Issuu on Google+

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.


2

NEWS in brief

Funding for water quality monitoring on farms now available—Roger Kult, acting

News Bites —Compiled by Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team

Relief fund benefits West, Texas—A West Relief fund has been set up through Texas Farm Bureau’s Education and Research Foundation. All donations will be used to help those who lost homes and loved ones in the fertilizer plant explosion in April. Monetary donations can be sent to Texas Farm Bureau Education and Research Foundation – West Relief, P.O. Box 2689, Waco, TX 76701-2689; Attn: Cyndi Gerik. (AFBF

5/3/13)

Grazing workshop to help livestock producers maximize pastures—Live-

stock producers can learn about incorporating management-intensive grazing programs on their farms at a Purdue Extension conference June 7 and 8 in southern Indiana. Grazing 102 will focus on understanding plant growth and development, fencing systems, soil fertility, forage identification and use, watering systems, forage economics, extending the grazing season and determining forage needs. The conference will be at the Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center (SIPAC), 11371 E. Purdue Farm Road, Dubois. It runs from 1-6 p.m. on June 7 and from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on June 8. Speakers are Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist; Brad Shelton, superintendent of the Feldun-Purdue Agricultural Center; Jason Tower, SIPAC superintendent; and Robert Zupancic, grazing land specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Registration of $50 per person is due by May 31. The cost covers reference materials, speaker notes, management tools, refreshments and lunch on the second day. Registration for additional attendees from the same farm is $25 per person, but they will not receive reference materials or management tools. Registration forms and more information about Grazing 102 are available at www.extension.purdue. edu/dubois under “Hot Topics” or by contacting Tower at 812-678-4427 or towerj@purdue.edu. (Purdue 5/9/13)

state conservationist for Indiana’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, announced that sign-up has begun for a new project to monitor water quality on agricultural fields in targeted areas throughout the state. To find a list of the targeted areas, visit the NRCS website, www.in.nrcs. usda.gov/news/. “NRCS is seeking producers to sign up by June 14 to monitor the water quality benefits of a variety of conservation practices, such as notill, cover crops, nutrient management, etc. on their land,” Kult said. “The data from the monitoring will show the impacts of voluntary conservation practices on water quality. The results will also be used to help farmers adapt their management to increase water quality benefits that work with agriculture production goals.” “The data collected from these projects will be used to validate NRCS water quality modeling efforts that will benefit agriculture across the nation,” Kult added. “All data will be protected under the farm bill privacy rules, and details will be shared only as authorized by the producer.” Funding for these projects comes from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. For more information about technical assistance and conservation programs go to www. in.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/. (Indiana

NRCS 5/10/13)

FBNews e-newsletter covers immigration, farm bill and more—Check out the

latest FBNews e-newsletter, covering the top news in agriculture. May’s edition includes articles on immigration legislation, the Mississippi River Navigation Sustainment Act and state issues, such as Illinois’ delayed planting progress. E-newsletter blurbs link to full articles in the new, online edition of FBNews. To subscribe to the e-newsletter, go to AFBF’s website, www.fb.org/. In the upper right corner of the screen is a box labeled “FBNews.” Follow the directions in that box. (AFBF 5/8/13)

USDA, EPA release honeybee report—The Agriculture

Department and Environmental Pro-

Specialty crops and the farm bill —By Barry Bushue AFBF Vice President A strong U.S. agriculture industry depends in part on a robust array of crops grown by America’s farmers, as well as diversity in production styles. Also important is the farm bill, which helps farmers and ranchers deal with risks that threaten their ability to produce the food, fiber and fuel we all need. Congress’ recent focus on “specialty crops” (fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, floriculture, and horticulture and nursery crops) in the next farm bill is welcome news for many farmers. The value of specialty crop production in the U.S. is significant, accounting for approximately 17 percent of the $391 billion in agriculture cash receipts collected in 2012. Starting with the farm bill enacted in 2008, programs for specialty crop farmers included outreach and training on Good Agriculture Practices aimed at improving food safety, traceability and productivity; initiatives for pest and plant disease control; and improving direct-to-consumer retail opportunities. Programs that help bring fruits and vegetables produced within a state to local schools also are part of the farm bill. Another popular part of the bill is the Farmers’ Market Promotion Program. Starting with the next farm bill, Farm Bureau has proposed the establishment of a new program–Stacked Income Protection Plan or STAX for short–for apples, potatoes, tomatoes, grapes and sweet corn. (STAX would also cover the so-called program crops grown by farmers, including field corn for livestock, soybeans, wheat, rice, etc.)

tection Agency on May 2 issued a comprehensive scientific report on honeybee health. “The Agriculture Department/ Environmental Protection Agency report issued today concludes what farmers and scientists have known for some time—that there isn’t just one cause to the decline in honeybee numbers,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman in a statement. The decline in honey bee num-

