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IFB Almanac: What’s Coming in 2014 Pages 4, 5 AFBF Round-Up Page 3 INSIDE: News in Brief.....................2 Around IFB........................6 Around Farm Bureau.........7 Around Indiana.................8 The Hoosier Farmer ® A Publication for Voting Members of Indiana Farm Bureau JANUARY 29, 2014 Issue No. 48 Soil productivity delay approved by Senate —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team A one-year delay in implementation of proposed soil productivity factors has been approved by the Indiana Senate by a 48-0 vote and now moves to the House. Authored by Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, SB 111 would create another one-year delay of the soil productivity factors that were released by the Department of Local Government Finance in February 2012. It was passed by the Senate on Jan. 23. In the 2013 session, the legislature passed a bill that delayed implementation of the factors and also required a study to determine what new factors should be. The Purdue School of Agronomy is working hard with the DLGF to complete the study, but the problem is, Hall explained, that the data from NRCS includes “management,” and Indiana’s soil productivity factors were based on average management. “So adjustments are in order, but they need to be refined,” she explained. Also on Jan. 23, the Senate approved SB 186, a bill that declares the state policy on agriculture and farmers’ rights, by a vote of 40-8. The bill reaffirms the General Assembly’s desire to preserve and protect the development and improvement of agriculture and agribusiness. Where permissible, the Indiana Code shall be construed to protect the rights of farmers to choose among all generally accepted farming and livestock production practices, including the use of ever changing technology. The official kick-off for Farm Bureau’s grassroots activities at the Statehouse was Jan. 8. A highlight of the legislative luncheon was honoring two members of the House of Representatives and two members of the State Senate as 2013 Legislators of the Year, who were selected Eighty-eight IFB members, 16 senators and 46 representatives struggled through terrible road conditions to attend Indiana Farm Bureau’s annual legislative kickoff luncheon, making the event a great success despite the weather. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro for their exemplary legislative leadership for members of Indiana Farm Bureau. Honored were Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, chairman of the Ways & Means Committee; Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso; Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg; and Sen. Randy Head, R-Lo- gansport, chairman of the Local Government Committee. Visits to the Statehouse by Farm Bureau members are an important component to successful efforts by the Farm Bureau staff, according to IFB’s statehouse lobbyists. “If your county has not scheduled a visit, we ask you to do so soon,” said Katrina Hall, state government relations director. She added that this year, such visits should occur by Feb. 20 at the latest. Those with questions about scheduling a county visit should contact Zach Schmidt, 317-692-7855, Farm Bureau delegates set public policy positions for 2014 —By the AFBF Public Relations Team & Kathleen M. Dutro IFB Public Relations Team Delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation approved resolutions that will provide the organization with authority from its grassroots members to push Congress toward the goal line on unfinished issues such as the farm bill and ag labor. “Our delegates have provided us direction to work with Congress to complete this agenda,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman, who Indiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206 was re-elected to his eighth two-year term as the organization’s president. The delegate session was held on Jan. 14. A total of 357 voting delegates, representing every crop and livestock sector in the United States, deliberated on policies affecting farmers’ and ranchers’ productivity and profitability that will guide the nation’s largest general farm organization throughout 2014. On the farm labor front, delegates reaffirmed their strong support for meaningful ag labor reforms that ensure farmers and ranchNon-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Berne, IN Permit NO. 43 ers have access to workers when they are needed. Delegates also voted to support flexibility that would allow the employment of workers by more than one farmer. With congressional farm bill action nearing completion, delegates reaffirmed Farm Bureau’s policy, determining that now is not the time to make changes. Specifically on dairy-related issues, delegates reaffirmed policy supporting changes to the dairy safety net, including margin insurance programs. Delegates also maintained their support for country-oforigin labeling and reiterated that it needs to be compliant with World Trade Organization rules. Of particular interest to Indiana Farm Bureau’s 14 delegates were data privacy/ security issues, renewable fuels, and an amendment from IFB President Don Villwock on labeling seed to show when the product is approved for export. IFB President Don Villwock and Vice President Randy Kron prepare for the annual delegate session at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting, held Jan. 14. Photo courtesy of the American Farm Bureau Federation Delegates approved new policy supporting the protection of proprietary data collected from farmers and maintaining that such data should remain their property. “Indiana had been working on this issue alongside our Midwestern neighbors and AFBF to come up with acceptable language,” Villwock said. The labeling language was also approved by del- egates. The idea, Villwock explained, is that clear labels will reduce chances of a cargo being rejected by the importing country. New language on renewable fuels supports continuing the biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol tax credits and federal incentives for the installation of blender pumps “until such time as market conditions warrant their phase-out.”

The Hoosier Farmer - 48

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