The Communications Office provides information to the public and media. If you are a member of the media and are doing a story regarding the Ohio Department of Agriculture, please contact one of the below people in the Communications Office:
Ohio Department of Agriculture
8995 E. Main Street
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Public Records Request
If you would like to submit a public records request, you can quickly and easily submit the request by clicking the green button to the right. If you have any questions or issues regarding your request, please contact a member of the Communications Team.
Learn more about ODA's Public Records and Record Retention on our Legal Division Page.
How to Make a Good Records Request
Though records maintained by ODA are generally subject to public records requests, Ohio law does establish parameters for requests and exceptions for records that are exempt from public records requests.
Examples of Good Requests and Bad Requests
Below please find examples of requests ODA can easily process, and those that lack important information necessary to processing a request.
|Good Request:||Bad Request:|
|Inspection reports for Facility A for years X, Y and Z.||Dairy inspection reports|
|A list of current apprentice auctioneers.||Any and all information regarding apprentice auctioneers.|
|Any email correspondence from Inspector Y to Owner X from April 1, 2017 to April 1,2018 regarding Food Establishment X.||
Any and all correspondence regarding Food Establishment X.
How do I obtain all information regarding a certain facility, topic, company, etc.?
Requests for information are not requests for records. Similarly, requests for “all records” do not identify specific records. A good request identifies particular documents. If you don’t know what documents to ask for, contact the division of access the record retention schedule for the division to ascertain what types of documents are maintained by the division. Generally, many ODA Divisions maintain records regarding licensure, inspections, complaints, investigations, and violations.
What if I want information in a certain format?
If the Department maintains the information in a certain format (e.g., Word, Excel, etc.), that format can be provided to you. However, if ODA does not maintain information in a particular format, or if you have requested a record a database is not capable of compiling, ODA is under no duty to create the record for you. Additionally, if you want information that is spread throughout several documents, you will have to request those documents and compile the information.
Do I have to include a particular date?
Because many files are maintained by date, including a particular date or date range is imperative. Failure to delineate any specific date range may result in your request being denied for being overly broad.
How can I submit a request?
While it is best to submit the public records request form (link) to ensure relevant details are included with your request, it is not required. The public records request form, or a writing detailing your request, can be submitted:
- Via email to AGRpublicrecords@agri.ohio.gov
- In writing to 8995 E. Main Street, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068, ATTN: Office of Chief Legal Counsel
- Via fax to (614) 995-4585
Alternatively, you are welcome to submit your request over the phone at (614) 728-6430. However, we encourage you to place your request in writing so that we can ensure that you receive the specific records you are requesting.
Can I make a request anonymously?
You may request records anonymously. However, some method of contact must be made available so that ODA can notify you when your records are available.
What types of records do you maintain?
ODA maintains a wide variety of records. The most commonly requested records include lists of licensees or permitees, license or permit applications, inspection reports, violations, and complaints. To review the types of records maintained specifically by Division, you can access the Department’s record retention schedules at http://apps.das.ohio.gov/rims/SelectMenu/Selection.asp. To obtain Agriculture specific retention policies you will need to indicate AGR (for “agriculture”) and the “schedule” for the specific division you are searching for and then the retention schedules will appear for that particular division of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
When can I expect to receive my records?
ORC 149.43 requires ODA to respond to your public records request within a reasonable period of time. A reasonable period of time depends upon the nature and volume of the documents responsive to your request. If you need records by a certain date, be sure to include that in your request. ODA cannot guarantee that it can accommodate your request to receive documents by a specific date, but it is helpful information to have in processing your request.
How will I receive my records?
When possible, ODA will electronically transmit records via email. To access the response to your request and the responsive records, if any, please click on the link contained in the email or copy and paste the address into your internet browser on your desktop or laptop computer.
Please note that your records may not be accessible on mobile devices such as phones and tablets.
Only upon request or in instances in which the documents are too voluminous to be emailed, a disc containing the documents will be mailed via certified mail.
Do I have to pay for my records?
ODA may charge costs for copies and/or for delivery or transmission of your records. Further, ODA may require that payment of both be made in advance. Prior to completion of your request, ODA will contact you if it intends to charge you for your request.
Can I obtain all emails about a specific topic?
You cannot obtain all emails about a specific topic because ODA maintains emails by sender and/or receiver, rather than by topic. Therefore, if you wish to obtain emails or other correspondence, you must identify the sender, receiver, and a relevant date range. Additionally, identifying a particular topic or keywords will all narrow down the emails responsive to your request.
Are there any records I can’t obtain?
While the Public Records Act presumes and favors public access to government records, Ohio and federal laws provide limited exemptions to protect certain records from mandatory release. For example, pursuant to ORC 149.43, medical records, trial preparation records, law enforcement investigatory records, and personal information (such as social security numbers) do not constitute public records, and as such, are not subject to public records requests. Furthermore, Ohio law permits ODA to redact information regarding minors, security information, attorney-client privileged material, and intellectual property.
How can I expedite my request?
Submitting a detailed request, submitting a request using the Public Records Request form, and emailing the completed public records request form are the best methods for expediting responses.
Speaking Engagement & Appearance Request