Administrative/Finance Team

Legal Affairs Team

Public Relations Team

Regional Managers

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 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)

May 20, 2013

Scott Trennepohl (6) Jeff Gormong (7) Mark Bacon (8) Philip Springstun (9) Robert Schickel (10)

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 Administrative Assistant..................Tracie Trent

An insurance product, STAX was designed to provide a fiscally responsible and effective safety net for farmers. Under our proposal, it would be administered by the Agriculture Department’s Risk Management Agency much like the current crop insurance program. It would complement existing crop insurance programs and does not change any features of existing insurance policies. The five specialty crops Farm Bureau selected for STAX coverage each rank in the top 13 in value of production for the country; represent at least 2 percent of the nation’s value of production; and are grown in at least 13 states. In addition, insurance is currently available for each of the crops. If STAX is used to cover these five specialty crops, fruit and vegetable farmers in 44 states will benefit. STAX and the Farmers’ Market Promotion Program are just two examples of how the AFBF farm bill proposal would represent an investment in the farmers who grow the fruit and vegetable crops that Americans desire. There are numerous other priorities related to fruit and vegetable production that Farm Bureau would like to see implemented. But in order for farmers and ranchers–our nation’s food producers–to have the certainty they need for farm financing and planning, Congress must take action now and enact a new farm bill before the current one expires in September. _____________________________ Barry Bushue is the owner of a family nursery, berry and flowering basket farm in Oregon. He serves as president of the Oregon Farm Bureau and as vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

bers is due to a number of factors, according to the report, which “makes it even more important that we continue work on a solution through collaborative efforts among farmers, beekeepers, researchers, the federal government and the public,” Stallman said. Farm Bureau supports funding for research to find real answers to the Colony Collapse Disorder, as well as practical, effective methods to remedy the situation. (AFBF 5/2/13)

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: askus@infarmbureau.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.

www.thehoosierfarmer.com


3

around indiana

Volunteers needed for the Indiana State Fair —From the Organizational Development Team The Farm Bureau building at the Indiana State Fair, Aug. 2-18, will once again this year offer lots of different activities to help consumers learn a little more about agriculture, and key component of those efforts is the participation of farmers The final list of activities isn’t complete yet, but the intent is to provide more opportunities for volunteers and fairgoers to interact, including activities for children and adults, according to Julie Taylor, IFB education coordinator. Tentatively planned so far are story times for school-age children, games, new movies for the Grain Bin Theatre, and an improved kids’ area with much more interaction, as well as Farm Bureau’s famous free popcorn. The Farm Bureau Building will also host, as it has in the past, the

Young Farmer summer outing headed to Terre Haute —By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team Young farmers interested in networking, learning about coal mining and farming in west central Indiana, and enjoying time with other young farmers should mark June 22 and 23 to travel to Terre Haute for the Young Farmer summer outing. “Young farmers coming to this outing will get to see something specific to this part of Indiana,” said Courtney Rude, IFB’s outreach programs specialist. “Coal mining is more important here than in many parts of the state.” Summer outing attendees will start with a walking tour of downtown Terre Haute at noon on June 22 before traveling to Ace in the Hole Coal Mine and Be N Ag Farms. Outing attendees will eat at Stables Steakhouse on Saturday evening and then have a scavenger hunt around downtown Terre Haute. On Sunday, a mock policy session will be held in the morning before attendees depart for the Terre Haute Children’s Museum. The policy session will prepare participants for policy discussions at the delegate session in August using some of the topics from the tours on Saturday. Individuals are charged $50 per person age 12 and over, which includes overnight accommodations, meals, tours, Sunday’s session and admission to the museum. Sign up for the outing is on the IFB website, www.infarmbureau.org, under the events menu. The deadline to sign up is June 14. For more information, visit www.infarmbureau.org and look under the events menu or call Tina Nunez, 317-692-7830.

www.thehoosierfarmer.com

Taste from Indiana Farms event, the Wonder Trail, and recipes for the Recipe Trail. All of these activities require volunteer help – and it’s an excellent way to enable the general public to meet and talk with a farmer face to face. Please watch your email boxes and The Hoosier Farmer for more information. If you are interested in being put on the state fair volunteer list, contact Tina Nunez at 317-6927830 or tnunez@infarmbureau.org.

