Members lobby on Capitol Hill Page 4
News in Brief................ 2 Around IFB............... 3, 6 Communication............ 7 AFBF News................... 8
Ag Day in Indiana Page 5
The Hoosier Farmer
A Publication for Voting Members of Indiana Farm Bureau
april 8, 2013 Issue No. 37
Continuing resolution saves some ag funding, but doesn’t negate sequestration cuts —By the AFBF PR Team & Kathleen M. Dutro IFB Public Relations Team Congress has passed the “continuing resolution” that funds the government through Sept. 30 at current spending levels and President Obama has signed the measure. “Continuing resolution” is defined in the U.S. Senate glossary as “Legislation in the form of a joint resolution enacted by Congress, when the new fiscal year is about to begin or has begun, to provide budget authority for Federal agencies and programs to continue in operation until the regular appropriations acts are enacted.” But what does this particular continuing resolution mean for agriculture? American Farm Bureau budget specialist R.J. Karney said the legislation also offered full spending bills for defense, military construction and veterans affairs, homeland security, commerce-justice-science and agriculture. “What the full appropriations bill allows is full funding of programs for the Department of Agriculture. Funding for food safety, for rural development programs, for a few nutrition programs and ag research. These are all critical components to the department’s mission,” said Karney in an interview for AFBF’s Newsline podIndiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206
cast. “What the CR did not do was give the secretaries of these departments the flexibility to combat the sequestration cuts,” he said, which total $85 billion. “That lack of flexibility is going to prohibit secretaries from moving funds within the department to try to scale down the effects of the sequestration cuts.” But Congress did add a special provision to prevent those cuts from furloughing meat inspectors, Karney explained. “Furloughing meat inspectors would have had a negative effect for both livestock producers and for consumers. This would have prevented plants from doing their daily operations. They need a USDA meat inspector to continue the process of getting the meat out to the consumers.” Congress passed the continuing resolution bill on March 21 and it was signed by the president on March 26. The deadline for passage of the measure was March 27. To hear the full interview with Karney, visit AFBF’s online newsroom, www.fb.org/index. php?action=newsroom. home, and click on the link for “Newsline.” Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage
Huntington, IN Permit NO. 832
Debbie Denton of White County makes a bid in the silent auction held during Spring Conference, which was held March 8 and 9. The silent auction earned nearly $3,000 for the Ag Education & Promotional Development Grant program, while a live auction held the evening of March 8 earned more than $4,700. For more photos of Spring Conference, see page 3. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
Bill that brings reorganization law in line with IFB policy to be considered by full House —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team As this issue of The Hoosier Farmer was going to press, Indiana Farm Bureau lobbyists were reporting that some progress had been made on bills addressing local government reorganization. Senate Bill 343 makes several changes to the government modernization law, including a requirement for a separate vote tally of those inside and outside the city limits when a merger of a county and city is being considered. The bill, which has already passed the Senate, was passed on March 26 by the House Government & Regulatory Reform Committee. Once the bill gets through 2nd reading, which was expected sometime the week of April 1, it would be eligible for a final vote. Indiana Farm Bureau policy values the rural representation and access to officeholders provided by the current county commissioner system. SB 343 greatly improves the government reorganization law in terms
of transparency and procedural fairness, the public policy team said. Members are asked to contact their representatives and ask them to vote yes on SB 343. Katrina Hall, IFB tax and local government specialist, testified at the hearing in support of SB 343. Joining her were representatives from Vanderburgh County Farm Bureau, who in November successfully defeated a merger referendum involving Vanderburgh County and the City of Evansville. Only one person testified against the measure. After much committee discussion, the bill passed by a vote of 12-0. Meanwhile, the full House was expected to vote on April 1 on SB 475. This bill has been stripped of its original language that focused on the option of a single county executive for Allen County, and it now authorizes only a study committee. As amended, SB 475 urges the legislative council to assign to a study committee the topic of allowing counties to change the executive and legislative structure of
county government by placing all executive powers in a single county executive, instead of a board of commissioners and all legislative and fiscal powers in a county council. If assigned to a study committee, the final report is due to the legislative council by Nov. 1. In other General Assembly news, the House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee approved an amended version of SB 373 (authored Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, and sponsored by Rep. Bill Friend, R-Macy), the bill that will make it illegal to videotape, photograph or otherwise record agricultural or industrial operations on private property without the owner’s consent. Immense pressure has been put on legislators by groups who oppose the bill, including animal rights organizations, organized labor and media. Not much time remains in this General Assembly. April 10 is the last day for third reading of House bills in the Senate, while April 15 is the last day for third reading of Senate bills in House.
