Preliminary Census Doesn’t Tell Full Story Page 4 Local Farm Bureaus Get Creative Page 5 INSIDE: News in Brief.....................2 State & Nation................3,4 Local News.......................5 Rules & Regs.....................6 Communication.................7 Ag Industry News..............8 The Hoosier Farmer ® A Publication for Voting Members of Indiana Farm Bureau MARCH 10, 2014 Issue No. 50 Ag trespass, farm protection bills ready for governor’s signature —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team Two bills that address farmers’ rights in general and the right against trespass in particular have passed both houses of the Indiana General Assembly. Senate Enrolled Act 101, which addresses trespassing, and SEA 186, which declares the state policy on agriculture and farmers’ rights, were headed to the governor for his signature as of The Hoosier Farmer’s March 3 deadline. Removing the posting burden to enforce trespassing laws is a longstanding Indiana Farm Bureau policy, noted Amy Cornell, IFB state government relations policy advisor and counsel. SEA 101, authored by Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, will do just that. Under the legislation, which is effective July 1 of this year, Indiana farmers will not be required to post “no trespassing” signs to protect the production areas of their farms. If a trespasser commits an intentional act that causes property damage, it could result in additional penalties, depending on the amount of damage caused, Cornell explained. Furthermore, the bill adds causing property damage to an agricultural operation to the existing crime of institutional criminal mischief. Indiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206 The provisions of SEA 101 provide a greater deterrent effect for those who intend harm to the property owner or his business. After passing the Senate 41-5, SEA 101 passed the House with no amendments on a 73-25 vote. “Throughout the process IFB has contended that farms and their economic viability are often harmed by trespassers, and that farmers should be not be burdened with the obligation to post signs in every field and on every building they own,” IFB said in the statement it released upon the bill’s passage. “We are gratified that the Indiana General Assembly agrees.” SEA 186, authored by Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, declares the state policy on agriculture and farmers’ rights. “IFB strongly supports legislation that strengthens and reaffirms Indiana’s vision for and commitment to agriculture,” Cornell said. “The bill further states that 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 everchanging technology.” IFB is especially thankful for the leadership shown by the House sponsor, Rep. Don Lehe, R-Brookston, Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Berne, IN Permit NO. 43 Grassroots action makes all the difference when it comes to influencing legislators, according to Indiana Farm Bureau’s public policy team. Many county Farm Bureaus have been proving that by visiting the Statehouse during this session of the General Assembly. At the top of the page, a group that includes Wayne County Farm Bureau President Mary Ferris (center) prepares for meeting with legislators. (Photo by Rachel Schrage.) In the photo just above, a group from Indiana House District 33 and vicinity talks with Rep. Gregory Beumer, R-Farmland, in the hall outside the House chamber. (Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro.) and the Senate author, Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury. Despite a misleading media campaign by the bill’s opponents, these legislators stood firm in support of Indiana agriculture, noted IFB President Don Villwock. “We appreciate that the House understood the true context of SB 186 and are thankful for their thoughtful deliberation and favorable vote,” he said. “Farmers need to be able to choose from all farming and husbandry practices to be successful in raising food, feed, fiber and fuel for this and future generations,” Cornell added. After passing the Senate 408, SEA 186 passed the House without amendments, 59-28. Annexation bill moves in house —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team A bill that, as amended, would place a moratorium on annexation beginning April 1 and ending July 1, 2015, has been approved by the House Government & Regulatory Reform Committee. As of The Hoosier Farmer’s deadline, was expected to be voted on by the full Indiana House on March 3. SB 273 was amended and moved out of committee after two weeks of negotiation with cities and towns. The bill, which was authored by Sen. Buck, R-Kokomo, was presented by the House sponsor, Rep. Robert Cherry, R-Greenfield. The moratorium provides time for the study committee requested by the bill to thoroughly assess the issue and for the next General Assembly to act. Katrina Hall, IFB state government relations director, supported the moratorium along with the Association of Indiana Counties. The bill moved through second reading on Feb. 27 without amendments.