Photo courtesy of the Indiana State Fair

2013 4-H County Fair Dates Adams........................................... July 21-25 Allen.............................................. July 23-28 Bartholomew................................... July 5-13 Benton........................................... July 20-26 Blackford......................................... July 5-13 Boone............................................ July 19-25 Brown...................................... July 29-Aug. 3 Carroll........................................... July 12-20 Cass................................................. July 7-13 Clark.............................................. July 12-20 Clay............................................... July 13-20 Clinton.......................................... July 14-20 Crawford....................................... July 13-20 Daviess 1......................June 21-29/July 12-19 Dearborn...................................... June 15-22 Decatur......................................... July 11-18 DeKalb 2 ....................July 20-24/Sept. 23-28 Delaware 3......................July 8-18/July 14-20 Dubois........................................... July 14-20 Elkhart........................................... July 19-27 Fayette..................................... July 27-Aug. 3 Floyd............................................... July 8-13 Fountain........................................ July 12-18 Franklin......................................... July 15-20 Fulton............................................ July 13-21 Gibson............................................. July 7-13 Grant............................................ June 16-22 Greene.......................................... July 12-20 Hamilton....................................... July 18-23 Hancock....................................... June 21-28 Harrison 4.....................July 12-17/July 14-20 Hendricks...................................... July 14-20 Henry............................................ July 10-20 Howard........................................... July 8-14 Huntington.................................... July 12-26 Jackson.......................................... July 21-27 Jasper............................................ July 13-19 Jay 5..................................July 6-12/July 8-14 Jefferson.......................................... July 8-13 Jennings......................................... July 14-20 Johnson......................................... July 14-20 Knox.............................................. July 22-27 Kosciusko......................................... July 8-13 Lagrange.......................................... July 6-13 Lake................................................ Aug. 2-11 LaPorte............................................ July 7-13 Lawrence......................................... July 6-13 Madison......................................... July 21-27 Marion.......................................... June 21-29 Marshall........................................ July 14-20 Martin........................................... July 19-23 Miami........................................... June 23-29

Monroe.................................... July 27-Aug. 3 Montgomery.................................. July 11-18 Morgan.................................... July 26-Aug. 3 Newton......................................... July 15-20 Noble............................................ July 14-20 Ohio................................................ July 5-13 Orange.......................................... July 13-19 Owen.............................................. July 7-13 Parke.............................................. July 20-27 Perry................................................ July 7-13 Pike............................................... July 14-21 Porter............................................ July 18-27 Posey............................................... July 7-13 Pulaski..................................... June 29-July 5 Putnam.......................................... July 19-26 Randolph....................................... July 20-25 Ripley............................................ July 20-27 Rush............................................. June 22-29 St. Joseph................................. June 28-July 6 Scott................................................ July 7-13 Shelby................................................ July 1-6 Spencer........................................ June 25-30 Starke............................................ July 13-20 Steuben......................................... July 19-25 Sullivan.......................................... July 13-20 Switzerland................................... July 15-20 Tippecanoe.................................... July 20-27 Tipton............................................ July 12-17 Union............................................ July 20-26 Vanderburgh.................................. July 22-27 Vermillion..................................... June 21-28 Vigo................................................. July 7-13 Wabash............................................ July 5-13 Warren......................................... June 18-22 Warrick......................................... July 15-20 Washington.................................. June 23-29 Wayne.......................................... June 22-29 Wells............................................. July 13-18 White............................................ July 13-18 Whitley.......................................... July 12-18 1. Daviess County: County Fair, June 21-29 (Elnora); County 4-H Show, July 12-19 (Washington). 2. DeKalb County: Summer Judging, July 20-24; Fall Fair, Sept. 23-28. 3. Delaware County: 4-H Fair, July 8-18; County Fair, July 14-20. 4. Harrison County: 4-H Fair, July 12-17; County Fair, July 14-20. 5. Jay County: 4-H Fair, July 6-12; County Fair, July 8-14. County fair dates courtesy of Indiana 4-H

May 20, 2013


4

special report

2013 Genera

Farm Bureau scores important w

State budget

Inheritance tax repealed immediately The major piece of legislation in every long session of the General Assembly is the biennial budget. Revenue receipts and projections have improved over the past two years, so legislators had a little more money to work with this year. The fact that one party, the Republicans, had a super majority in both houses also made it easier to craft a budget that addressed their funding priorities. Throughout the session the leadership of the House and the Senate and Re-

publican Gov. Mike Pence seemed to be at odds over whether to include the 10 percent personal income tax cut that the governor promised voters during the 2012 election in the budget. However by the end of the session, they agreed on a 5 percent income tax cut (to be phased in through 2017) and an immediate repeal of Indiana’s inheritance tax. The accelerated inheritance tax repeal was one of Farm Bureau’s legislative priorities for the year. The budget also includes:

About $6.5 billion a year public school funding. This represents a $390 million increase over the two years. $215 million per year increase for roads and highways. Forty-seven percent of this goes to local units. The removal of State Police funding from the gas tax receipts. $250 million for a reserve Medicaid contingency fund and authorization to allow the governor to negotiate a Medicaid expansion with the federal government. Funding with slight varia-

Duane and Mary Rinker (left) and George Kakasuleff (right), all of Hamilton County Farm Bureau, discuss legislative issues with Sen. Luke Kenley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Photo by Andy Dietrick

tions for the Department of Agriculture and the various line items for the Purdue College of Agriculture. An increase from

$500,000 to $1 million a year for the Clean Water Indiana soil and water conservation program.