NEWS in brief
American Agriculture: Nourishing Opportunities
—Compiled by Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team
—By Whitney Bowman Virginia Farm Bureau
USDA making final push for Ag Census participation—USDA is making one final
American agriculture must grow to continue to provide America and the world with a safe, economical and abundant food supply. It must sink its roots into Mother Nature’s solid foundation, reach outward toward new technologies and remain true to the solid support of hard work, responsibility and perseverance that have made it the most productive in the world. American agriculture nurtures the environment. As the population increases and houses cover arable land, the importance of environmental stewardship will skyrocket in the future. Unseen opportunities will arise as American farmers increase production with fewer resources and pollution. In the mid-1800s, this meant simply planting trees on new prairie homesteads. Today, farmers plant fields without disturbing the soil and also use plant buffers to naturally filter pollution from water. As fossil fuels are depleted, ag-
push to collect information for the 2012 Census of Agriculture, according to Sue King at the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Completed forms were due Feb. 4, but submissions are still being accepted, King said. The agency is doing one final mailing to farmers who have not returned their forms. Find more information on the census website, www. agcensus.usda.gov/. (AFBF 3/27/13)
Farm Bureau supports HIT repeal—A bill that ad-
dresses one of farmers’ and ranchers’ major concerns with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – the health insurance tax – has the backing of Farm Bureau, the organization wrote in a March 25 letter to senators. “This tax will increase health insurance costs for farmers, ranchers and other small businesses by imposing a levy on the net premiums of health insurance companies,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman wrote. “This additional cost will be passed on to those who obtain their health insurance through the fully insured market.” The legislation (S. 603), introduced by Sens. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, would repeal the HIT, an annual fee that under PPACA will be imposed on health insurance providers. (AFBF 3/26/13)
Fifty families receive Hoosier Homestead Awards—Lt. Gov. Sue Ellsper-
mann recognized 50 families with the Hoosier Homestead Award during a March 22 ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse. To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years and consist of 20 acres or more or produce at least $1,000 worth of agricultural products per year. The award was created to recognize the contributions these family farms have made to the economic, cultural and social advancements of Indiana. Of the 50 Hoosier Homestead recipients honored, one received the
riculture could hold the key to America’s energy sustainability, producing resources such as ethanol, methane and even wind energy on agricultural lands. Farmers hold a deep, unique connection with the earth, nurturing it to produce food for themselves and the world. American agriculture nurtures technology. With the world population expected to reach 9 billion by the year 2050, America will need to revolutionize agricultural production. Biotechnology enables farmers to produce crops that are droughttolerant, fortified with vitamins and resistant to pests. Farmers are utilizing technology to pinpoint areas in fields needing fertilizer or irrigation, replacing manpower with robotics and utilizing airplanes to spray and plant fields. Advances in processing help reduce disease outbreaks, improve worker safety and make food products economical. As American agriculture nurtures technology, it is becoming more efficient. American agriculture nurtures relationships.
Bicentennial Award for keeping their farm in the family for more than 200 years; 22 received the Sesquicentennial Award for more than 150 years; and 27 received the Centennial Award for more than 100 years. Since 1976, more than 4,300 families have been recognized with Hoosier Homestead Awards. A complete list of the March 2013 recipients is available on the Indiana State Department of Agriculture website, www. in.gov/isda/index.htm. (ISDA 3/22/13)
BOAH advises horse owners to remember biosecurity during show season—The Indiana State Board
of Animal Health is advising equine owners to take precautions as they begin traveling to shows and exhibitions. Cases of equine herpesvirus (EVH-1) have been popping up all over the United States, including at a large horse show in Florida just last month and a race track in Chicago late last year. Indiana does not have any known infected horses at this time. EHV-1 can cause four types of disease in horses, including a neurological form (equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy or EHM), respiratory disease, abortion, and neo-
Grant County Young Farmer committee members Jeff Jessup, Kyle Nelson, Jake Campbell, Neal Chapel and Chris Myers flip pancakes for the county’s first Young Farmer Pancake Breakfast at the county fairgrounds on March 16. According to county Young Farmer chairman Andrew Boden, it was “Pure coincidence it was on the Saturday before National Ag Day, but turned out to be great advertising tool.” Photo by Katie Wallace
natal death. EHM is most often due to mutant or neuropathogenic strains of EHV-1. Horses infected with EVH1 can be carriers for many years and appear perfectly healthy until they become stressed by strenuous exercise or long-distance transport. “Although vaccinating horses for equine herpesvirus can help, the vaccine is not a guarantee against infection,” said Sandra Norman, veterinarian with BOAH.
