the use of radar, ground-based air defense systems, and communications equipment to protect the National Capital Region (NCR).”

The 174 Air Defense Artillery Brigade has previously deployed personnel to the Washington, D.C. area on four occasions, according to the release. National Guard personnel have been performing this mission since 2003.

ODNR Dedicates $29 Million in Federal, State Funds to Orphan Wells

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' (ODNR) Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (DOGRM) will preside over $28.5 million in funding authority for a new program to remediate orphan wells.

Construction management firms will coordinate with architectural engineers to plug 40–200 orphan wells, expanding the 350 wells remediated over the past three years under 132-HB225 (Thompson).

"Proper plugging of orphan wells is necessary to protect public health and safety, conserve natural resources and allow the efficient development of Ohio’s oil and gas resources," DOGRM says in a new request for qualification (RFQ) from construction firms interested in providing orphan well management.

Two firms will receive federal funding of roughly $11 million each for additional well plugging. Another $6 million in state money will go to two architectural/engineering firms that will work in concert with construction managers. Contracts may be amended with additional federal funding.

The RFQ can be found at

DeWine Awards $10 Million to Strengthen Food Supply Chain in Ohio

Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted recently announced that 40 Ohio livestock and poultry producers will receive grants totaling $10 million to help them expand capacity and meet the growing demand for meat processing services.

“The supply chain issues that our country is facing have put increased pressure on our meat processors, and they can't keep up with the demand," said DeWine in a prepared statement. "By awarding this money, we can help these Ohio businesses enhance their operations to strengthen the local meat supply chain and reduce reliance on out-of-state processors."

Each company will receive a grant of up to $250,000, with half of the funds disbursed before projects are started and the other half awarded after the companies show that the initial funds were spent on eligible costs. In total, the businesses receiving awards have estimated that the funds will help them create up to 830 jobs.

“These grants will not only benefit consumers, but they will also help sustain these businesses and bring new job opportunities to Ohioans,” Husted added. “In addition to new jobs, this funding will help businesses retain 300 jobs and nearly $30 million in payroll.”

The DeWine-Husted administration prioritized the creation of the Ohio Meat Processing Grant Program in the state's FY22-23 operating budget, which was passed by the Ohio General Assembly last year. Grant funding will be used to implement processing efficiencies, expand or construct facilities at existing sites, assist in training and certification, and improve harvest services.

The $10 million grant program, administered by the Ohio Department of Development in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, generated 143 applications requesting more than $28 million. Grants were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible businesses.

“The interest in this program shows that this industry is ready to improve its processes and increase its efficiency,” said Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik. “We are prepared to get these funds into the hands of operators quickly so that they can begin to implement their plans.”

“Ohio’s meat processing industry is incredibly important to our food supply chain,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda. “These grants will provide some much-needed help to facilities that are critical to maintaining an abundant food supply.”

For more information about the grant, visit

Story originally published in The Hannah Report on March 14, 2022.  Copyright 2022 Hannah News Service, Inc.