Natural gas vs. substitute natural gas(SNG)

Utilities

New act should save natural gas users money Natural gas was addressed in a pair of bills that Farm Bureau supported this year. One dealt with protecting ratepayers and one with supply and distribution. Senate Enrolled Act 494 requires the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to take another look at the impact that the state’s support of the synthetic natural gas plant proposed for Rockport, Ind., will have on ratepayers unless the contract between the Indiana Finance Authority and the plant’s developers is approved in its entirety by an appellate court.

The current arrangement requires Indiana gas retailers to purchase the synthetic gas produced at the Rockport plant and sell it to their customers. Because of recent technological developments in the extraction of natural gas, this purchase requirement will, in all probability, result in Hoosier gas customers paying a considerably higher rate for gas than they would otherwise. The higher gas prices could also increase the cost of fertilizer in Indiana. Because of the impact the current arrangement between

Chart courtesy of Vectren Corp.

the state and the project’s developers could have on farmers and other rural natural gas consumers, Farm Bureau joined with those calling for the entire deal to be revisited by the IURC. SEA 580 allows counties

to establish infrastructure development zones where natural gas, broadband, and water infrastructure would be exempt from property tax. Because these tax advantages would encourage the build-out of infrastruc-

ture into rural communities, Farm Bureau supported this bill. It will be up to local officials to decide whether the potential benefit justifies creating an infrastructure development zone in their community.

Dead legislation

Trespass and anti-GMO bills among the hundreds that didn’t pass Of the 1,232 bills that were introduced this year, only 295 made it through the process. Of the bills that died, many were bills in which Farm Bureau had no particular interest, some were bills that IFB opposed and was partially responsible for stopping and a few were bills that the organization did support. Of the bills IFB supported that did not survive, the most publicized was SB 373, which dealt with videotaping on private prop-

May 20, 2013

erty without the property owner’s permission. This bill would have protected Indiana farmers and business owners who conduct themselves according to the highest ethical and professional standards but are nevertheless the target of those who seek to disparage their business activity. In its final form, SB 373 would have strengthened the state’s criminal trespass code to protect businesses from persons who intentionally enter private property

to commit an act with the intent to harm any business on that property. It also would have provided legal protection from prospective employees who knowingly or intentionally submit fraudulent statements or conceal material facts on job applications. The bill eventually died as the result of an intensive effort to discredit it by media lobbyists, animal rights activists, and organized labor. Senate Joint Resolution 7, the resolution that would

have proposed amending the state’s constitution to guarantee the rights of Indiana citizens to hunt, fish and raise livestock did not pass this year, but because of the complicated process to amend Indiana’s Constitution, it did not need to. If the General Assembly passes a resolution identical to the one it passed in 2012 by the end of the 2013 session, Hoosier voters will be asked to ratify it at the general election of 2014. Another high profile bill

that died during the session included one which would have allowed the high-fenced deer hunting preserves that have been in continual operation since 2006 to remain in business. Other bills that did not pass dealt with the labeling of genetically modified food, new confined feeding permit requirements, allowing farm wineries to self-distribute and allowing microbreweries to sell and provide samples of beer at farmers markets and trade shows.

www.thehoosierfarmer.com


5

special report

al Assembly

Stories by Bob Kraft Public Policy Division & Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Division

wins in 2013 legislative session Taxes

Delay of proposed soil productivity factors was IFB’s first legislative victory in 2013 Farm Bureau’s first success during the 2013 legislative session was the rapid passage of Senate Enrolled Act 319, which delays the soil productivity factors proposed last year by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance and strongly opposed by Farm Bureau. In its journey through the General Assembly, the bill didn’t receive a single “no” vote, and the measure was the first signed by Gov. Mike Pence since he had taken office. The non-partisan Legislative Services Agency estimates that the delay will save Indiana farmers $57.4 million a year in property taxes. The measure retains the long-standing soil productivity factors for the 2013 assessment (payable in 2014) of farmland. It also directs the DLGF, in cooperation with the Purdue University College of Agriculture, to submit information on proposed new soil productivity factors – including the new factors themselves, as well as the methodology and data used to determine them – before Nov. 1, 2013.

This map of Indiana soil types can be found at http://www.in.nrcs.usda.gov/mlra11/Indiana_ STATSGO.html

Local government

IFB scores big wins with local government laws After several years of administrative and legislative pressure to consolidate units of government and restructure the way counties are governed, this year Indiana Farm Bureau finally saw greater legislative concern expressed for the residents of rural Indiana. Three bills in particular are exceptionally valuable to members living in rural areas, said IFB tax and local government specialist Katrina Hall.