Legal Affairs Team
Public Relations Team
President..................................... Don Villwock Vice President................................ Randy Kron Second Vice President.................Isabella Chism Chief Operating Officer/Treasurer... Mark Sigler Receptionist......................................Kim Duke General Fund Accountant..............Tiffanie Ellis Office Manager & Meeting Planner... Kay Keown Controller...................................... Elaine Rueff Administrative Assistant................... Jill Shanley Executive Secretary.....................Beverly Thorpe Professional Dev. Program Dir...... Julie Volbers-Klarich
Director & General Counsel... Mark Thornburg Staff Attorney........................ Sara MacLaughlin Staff Attorney........................... Justin Schneider Legal Assistant...........................Maria Spellman
Director & Editor ...................... Andy Dietrick Multi-Media Specialist............... Mike Anthony Web Designer/Developer............. Diane Brewer Administrative Assistant.................. Charla Buis Publications Managing Editor & Media Relations Specialist........Kathleen Dutro Marketing & PR Specialist..............Mindy Reef
Wayne Belden (1 & 3) Greg Bohlander (6) Jennifer Chandler Gish (9) Andrew Cleveland (4 & 6) Janice Deno (3) Seth Harden (7 & 9) Amy Hutson (5) Susan Lawrence (2) Chancey May (10) John Newsom (1 & 2) Kermit Paris (8) Keegan Poe (5 & 8) Brad Ponsler (10) E.B. Rawles (7)
District Directors Larry Jernas (1) Kerry Goshert (2) Kevin Underwood (3) Steve Maple (4) Dave Wyeth (5)
April 8, 2013
Scott Trennepohl (6) Jeff Gormong (7) Mark Bacon (8) Philip Springstun (9) Robert Schickel (10)
With farmers comprising fewer than 2 percent of Americans, connecting with consumers is both a huge challenge and an exhilarating opportunity. Uninformed consumers block agriculture’s progress, but informed consumers are agriculture’s most valuable cheerleaders. The resurgence of locally grown foods and farmers markets has opened dialogue between producers and consumers and nurtured relationships. Agriculturalists must continue the conversation by contacting their representatives, inviting the public to their farms and telling their stories through avenues such as social media. Through the centuries, American agriculture has grown and overcome the challenges in its way. Clearly, even more opportunities for growth lie ahead. ————————— Editor’s note: High school senior Whitney Bowman is from a Farm Bureau family in Virginia. This column was adapted from her winning submission to the 2013 National Ag Day Essay Contest. National Ag Day was March 19, 2013.
Public Policy Team Director........................................Megan Ritter Policy Development & Industry Relations........................ Bob Cherry Administrative Assistant ....................B.J. Fields Government Finance & Tax Specialist......Katrina Hall Political Education Specialist.......Pete Hanebutt Administrative Assistant ............ Wanda Hunter State Government Relations...............Bob Kraft Livestock Development Specialist.....Greg Slipher Direct Retail Business Specialist....... Bob White Public Policy Advisor.......................Kent Yeager
Organizational Development Team Director.............................................. Kim Vail Field Services Program Director........ Chris Fenner Program Assistant ...........................Tina Nunez Program Assistant......................Kathryn Rogers Young Farmer & Women’s Programs Coordinator............................. Courtney Rude Education Coordinator....................Julie Taylor Member Services Coordinator.......... Anna Todd
The most common means of spreading the EHV-1 virus is through nose-to-nose contact between horses. However, the virus can also be passed indirectly through contact with contaminated objects and contaminated handlers. Regular updates about the EHV-1 outbreaks are being posted to The Horse website, which can be accessed through the main BOAH page, www.in.gov/boah. (BOAH 3/21/13) Address Letters & Questions To: Indiana Farm Bureau Inc. Box 1290, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1290. Phone: 1-800-327-6287 or (317) 692-7776 E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Duplicate Magazines If you are receiving more than one copy of The Hoosier Farmer®, please cut out both labels and return them to the address above. Magazine Design and Layout Davis Graphic Design www.davisgraphics.com The Hoosier Farmer® is published 14 times per year by Indiana Farm Bureau Inc., P.O. Box 1290, Indianapolis, IN 46206, and is furnished as a service to voting members and others. Controlled circulation. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Hoosier Farmer® P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206-1290. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
Photos by Kathleen M. Dutro
‘Engagement’ can take many forms —By Julie Volbers-Klarich Administrative/Finance Team Counties across the state are engaging in numerous activities. As of the end of March, more than 1,900 activities have taken place across the state. We are appreciative of the volunteer efforts and the many successes of your engagement. Here are some ideas for continued engagement:
Indiana Farm Bureau Spring Conference, held March 8 and 9 in Indianapolis, was an opportunity for Farm Bureau members from around the state to gather for education, self-improvement and fun. A total of 425 attended. Among the activities were silent and live auctions, which raised nearly $8,000 for IFB’s Ag Education & Promotional Development Grant program. Here, members of the IFB Women’s Leadership Committee prepare to bring auction items on stage. From left are IFB program assistant Tina Nunez; Aleta Crowe, District 7 woman leader; Janelle Burnworth, District 2 woman leader; Donna Handley, District 8 woman leader; LouAnn Zimmerman, District 2 woman leader; and Judy Coon, District 5 woman leader
Beginning April 1, county Farm Bureaus can initiate additional contacts to achieve renewal member retention. A contribution can be made by your county Farm Bureau to the Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation. It’s also a great time of year for your Young Farmer committee to begin to make a plan on developing a relationship with a non-ag group.
