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Belmont County Farm Bureau trying to help eradicate drug problem in county

The Belmont County Farm Bureau donated $10,000 to two drug-fighting efforts in Belmont County on Wednesday.

The Belmont County Farm Bureau donated $10,000 to two drug-fighting efforts in Belmont County on Wednesday.

The proceeds came from a farm-to-plate dinner the farm bureau held. Its goal was to raise money to prevent children from getting started on drugs.

"This is a major issue that affects everyone,” said Lova Ebbert, a member of the farm bureau. “So, it’s the farm bureau's way of doing something that says, ‘hey, this is not a problem in the farm areas; it's a problem everywhere.’ "

The money was divided, with the first $5,000 going to the Belmont County Schools Staying Clean Program.

"Last year we had 1,400 kids that participated. We are anticipating maybe 1,600 this year, I hope it's 2,000,” said John McFarland, co-commander, Belmont County Drug Task Force. “The more kids we get involved, teaching them the importance of being drug-free, understand what happens to you when you're on drugs, hopefully it sinks in."

"Any time there is a donation made to any effort to keep kids off of drugs, obviously the juvenile court is pleased with that and definitely want to give a big shout out, big thanks to the Belmont County Farm Bureau," Belmont County Juvenile Probate Judge Al Davies said.

The other $5,000 went to the county's drug task force.

"The major crimes unit, we're saying get the dealers off the street,” Ebbert said. “The staying clean program let's keep kids from starting on it. We know that if we prevent kids from getting started, the market someday will dry up and there won't be any drug dealers."

The drug free program in the schools relies solely on contributions.

If you would like to donate, you can contact chief McFarland at the Martins Ferry Police Department.

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