SEA 285 protects farmers from paying city or town taxes until the town is ready for development. SEA 285 provides that if a municipality annexes territory that is zoned agricultural, it is not allowed to collect property taxes for municipal purposes so long as the property retains that zoning classification. The law currently exempts ag property from property taxes for only 10 years. The bill also provides that the property owner must

agree to any zoning change. SEA 343, which was three years in the making, not only streamlines the merger process and makes it more transparent but also includes a provision sought by Farm Bureau that separates the votes of rural residents from those of city residents. SEA 343 provides that after Dec. 31, when a merger of a municipality and another political subdivision is proposed, the votes of the residents of the municipality and the

residents who live outside of the municipality must be totaled separately. The reorganization can be approved only if both groups of voters approve the proposed reorganization. This means that a densely populated municipal area cannot merge with a less populated rural area without the consent of rural voters. The bill was passed by large margins in both houses. SEA 475 recommends that during the summer of

2013, a legislative committee study a procedure to place all executive powers in a single county executive and all legislative and fiscal powers in a county council. Farm Bureau considers this to be a significant victory. Until the final moments before it was passed by the House, the bill would have authorized Allen County to begin a referendum in the fall of 2014 to eliminate the existing three-commissioner system.

vehicle laws. The victory for farmers is that the bill does not change the law with respect to allowing unlicensed drivers to move agricultural equipment across public highways. As it was introduced, the bill would have

prohibited anyone under sixteen and a half from moving equipment on public roads. At Farm Bureau’s request the current law which allows farm kids to move machinery was left alone.

Transportation Legislature makes some ag-friendly changes Among the many provisions included in the biennial budget was additional funding for local roads. “This was certainly appreciated and will benefit all of rural Indiana,” said IFB state government relations director Bob Kraft. There were also a few other bills in the transportation area that will be welcomed by farmers as well, Kraft said. HEA 1068 exempts the drivers of farm-plated vehicles in Indiana from federal hours of service and medical card requirements. The

www.thehoosierfarmer.com

comprehensive 2012 federal transportation law known as MAP-21 provides for these exemptions, but states were required to pass legislation to allow their farmers to take immediate advantage of them. This bill satisfies the federal requirement and is effective immediately. HEA 1481 authorizes the INDOT or a local authority to grant permits for the transportation of overweight divisible loads. A divisible load is one that could be split between two trucks, but for economic reasons

the trucker prefers not to divide it. The major beneficiaries of these permits will be steel haulers who will be able to carry more than one coil at a time and bulk milk haulers and grain haulers who bring loads originating in in Ohio or Michigan into northeastern Indiana. The maximum limit for divisible loads of agricultural commodities is 97,000 pounds. SEA 538 is a so-called “agency bill” and was introduced at the request if BMV to clean up various inconsistencies in the motor

May 20, 2013


6

Nation & World

Labor Shortage Ag labor in ‘crisis,’ according to coalition —From the Agriculture Workforce Coalition U.S. agriculture faces a critical shortage of workers every year, as citizens are largely unwilling to engage in these rigorous activities and guest worker programs are unable to respond to the marketplace. This situation makes our farms and ranches less competitive with foreign farmers and less reliable for the American consumer. Securing a reliable and competent workforce for our nation’s farms and ranches is essential to agriculture and to the U.S. economy. Jobs in agriculture are physically demanding, are conducted in all seasons and are often transitory. To most U.S. residents seeking employment, these conditions are not attractive. A number of studies document this fact, and farmworker representatives also acknowledged this in recent congressional testimony. Yet, for many prospective workers from other countries, these jobs present real economic opportunities. In times of shortages, farmers have relied on these foreign workers who are admitted under a government sponsored temporary worker program known as H-2A and on workers who appear to be legally eligible to work in the United States. However, the H-2A program has become increasingly rigid and burdensome. Multiple H-2A regulatory changes and rigid program administration have made use of an already difficult program nearly impossible. A survey conducted by the National Council of Agricultural Employers of H-2A employers under the current rules showed that administrative delays result in workers arriving on average 22 days after the date of need, causing an economic loss of nearly $320 million for farms that hire H-2A workers. All AWC members agree on the need for a new approach. This crisis must be addressed through legislative reform that reflects the agreement reached between the Agriculture Workforce Coalition and the United

May 20, 2013

Farm Workers, which includes both a program to provide access to a legal workforce into the future and an adjustment for current experienced unauthorized agricultural workers. Current Workforce In order to minimize the impact on current economic activity, the AWC supports an adjustment of status for experienced, but unauthorized, agricultural workers who currently reside in the U.S. This adjustment should include the following components: • These workers have a future obligation to work for a number of days annually in agriculture for several years. • Upon completion of this future work obligation, the workers could obtain permanent legal status and the right to work in whatever industries they choose. Agricultural Worker Program The Agricultural Worker Visa Program will ensure agriculture’s future legal workforce. This new program offers both employer and employee choice and flexibility through two different work options: an “at-will” visa and a contract visa. These three-year visas would be valid for employment with agriculture employers registered through the USDA and are separate from the low-skilled visas for the general business community. • “At-will” visa employees have the freedom to move from employer to employer without any contractual commitment, replicating the way market forces allocate the labor force now. • Contract visa employees commit to work for an employer for a fixed period of time, giving both parties increased stability where it is mutually preferred. The Agriculture Workforce Coalition brings together organizations – including the American Farm Bureau Federation – that represent the needs of agricultural employers. Find more information on the Agriculture Workforce Coalition, including additional details on the coalition’s ag labor reform proposal, at www.agworkforcecoalition.org.