A FOODIE EVENT FOR THE AT-HOME CHEF
IFB 2nd Vice President Isabella Chism (left) gives the LIP award to Martha Bergman of Franklin County. LIP stands for Leadership Incentive Program, which promotes and rewards county woman leaders for participating in leadership activities. Bergman was recognized for earning the most points in the program.
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center Tuesday, May 7 - 5-8:30 p.m. www.bitly.com/ZestnZing
The first Zest ‘n Zing was held last year in Indiana in February as part of the American Farm Bureau’s celebration of Food Check-Out Week. This year, it’s an Indiana Farm Bureau project and has been moved to May. It’s aimed at consumers in the Indianapolis area who are interested in food and the farmers who grow it.
Fresh ideas and tips for Ag in the Classroom volunteers was the topic of this panel. From left are volunteers Aleta Crowe and Suzanne Halcomb with Julie Taylor, IFB’s education coordinator.
New waterway bill addresses critical needs —From the AFBF Public Relations Team
A new feature at this year’s spring conference was a service called “Tech Questions Answered.” Attendees could stop by and get assistance from staff members and volunteers on a variety of tech topics including Twitter, Facebook, websites, blogs – anything on which that they needed help. Here, Marybeth Feutz, District 9 woman leader and experienced blogger, gives Carolyn Hegel, former IFB 2nd vice president, some tips on blogging.
The recently introduced Waterways are Vital for the Economy, Energy, Efficiency and Environment Act of 2013 (WAVE 4) will address the critical needs of the inland waterways system, create American jobs, foster growth in U.S. exports and continue to encourage the economic benefits that the nation’s waterways generate, according to Farm Bureau. “Construction, dredging and repairs to our locks and dams will help ensure the reliability of the most affordable, energy-efficient and en-
vironmentally sustainable mode of transporting agricultural products,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. Forty-one states, including all states east of the Mississippi River and 16 state capitols, are served by commercially navigable waterways. Further, more than 60 percent of America’s grain exports and many other important commodities such as fuel, coal and agricultural inputs also move through the U.S. inland waterway system. Reps. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) are original sponsors of the bill.
April 8, 2013
Members lobby for Farm Bureau on Capitol Hill —Story & Photos By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team Forty-nine county Farm Bureau leaders traveled to Washington, D.C., March 12-14, and in those quick three days, they covered a lot of ground. Starting with lunch and a policy briefing at the American Farm Bureau Federation headquarters on March 12, the group kept up a brisk pace throughout the visit, which included meetings with both of Indiana’s senators and most of its representatives, as well as a presentation on Germany’s ag issues from Dr. Thomas Schmidt, minister counselor of food, agriculture and consumer protection for the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.
For those who had the energy despite lots of walking on marble floors while wearing business clothes, there was also time for a little bit of sight-seeing. Farm Bureau leaders on the 2013 trip to Washington and the counties they represent were: Vickie Althoff, Switzerland; Greg Amos, Rush; Mike Andrew, Ohio; Aaron Ault, Fulton; Jeff Bailey, Monroe; Mike Beale, Carroll; Bob Benson, Hamilton; Chris Boggs, Union; Pat Burkhalter, Clinton; and Jane Cheesewright, Vermillion. Lori Childress, Lake; John Childs, Marshall; Jim Croft, Fountain; Kendell Culp, Jasper; Blake Doriot, Elkhart; Dave Forgey, Cass; Dallas and Meggie Foster, Hancock; William Gordon, Bartholomew; Orville Haney,
Kosciusko; David Harrell, Johnson; Cory Harris, Jay; Matthew Hayden, Lake; and Troy Hehman, Jackson. Colleen Holman, Steuben; Brent Hults, Vigo; Dan Kyle, Dearborn; Tim Leer, Elkhart; Carol Meadows, Montgomery; Nicholas Min-
nich, Allen; Vickie Mitchell, Delaware; Brian Morgan, Vermillion; Amanda Mosiman, Warrick; Scott Mullis, Perry; Nathaniel and Whitney Ness, St. Joseph; and Paul Nobbe, Fayette. Christina Seifert, Posey; Dwayne and Kylene Simp-
son, Montgomery; Nicole Rae Smith, DeKalb; Daniel Spencer, Grant; Michelle Stanger, Monroe; Sue Stuckey, Gibson; Linda Thomas, Vanderburgh; Claudia Thornburg, Randolph; Matt Walsh, Newton; Rick Williams, Tipton; and Mark York, Wabash.
Forty-nine farmers and six Indiana Farm Bureau staff members (most of whom are pictured here) pose below the steps of the German American Heritage Museum of the USA in Washington, D.C., after hearing a presentation from a representative of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. The group traveled to Washington March 12-14 to learn more about the federal legislative process and to lobby members of Congress.
Sen. Joe Donnelly (left) and Sen. Dan Coats both met with the IFB delegation. Among the topics of discussion were farm labor and regulatory reform.
