Farm Labor Shortage Page 6 County Fair Calendar Page 3 Inside: News in Brief................ 2 Around Indiana............ 3 Nation & World............ 6 Around Farm Bureau. 7,8 The Hoosier Farmer ® A Publication for Voting Members of Indiana Farm Bureau May 20, 2013 Issue No. 39 2013 General Assembly a success for Farm Bureau —By Don Villwock President Indiana Farm Bureau Yoder. The very fact that they listened to us must be considered a legislative victory. The legislation we needed most, we got early – and we got it with unanimous support. That legislation delays the application of new soil productivity factors in the farmland assessment process. It was the first bill signed by Gov. Mike Pence, and it made through both houses without a single negative vote either in committee or on the floor. It’s estimated that this bill will save taxpayers $57 million annually. We were also successful in our efforts to engineer The 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly came to end on April 26 as the budget for the 20132015 biennium was passed by both houses. From the perspective of Indiana Farm Bureau – and agriculture in general – this Governor Mike Pence, flanked by Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, and Rep. Bob Cherry, R-Greenfield, signs was a very successful legisinto law Senate Enrolled Act 343, which provides extra protections to rural residents in the case of a proposed lative session. merger of local government entities. Shown with Pence are representatives of Indiana Farm Bureau, along with Prior to the session, many Vanderburgh County Farm Bureau, which was instrumental in defeating a proposed merger last year. legislators reached out to Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro Farm Bureau and asked, cross section of interested update the state’s transportaalike – in their ongoing “What do you want from and educated citizens, and, tion laws and protect natural struggles to keep from bethe General Assembly?” Our of course, the efforts of Farm gas consumers from paying ing absorbed by cities and response to them was, “Just Bureau’s lobbying team. unnecessarily high rates to towns. leave us alone; don’t I am particularly proud of underwrite a synthetic natuThe budget retry to micromanage our county Farm Bureaus. ral gas plant in in the state. pealed the state’s agriculture through For a closer look at this year’s Eighty-one county Farm BuThese and other successes inheritance tax and laws and regulalegislative session, see the special reaus visited the Statehouse do not happen by accident. recognized the tions.” during this session, and They are the result of reguneeds of rural InThere were almost report that can be found on the many Farm Bureau members lar contact with legislators diana by providing no bills that dealt dicenter spread of this issue. also made contacts with by Farm Bureau members new funding for lorectly with production their legislators when they throughout the session, the cal roads. The repeal agriculture, and those were back home. We claim recognition on the part of of the inheritance few that were introto be a grassroots organizalawmakers that Farm Bureau tax will save taxpayers aplegislation that will provide duced were not well received tion, and this high level of positions on issues reflect, proximately $180 million significant new protection by the chairs of the two agparticipation proves that we for the most part, the thinkover the biennium. to rural residents of Indiana riculture committees, Rep. truly are. ing of a broad representative Other legislation will – farmers and non-farmers Don Lehe and Sen. Carlin Agriculture committees release farm bill drafts —By the AFBF Communications Team & Kathleen M. Dutro IFB Public Relations Team Both the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture and the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry have released draft versions of the farm bill. Indiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206 The Senate Ag Committee’s first hearing was, as of The Hoosier Farmer’s May 13 deadline, scheduled for May 14 while the House Ag Committee’s was scheduled for May 15. The Senate version, which is named the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, eliminates direct payments to Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Huntington, IN Permit NO. 832 farmers, replacing them with stronger crop insurance and price-based supports. The committee estimates the bill would save $23 billion over the next 10 years. The Senate farm bill would also eliminate over 100 conservation programs while consolidating others and increase accountability in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The House bill, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, eliminates direct payments (except for cotton farmers), the Average Crop Revenue Election Program and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program, with a projected savings of $40 billion overall. “I’m pleased to release this bipartisan legislation with my friend and colleague Collin Peterson,” said Rep. Frank D. Lucas, chairman of the House Ag Committee, in a May 10 release. “It’s a responsible and balanced bill that addresses Americans’ concerns about federal spending and reforms farm and nutrition policy to improve efficiency and accountability. We will advance our bill in the committee next week and then begin preparing for full House consideration this summer.” “With the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act, the era of direct payments is over,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate ag committee. “Instead of subsidies that pay out every year even in good times, the bill creates risk management tools that support farmers when they are negatively impacted by weather disaster or market events beyond their control. “By ending unnecessary subsidies, streamlining and consolidating programs and cracking down on abuse, the bill reduces the deficit by billions. Passing the Farm Bill will yield a total of $23 billion in cuts to agriculture programs (including cuts made due to the sequester),” she said, adding that $23 billion is more than double the amount the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission ($10 billion) and Gang of Six ($11 billion) recommended in total agriculture cuts.