Percent  of  hired  labor  per  crop   on  U.S.  farms,  2006-­‐2010   Corn  

5%  

Soybeans  

6%  

General  cash  grain  

7%  

CaGle  

Analysis  of  data  from  the  U.S.  Department  of  Labor's   NaRonal  Agricultural  Workers  Survey  indicates  that   over  the  past  15  years,  about  half  of  the  hired   workers  employed  in  U.S.  crop  agriculture  were   unauthorized.  Similar  survey-­‐based  informaRon  on   immigraRon  status  is  not  available  for  workers  in   livestock  and  dairy  producRon.  

8%  

Wheat  

9%  

Sorghum  

9%  

Hogs  

10%  

Rice  

10%  

CoGon  

12%  

Peanuts  

12%  

Dairy  

 

14%  

Poultry  

16%  

All  farms  

17%  

Tobacco  

26%  

Vegetables  

35%  

Nursery  products  

46%  

Fruit  

48%   0%  

10%  

20%  

30%  

40%  

50%  

60%  

Percent   USDA  Economic  Research  Service,  USDA's  2006-­‐2010  Aggricultural  Resource  Management   Survey  

Farm Bureau urges Congress to authorize new guestworker program for agriculture —By AFBF Communications Team & Kathleen M. Dutro IFB Public Relations Team Securing a reliable and competent workforce for our nation’s farms and ranches is essential to agriculture and the U.S. economy, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. American Farm Bureau is among the groups that is seeking a meaningful legislative solution to agriculture’s worker shortage. AFBF is part of a broad coalition called the Agriculture Workforce Coalition that is working to construct a model agricultural labor program that will work for all sectors of agriculture. AFBF is “encouraged by the immigration reform principles put forth by a bipartisan group of eight senators,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “We are especially pleased the senators recognized that agricultural labor provisions must be part of any substantive effort to reform immigration policy. We are hopeful that this will provide the needed framework to move forward during the 113th Congress.” AFBF economists estimate that the agricultural economy and the broader U.S. economy are facing $9 billion or more in lost productivity each year if the agriculture labor force issue is not addressed. A new, modern guestworker program for agricul-

tural workers is needed so that U.S. farmers and ranchers can continue growing food, tending livestock and contributing to the nation’s economy, Stallman said in his Feb. 26 testimony to the U.S. House’s Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. “We want to keep these jobs in America for U.S. workers, not outsource them,” Stallman said. Farm Bureau urged lawmakers to implement a new, marketbased labor program USDA. The new program would eventually replace the H-2A program, Stallman explained. It would also provide farmers with access to a legal and stable workforce over the long-term. In addition, the new program would provide employers with greater certainty that they will have access to the workforce they need. “The time is long overdue for our nation to have a comprehensive agricultural labor plan that works for all sectors of agriculture and across all regions of our nation,” he said. “Ultimately, agriculture’s goal is to develop a program that treats workers fairly, while being efficient and economical for employers to use,” Stallman said. Stallman also addressed agriculture’s short-term labor needs in his testimony. “In order to provide short-term stability and an

orderly, effective transition to a new guestworker program it is imperative that any legislation approved by Congress include provisions permitting current agricultural workers who might not otherwise qualify to obtain work authorization,” Stallman said. “Any new program will take time to be implemented fully,” Stallman said. “Granting existing experienced agricultural workers work authorization is a crucial part of making sure that there is not economic dislocation in the agricultural sector while we transition to a new program.” AFBF policy, as affirmed by delegates to the 2013 national convention, supports a meaningful and comprehensive legislative solution to agriculture’s worker shortage. “We will continue to work through the Agriculture Workforce Coalition in our efforts to ensure that America’s farmers, growers and livestock producers have long-term access to a steady supply of skilled agricultural workers. We think the best way to do this is through a modern agriculture worker visa program,” he said. “Immigrant laborers play a vital role in tending our crops and livestock, and we are encouraged by the bipartisan reform efforts,” he added.

www.thehoosierfarmer.com


7

around farm bureau

Who’s Who at Indiana Farm Bureau Tracie Trent, administrative assistant, IFB organizational development team —By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team Tracie Trent is new to Farm Bureau, but if her name sounds familiar to you, it might be because she played a role with your electric co-op, especially if you know about the youth leadership programs offered. “Prior to joining IFB, I was with the Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives in Indianapolis,” she said. “I was director of the Indiana Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., an annual eight-day journey to