IFB members from the 9th Congressional District meet with Rep. Todd Young (wearing the redand-gray striped tie) outside the House chambers. Young, who just started his 2nd term in Congress, was recently named to the powerful House Ways & Means Committee. Among the topics that IFB members discussed with their representatives were tax reform and the farm bill.
Some of the 49 farmers who came along on the trip assemble in the Capitol Visitors Center in preparation for their meetings with Sens. Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Through the skylight above can be seen the Capitol Dome.
Christine Seifert of Posey County asks a question of Sen. Joe Donnelly. IFB members met with both Indiana senators and also with the senators’ staff members who focus on ag issues.
Rick Williams of Tipton County talks farm issues with Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. Brooks was just elected to Congress last fall.
April 8, 2013
Indiana celebrates Ag Day in style Indiana’s Family of Farmers, a coalition of more than a dozen ag-related organizations including Farm Bureau, hosted a number of events in celebration of Ag Day at the Statehouse on March 5. Among these was a reception to which state legislators were invited. Several Indiana farms (including Angela Abney of Red Barn Meats, Bargersville; Jay Hawley of Grandpa Jay’s Pork, Kirklin; and Duane Hill, a dairy farmer from Fountain City) contributed products that were used by chefs from some of Indianapolis’ growing roster of food trucks to create the dishes were served at the reception. Prairie Farms and Hilltop Orchids also contributed. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
Shelby County Farm Bureau member Mark Nigh talks with ISDA Director Gina Sheets during the Shelby County Ag Promotion Committee’s Taste of Shelby County on March 6. Sheets and motivational speaker Jolene Brown spoke at the event, which was held at Indiana Downs. Photo by Mindy Reef
Danville FFA members Leah Jones (left) and Caroline Crosslin (right) show elementary students how many everyday items contain soybeans. Hendricks County’s Ag Day, “Ag-Opolis: The ‘Town’ Where Agriculture Comes to Life!”, brought students to the fairgrounds to learn about how agriculture plays a role in their lives. Photo by Mindy Reef
Outside the Statehouse on Senate Avenue, workers from nearby offices brave rain, sleet and snow to sample the offerings of 10 food trucks. The food trucks were part of Indiana Family of Farmer’s Ag Day observance. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
IFB District 5 Director Dave Wyeth explains how farmers use GPS systems to be efficient and use inputs wisely. Wyeth was one of several speakers during Hendricks County’s Ag Day, “Ag-Opolis: The ‘Town’ Where Agriculture Comes to Life!” on March 20. Photo by Mindy Reef
Coalition Urges U.S., Others to Welcome Japan Into TPP —From the AFBF Public Relations Team A coalition of food and agricultural organizations and companies including the American Farm Bureau Federation is urging the United States and other countries in the TransPacific Partnership negotiations to quickly welcome Japan into the trade talks. Japan recently an-
nounced its intention to join the TPP negotiations, which currently include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. In a letter sent to President Barack Obama, the 75-member coalition said the inclusion of Japan in the trade talks would generate enormous interest and support in U.S. agriculture.
The American Farm Bureau Federation supports the addition of Japan as a negotiating partner in the Trans Pacific Partnership. As a major U.S. trading partner, Japan would bolster the reach of the TPP for U.S. agriculture, AFBF said. “As the fourth-largest U.S. agricultural export market, with nearly $14 billion in purchases in 2012, Japan is crucial to America’s farmers and ranchers. Both the United
States and Japan will benefit from Japan being a TPP partner, and by sharing in improved sanitary and phytosanitary standards for agricultural trade and expanded market access with TPP nations,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said in a statement. “It’s important that new entrants to the TPP recognize this is a comprehensive agreement and that individual sectors should not be excluded from the
negotiation. The TPP provides an opportunity to strengthen trade relationships, address remaining barriers and improve the competitiveness of the Asia/Pacific market.”
April 8, 2013
Who’s who at Indiana Farm Bureau
District 9 Director Philip Springstun —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team Philip Springstun of Boonville is the District 9 director, and in that position he acts as a liaison between District 9 members and the IFB board of directors. But his first involvement with Farm Bureau was as a child when he participated in the pet & hobby activities at his local county annual meetings. He was elected director in 2008 after serving Warrick County Farm Bureau in various capacities including secretary/treasurer and president. He met his future wife, Debbie, when he joined Warrick County Rural Youth in 1979. He and Debbie own and operate the farm that has been in Debbie’s family since 1871. They raise corn, soybeans and hay and have a 25-head commercial beef cow herd, most of which is marketed as freezer beef. Every Saturday in the summer, they participate in
the Warrick County Farmer’s Market, selling freezer beef, squirrel corn, and seasonal produce. He also works part time for an auction company and a large grain farmer when time allows. “My favorite part of being a district director has been the friends I have made within Farm Bureau, getting to know people within the district and making lifelong friends all over the state of Indiana,” Springstun said. “The opportunities and knowledge IFB has given me to expand my passion for agriculture is priceless. “I think it is extremely important for all of agriculture to come together,” he added. “It does not matter the size or type of operation of any farm. We are all important and needed in this growing population. Regardless if it is a county, state, or federal issue, we must be at the table for the discussion. If we are not at the table for the decision, we might be on the menu.” Besides Farm Bureau, Springstun is involved with
—By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team
the Warrick County Community Foundation, which he co-founded, is trustee for Plainview Memorial Cemetery, and served on the Warrick County 4-H Fair committee for 24 years. He has also been very active in his church, Baker Chapel UMC. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting and motorcycle riding. He and Debbie have two children: Maggie, 28, an associate food technologist for Kellogg’s, and Logan, 24, a sales associate for Pioneer Seed Products, Steve Lindauer Farms.
