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Inside: County Farm Bureaus @ County Fairs Page 3 Agricultural Innovators Pages 4, 5 News in Brief................ 2 Around Indiana............ 3 State & Nation.............. 6 Around IFB............... 7, 8 The Hoosier Farmer ® A Publication for Voting Members of Indiana Farm Bureau August 12, 2013 Issue No. 42 Congress must hurry to pass new farm bill before Sept. 30 —From the AFBF Communications Team & Kathleen M. Dutro IFB PR Team Once Congress returns from its August recess, members will have only a few weeks left to pass a farm bill before the current program expires, noted the American Farm Bureau Federation. The farm bill, said Dale Moore, executive director of the American Farm Bureau’s public policy department, is important for the certainty it provides. “It’s not just about commodity programs. It covers conservation, rural development, nutrition, a number of other issues,” he said. “We come back after Labor Day, we’ve got. . .two, three weeks at most in September to get a bill done.” Both the House and Senate have passed their own versions of the farm bill, but the measures are very different. Neither is perfect, but the House version splits nutrition programs away from farm programs, something that Farm Bureau opposes. It also repealed what’s known as “permanent law,” which refers to the permanent authority for agricultural commodity programs that is provided in the Agricultural Indiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206 Act of 1949. This repeal was done without hearing testimony from any individuals or organizations with a stake in the law. AFBF opposed splitting the nutrition title from the farm program titles for important reasons. First, splitting the nutrition title from the remaining provisions of the bill was more about politics than sound, bipartisan policy. Second, it has been longstanding cooperation between the nutrition and farm communities that has resulted in a partnership that, for decades, ensured all Americans benefited from the farm bill, AFBF said. “We believe that splitting the nutrition title from the rest of the bill could result in neither farm nor nutrition programs passing, and urge you to move a unified farm bill forward,” AFBF and other groups said in a July 2 letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. “While we were hopeful the farm bill would not be split, nor permanent law repealed, we will now focus our efforts on working with lawmakers to deliver a farm bill to the president’s desk for his signature by September,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman in a July 11 statement. Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Huntington, IN Permit NO. 832 Indiana Farm Bureau’s 2013 resolutions committee met in the home office Aug. 1 and 2 to prepare for the annual delegate session to be held Aug. 24 at the Wyndham Hotel in Indianapolis. From left are Cory Harris, Jay County, representing the Purdue Collegiate Farm Bureau; Don Cook, Crawford County; and Paul Dorsey, Clinton County. Photo by Andy Dietrick AFBF, 400 other groups call for House immigration reform —From the American Farm Bureau Federation The American Farm Bureau Federation and more than 400 leading U.S. businesses and advocacy organizations have sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives calling on the House to enact immigration reform legislation. The letter, sent July 30, was signed by a broad cross section of industries that includes agriculture, housing, retail, tourism, hospitality, technology, engineering, manufacturing, finance, venture capital, consumer electronics and others with a combined presence in every state in the United States. “We all may have different individual interests, but we all have interest in having immigration reform go forward,” said American Farm Bureau labor specialist Kristi Boswell. “We’ve really focused on joining together over the August recess and having everyone know that not only do we each support immigration reform, but collectively we all need immigration reform for the betterment of the country.” AFBF’s policy on immigra- tion, which was approved by delegates at the annual policy session in January, says that the U.S.’s immigration policy must include a more efficient temporary worker program for agriculture. “We urge Congress to support agricultural immigration reform which includes the following: a streamlining or replacement of the H-2A temporary and seasonal agricultural worker program, allowing a viable worker program for agriculture and permitting experienced undocumented agricultural workers to earn the right to adjust to legal status,” the policy states. “We do not support a long-term amnesty program, but we can no longer afford, in a post-September 11th world where resources are scarce, to continue focusing on those who would pose no risk to our nation’s security. At the same time we must more effectively enforce our immigration laws to deter the employment of unauthorized workers,” the policy continues. “We deal with an immigration system that is now in its third decade and completely incapable of being responsive to an everchanging national economy and hypercompetitive global marketplace,” the letter says. “Today, the problems with our immigration system have grown and multiplied to become an emerging threat to the current and future productivity, ingenuity and competitiveness of key sectors of our economy, including agriculture, housing, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, tourism, engineering and technology. “Failure to act is not an option,” the letter concludes. “We can’t afford to be content and watch a generation-old immigration system work more and more against our overall national interest.” A national survey conducted by the National Council of Agricultural Employers showed that administrative delays from the current H-2A program resulted in workers arriving on the job an average of 22 days after the date of need, causing an economic loss of nearly $320 million in 2010 for farms that hired H-2A workers.

The Hoosier Farmer - 42

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