Gettysburg and D.C. for 7580 high school juniors from across Indiana.” If that doesn’t sound exhausting enough, Trent also coordinated Hoosiers Power the World, an international electrification project that took 32 linemen to Guatemala last summer to bring electricity to three remote villages in the northern mountains region bordering Mexico. The project was recently featured on Indiana PBS stations in a documentary called “Power to the People.” She will support IFB’s re-

gional managers in her new role, in addition to coordinating team events, maintaining county committee records, membership promotion, and other memberrelated activities. Her desire to work with members was one of the biggest reasons she took the job. “I’m passionate about supporting rural communities and doing whatever I can to promote economic growth and revitalization,” she said. Trent graduated from Danville High School and holds an associate’s degree

in office administration from Lockyear College in Indianapolis. A Danville, Ind., native, she currently resides in Plainfield with her husband of 22 years, John, and son, Sam, 10 1/2. In her spare time, she enjoys fishing and spending time with family

and friends at her lake house in Monticello, Ind. She also makes an effort to travel to unique places six hours or less from home, especially when there’s a nearby restaurant that’s been featured on the Food Network show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”

AFBF joins groups in new crop insurance agreement —From the AFBF Communications Team The American Farm Bureau Federation has joined with a diverse group of 44 conservation, environmental, crop insurance and agricultural organizations in distributing a position paper that outlines a commonsense compromise to link conservation compliance and crop insurance premium assistance and to oppose means testing, payment limitations or premium subsidy reductions for the crop insurance program. These recommendations have been submitted to leadership of the Senate and House Agriculture committees for their consideration for debate on the new farm bill. In a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee leaders, the organizations said the position provides “an effective farm and natural resource safety net.” “Farm Bureau is convinced this agreement will move the farm bill forward,”

said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “This is a balanced agreement that provides fairness and a measure of certainty to farmers regarding the availability of risk management tools while at the same time helping to conserve natural resources. It’s a win-win situation that was reached by a group of organizations that came together under a banner of commonsense and collaboration.” In the spirit of compromise and in the interest of completing a farm bill this year, each of the groups has committed to not support amendments beyond this compromise that might weaken the crop insurance program or amendments that might not link conservation compliance with crop insurance premium assistance, according to the letter. “It is no secret that much of agriculture fought the compliance amendment during last year’s Senate debate on the farm bill,” Stallman explained. “But our desire to avoid a time-

consuming and contentious debate with our long-standing partners on workable environmental stewardship programs helped build a consensus around rational provisions that protect farmers while furthering the conservation of natural resources.” Stallman, a Texas rice farmer and cattle rancher, said it is important to note this agreement does not propose to change current conservation compliance requirements. The recommendations offered apply only to the linkage of conservation compliance and crop insurance premium assistance or availability. Under the recommendations, crop insurance would continue to be available to help farmers manage their risks and meet the requirements of their lenders. But under certain circumstances, if a farmer is found to be out of compliance with conservation mandates, his or her eligibility for premium assistance would be eliminated

Partnerships can help achieve goals County Farm Bureaus across the state are engaging in numerous outreach and advocacy activities. As of the first week of May, nearly 2,400 activities have taken place. Some of those have been planned and executed by the county, while others have been joint efforts that involve partnerships. We (especially the PR Team) appreciate the many county Farm Bureaus that

www.thehoosierfarmer.com

have used the “Share the Road” theme and materials to help promote vehicle safety during planting season. Stories and ads have been showing up in local newspapers all spring. The counties that have been getting the most earned media coverage are those that have partnered with their local law enforcement agencies. Many of the activities listed in the County Recogni-

until compliance conditions are satisfied. “This approach to re-linking crop insurance and conservation compliance should

provide USDA sufficient flexibility to work with farmers to ensure compliance in balanced, fair manner,” Stallman said.

Indiana Farm Bureau, with the participation of Clabber Girl, Hurst’s HamBeens, the Indiana Wine Grape Council and Fair Oaks, sponsored Zest ’n Zing: A Foodie Event for the At-Home Cheff on May 7. This was the second year for the event, which sold out. It included a reception featuring Indiana foods as well as a cooking competition that pitted Team Beef (chef Jason Anderson and beef producer Ginny Tauer, who are shown above) against Team Pork (chef Greg Schiesser and pork producer Nick Sommers, shown below). The winners: Team Beef. Photos by Kathleen M. Dutro.

tion Program could involve partners that not only bring additional resources and expertise to the table, but can also share the workload. As you plan activities, ask this question: Are there any like-minded organizations in our area that would make this a better program? If so, invite them to be part of the team.