Who’s who at Indiana Farm Bureau
Dave Wyeth, District 5 Director —By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team Like many Farm Bureau members, IFB District 5 Director Dave Wyeth owes his start in the organization to another member asking him to get active. “I became involved when Meredith Kincaid asked me to join my county board as a young farmer representative,” Wyeth said. He then served as Hendricks County vice president for more than 10 years. As District 5 director, he represents nine counties in west-central Indiana and serves as a board member for Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. Wyeth is a fourth-generation farmer. He started in 1984 with a farm purchased as a sophomore in high school, raising corn, soybeans and hogs. Today, he lives near North Salem with his wife, Lisa, where he grows corn and soybeans. He continues to learn more about sustainable agriculture and keeps his eyes on future trends for his farm and the
April 8, 2013
organization. “In a few years Indiana Farm Bureau will turn its first century as an organization which serves and promotes agriculture. It will be my goal for the company to continue successfully into the next century. Agriculture will have many challenges ahead and Farm Bureau will have to be the leader for all of agriculture,” he said. Farm Bureau isn’t the only organization Wyeth offers his time and talents to. He’s a part of class 15 in the Indiana Agriculture Leadership Program and serves or has served on the Indiana Environmental Quality Service Council, Hendricks County Comprehensive Plan Committee, Hendricks County Soil and Water Conservation District, Hendricks County Extension board and the Hendricks County Leadership program. All of these activities have given him the chance to do something he loves: Work with people while sharing a love of agriculture. “The opportunities I have to meet so many farmers
New issue groups to provide expertise on nutrient management and water resources
from across the state and to learn about all of Indiana agriculture. It is also refreshing to know that our grassroots members are always very engaged with Farm Bureau policy. “It is an honor to serve as a board member for our companies, members and employees.” In his free time, he enjoys hunting for antique collectibles and watching football.
Two new groups of Farm Bureau members have met to share farmer insight on important public policy issues: nutrient management and water resources. “The input they give helps to frame and direct my work as a staff member in implementing Farm Bureau policy,” said Justin Schneider, IFB staff attorney. Members of the groups were selected based on experience with the topics, involvement in Farm Bureau and geography. The nutrient group includes 13 members; water resources has 15. The nutrient group will review nutrient management and soil health matters, providing farmer insight on strategy addressing legal and regulatory authority challenges. Members implementing differing nutrient management and conservation practices on farm comprise the group. Members of the water resources group provide input into statewide strategy for water resources to ensure long-term access for agriculture. “The drought of 2012 highlighted the need to develop more proactive strategies in water resource management,” Schneider said. Schneider anticipates these groups will meet about twice a year or on an as-needed basis. The groups have the opportunity to offer policy recommendations.
Indiana crop insurance payouts top $1 billion – a state record —From the Purdue Ag Communications Service Indiana farmers so far have received more than $1 billion in crop insurance payments from losses last year when drought ravaged crops throughout the state. The payouts are double the previous record. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that as of March 11, insurance payouts for 2012 corn, soybeans and wheat losses had reached $1.04 billion. The dollar amount will likely grow somewhat in coming weeks as final claims are filed, said Chris Hurt, Purdue Extension agricultural economist. “These crop insurance indemnities are the primary reason the state’s farm sector income has not collapsed under drought losses,” Hurt said. “The income-stabilizing impact of crop insurance has helped keep rural communities economically healthy.” The previous record amount of insurance indemnity payments to Indiana farmers for the three crops was $522 million in 2008. Of the total amount of 2012 insurance indemnities, $900 million in payments
have been for corn losses. Indiana corn yields averaged 99 bushels per acre, nearly 40 percent below normal. The previous high for corn was $269 million for the 2008 crop. Corn sales from the limited crop are generating about $700 million less across the state than had been expected before the drought. “So an infusion of an additional $900 million in insurance claims will bring total receipts to somewhat more than pre-drought estimates,” Hurt said. Because of the large losses in 2012, Indiana corn farmers on average received $3.47 of insurance indemnity for each $1 they paid for crop insurance premiums. Losses in soybeans accounted for the second-largest insurance payouts – $138 million. Soybean yields were not affected as much as corn last year because of more abundant late-summer rains. Final yields in Indiana were 43.5 bushels per acre, down about 10 percent from normal. Final soybean marketing revenues for the state are expected to be about $275 million less than had been expected before the drought.
News Release or Not? —Stories by Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team A news release (or press release – the two terms describe the same thing) is a written statement about a matter of public interest which is given to media by an organization concerned with the matter. Before you decide that your county Farm Bureau needs to send out a news release, pay particular attention to the word “public.” The “public” includes members of your county Farm Bureau and the ag community, of course. But it is also made up of people – including editors and reporters – who have no affiliation with your organization or agriculture. If you discount their interests when writing your release, it won’t be effective. Farm Bureau volunteers
are interested in promoting their organization. Editors and their readers, listeners and viewers are interested in news. The trick is to give news editors and consumers the news they want while giving your organization the promotion it needs. The very first question you need to ask yourself, therefore, is “Is this news?” Are you promoting an event that the public is invited to? If so, the answer is yes. Are you writing about an event that involves individuals or issues that people outside Farm Bureau might be interested in? If so, the answer is maybe. Are you describing an event and the main facts are who presided, what was served for dinner and who won the door prizes? If so, the answer is no. Let’s say that you’re promoting a “Meet the Candi-
dates” night. That qualifies as news in the eyes of most editors, and so long as you tie it closely to Farm Bureau, it is good promotion for the organization as well. The next question you should ask yourself is, “Is a news release the best way to promote this event?” A news release is a valuable tool, but only under the right conditions. If you have few media outlets to contact, such as the local newspaper, radio station and a community news website, and if you can condense the necessary information into just a few sentences, a phone call or email is often the most effective approach. But when you need to get information to several media outlets at the same time or have something complicated to convey, a news release is the way to go.
In the “Meet the Candidates” example, a news release might be a good idea if several candidates have already agreed to attend and you want to list their names. It might also be a good idea if you want to try to get a quote from someone from your county president or local government chair in print or on the air. And a news release is essential if you have complicated or technical information that you want to promote. If you want media to include information on how much taxes have increased in the county, demographic information such as the number of corn and soybean acres in the county or anything else that it’s important to get exactly right, a news release is great. Getting those things down neatly and clearly will greatly reduce the chances
that the media outlet will get them wrong. _______________________ Hoosier Farmer managing editor Kathleen Dutro has spent her adult life reading and writing news releases, first as a newspaper reporter and editor and for 17 years as Indiana Farm Bureau’s media relations specialist and editor.
Dos and don’ts of news release writing Do: 1. Figure out the geographical area in which your release will be of interest and send it to all media – newspapers, radio/TV stations, websites – in that area. If you need help identifying these, your IFB public relations team can help. 2. Find out the guidelines
for submitting news – and adhere to them. This includes sending it to the correct person/email address before the deadline. 3. Answer the questions who, what, when, where, why and (if necessary) how. Put the most important material at the top, least im-
portant at the bottom. This makes it less likely that crucial information will be cut if time or space runs short. 4. Always include a name and phone number of someone who is available for further information. 5. Keep it short – preferably one page.
6. Keep it factual. Opinions should be in the form of quotations attributed to someone within your organization. 7. Keep it timely. Whatever you’re reporting should either have not happened yet or have occurred just a few days ago. 8. Pay close attention to
Marshall Co. Farm Bureau hosts special luncheon event —Story & Photos By Andy Dietrick Public Relations Team On March 20 in Plymouth, Ind., it was easy to tell where a group of county Farm Bureaus was awaiting a very special guest. Only farmers would pull a big green combine, a couple of red tractors and a new grain wagon into a banquet center’s parking lot and hang a welcome banner across the cabs. But Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann was thrilled with the colorful reception, and even more pleased to be greeted at the door by a host of bluejacketed FFA members from the Argos and John Glenn chapters. Ellspermann was the special guest and keynote speaker for Marshall County Farm Bureau’s “Lunch with the Lieutenant Governor,” a well-orchestrated event sponsored by a number of northern Indiana Farm Bureaus and attended by nearly 150 people.
According to Marshall County Farm Bureau board member John Childs, who also emceed the program, the special luncheon for the lieutenant governor was the result of hearing her presentation at IFB’s legislative kick-off event in January. Marshall County Farm Bureau board member John Childs (shaking hands), board president Charlie Houin and members of two local FFA chapters welcome Lt. Gov. Sue EllHe knew her message that day spermann to Plymouth, Ind. about the importance of agriculture to rural and community development was one that Farm Bureau members and local elected officials needed to hear. The luncheon program was the result of months of scheduling, cooperation and hard work that culminated in two hours of quality time with Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture.