May 20, 2013


8

Around Farm bureau

Health tax would ‘HIT’ small business employees —From the AFBF Communications Team

The Health Insurance Tax will hurt small business employees the hardest, according to congressional testimony on May 9 by dairy owner Dean Norton, president of the New York Farm Bureau. Testifying before the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology, Norton, who is also a board member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, encouraged House members to cosponsor H.R. 763, which would repeal the HIT. The HIT, which was passed as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will be levied on a health insurance company’s net premiums. But, said Norton, in the end it will be employees who ultimately pay the price. “Because of escalating health insurance premiums, we’ve had to significantly change the cost structure from covering about 90 percent of the insurance cost

to approximately 50 percent through a high deductible plan,” said Norton. “Unfortunately, the people who are really hurt by this change are the employees. They now have to contribute a larger portion of the expense when they seek medical attention.” Most farmers and other small businesses do not selfinsure because they do not have a large enough pool of employees, said Norton. Instead, small employers purchase health insurance on the fully insured market. Because the smallest employers almost never self-insure, they will end up bearing the brunt of the HIT. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2012 Survey of Employer Health Benefits, only 15 percent of the smallest employers self-insure. Further, health insurance costs for small businesses have increased 103 percent since 2000. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the HIT will further increase family premiums by $400 or 2.5 percent in the year 2016,

making it even harder for farmers to purchase coverage for themselves, their families and their employees. “Being able to offer health insurance is important to us as we strive to offer benefits that attract high quality workers and to keep them

H.R. 763, introduced by Reps. Charles Boustany, R-La., and Jim Matheson, D-Utah, would repeal the annual fee on health insurance providers, preventing premium increases for individuals and small businesses in the fully insured health insurance marketplace.

Don’t Fry Day —By Andy Dietrick Public Relations Team Sunshine has been scarce this spring, and too much moisture is keeping many farmers in the shed and out of the fields. But soon enough drier, warmer days will mean hours of outside time for farmers and their families. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention urges you to take care of your skin while working outdoors and has designated the Friday before Memorial Day (May 24) as “Don’t Fry Day” to remind everyone to protect his or her skin, and The newest of Indiana Farm Bureau’s special interest websites is “Get Involved, Stay Informed” (www.ifbstayinformed.org). The site provides news and information on state and national government issues, agricultural policy and Farm Bureau’s policy process, and it makes it easy for members to get involved. Members can also use the site to sign up to receive Farm Bureau newsletters, such as the PPDispatch. Ifbstayinformed.org joins IFB’s other websites: www.infarmbureau.org, www. itpaystobeamember.org, www. thehoosierfarmer.com and www.my-indiana-home.com.

Calendar of Events June 1 5, 6 6 7 8 11 15 15 18 18 19, 20 21 22, 23 28-July 26 30

IFB Leaders in Action, session 3, IFB home office IFB Women’s Leadership Committee meeting. District woman leader alumni lunch. District 10 outing, Louisville Bats baseball game. District 2 Young Farmer outing. District 5 state officer meeting. District 1 summer picnic, South Bend Silver Hawks baseball game. District 9 summer picnic, Lincoln City. District 2 resolutions meeting. District 8 state officer meeting. IFB board of directors meeting. Policy recommendations due to IFB home office. State Young Farmer outing. Summer membership blitz. District 2 ice cream social.

July 1 1-4

District 3 “Summer Fun” event. District 4 trip.

May 20, 2013

healthy and productive once they are on the payroll,” continued Norton. But, he said, “Escalating health insurance costs not only impact farm employers, but also those who purchase health insurance coverage for themselves and their families.”

children’s skin as well. According to the council, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. More people will get skin cancer this year than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. The good news is that it is simple to protect our skin and reduce the risk of getting skin cancer. It’s as easy as “Slip! Slop! Slap!...and Wrap” – slip on a shirt, slop on broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, slap on a wide-brimmed hat, and wrap on UV blocking sunglasses. It is especially important to protect children from harm-

ful effects of the sun because sunburns during childhood increase the risk of getting skin cancer later in life. The National Council is the united voice of 40 organizations, associations and agencies dedicated to skin cancer prevention in the United States. You can learn more at www.skincancerprevention.org.

Guaranteed Savings Members have seen an average savings of $3,046 off MSRP* –

MEMBER SPECIAL See how much you could save on new and used Save $500 on select GM vehicles* cars!

Benefits of the Farm Bureau Auto Buying Program Get your Guaranteed Savings on new vehicles and see dealer-guaranteed prices and discounts of up to $1,000 on used vehicles. No cost. No obligation. Work with our prescreened Certified Dealers for a better, hassle-free car-buying experience. Unlimited access to new car price reports and used car market reports so you know you’re getting a good deal.

See how much you can save on ANY vehicle Visit www.fb.truecar.com or call 888-718-9053 *See site for details

www.thehoosierfarmer.com


The Hoosier Farmer - 39