Marshall County Farm Bureau president Charlie Houin worked with Lt. Gov. Ellspermann during the Q & A session that followed her presentation.
spelling, punctuation and grammar. 9. Pick out the media whose coverage you consider most important for this event or issue and call to make sure they got the release. 10. If your county Farm Bureau has a website and the event/issue is something you think the general public should know about, be sure to post the release on the website. You can then post or tweet links to that release through the Facebook and Twitter accounts of your county Farm Bureau or individual Farm Bureau members. Don’t: 1. Neglect to send a news release and then complain that you never get coverage. 2. Write a release that is of interest only to members of your organization. 3. Submit a “release” that is really an ad. If you’re going to make money at it, you should consider buying an ad. 4. Send the release after the deadline – and if you do, don’t complain if doesn’t run. 5. Send “old” news. If it’s so dated that it would strike you as absurd if you read something that old from an organization you are not interested in, it’s old news. 6. Send a release that’s missing important information, requiring the editor/ reporter to do extra work before publishing it.
April 8, 2013
AFB Inc. launches new member benefits website —From the AFBF Public Relations Team American Farm Bureau Inc. has launched a new national member benefits website: FB Member Advantage! (www.fbadvantage.com/). The new website provides eligible Farm Bureau members with a functional and user-friendly platform to learn about member benefits. FB Member Advantage! replaces the FB Country website. “Member Advantage offers Farm Bureau members exclusive access to high quality brands, products and benefits,” said Ron Gaskill, executive director of AFB Inc. “Members will have VIP discounts on top-of-the-line vehicles and farm equipment at their fingertips, as well as access to cutting edge services and business solutions.” Gaskill added the site is a one-stop shop for Farm Bureau members, saving them time and money. FB Member Advantage! is also accessible through the American Farm Bureau Federation’s website, www. fb.org, and members will automatically be redirected to the new site when at-
—By Bob Kraft Public Policy Team
tempting to visit the FB Country website. FB Member Advantage! is the member benefits program of AFBF and is owned and operated by AFBF’s member benefits affiliate, AFB Inc.
Farm Bureau members can also find out about the benefits available through Indiana Farm Bureau online at www.itpaystobeamember. org. A link to the site is also available at IFB’s website, www.infarmbureau.org.
GM rolls out new two-year maintenance program —From the AFBF Public Relations Team General Motors is now offering a two-year scheduled maintenance program with the purchase of new 2013 Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra 1500 trucks. The program offers buyers a two-year/24,000 mile scheduled maintenance plan that includes all oil and filter changes, tire rotations and multipoint inspections.
The maintenance program is in addition to GM’s three-year/36,000 bumperto-bumper warranty and five-year/100,000 powertrain warranty programs. The program can also be combined with the $500 discount given to eligible Farm Bureau members when purchasing a qualifying new GM vehicle. In addition to partnering with American Farm Bureau Inc. for member benefits,
The Indiana House Committee on Agriculture was (as The Hoosier Farmer went to press on April 1) considering an amendment would allow the four deer hunting preserves currently operating in Indiana to remain in operation in spite of changes in Indiana Department of Natural Resources rules. The amendment, which was authored by Rep. Matt Ubelhor, R-Bloomfield, would add the language to SB 487. Those in support of the amendment included the operators of the deer preserves as well as deer farmers. They argued that the preserves were initially constructed in good faith by individuals who relied on written assurances given by the DNR that there was no prohibition against such ventures in Indiana law. However, these facilities have been operating in limbo since early 2005 when the new administration at the DNR changed the rules.
Deer farmers argued it was necessary to keep the hunting preserves in operation in order to have a ready market for their product. Opposing the bill were several sportsmen groups and animal rights organizations, which expressed concern for the spread of chronic wasting disease from captive herds to the wild herd and ethical issues of hunting inside a confined area. These arguments were countered by those in favor of the amendment who pointed out that there were more deer in the wild than in captivity, and captive deer herds were regularly inspected by the State Board of Animal Health. They argued that the ethical issue is one of personal opinion and no one is forced to conduct a hunt inside a confined area. SB 487 deals with the fee structure for out-of-state licenses on hunting preserves. Its author, Sen. Brent Steele, R- Bedford, indicated he would concur with the proposed amendment when the bill was returned to the Senate.
MEMBER BENEFIT GM was a sponsor of the American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet Achievement Award and Excellence in Agriculture competitions held at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2013 Annual Meeting. Thanks to GM’s commitment, the first place winners of these competitive events receive their choice of a full-sized Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra pickup.
Calendar of Events April March 18-April 5 10, 11 11 27 27
IFB spring membership blitz. IFB board of directors meeting. District 2 spring meeting, Whitley County. Earth Day Indiana, White River State Park, Indianapolis. Mutt Strut, Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
May 7 8 22, 23
Zest ‘n Zing, Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis. IFB Women’s Leadership Committee board and professional development meeting. IFB board of directors meeting.
April 8, 2013
House committee considers ‘grandfathering’ deer preserves
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