Drought recovery: Fruit Crops Page 3
IFB Almanac Pages 4 & 5
News in Brief................ 2 Around Indiana............ 3 Around IFB................... 6 Rules & Regs................ 7 Education..................... 8
The Hoosier Farmer
A Publication for Voting Members of Indiana Farm Bureau
June 24, 2013 Issue No. 40
Senate passes farm bill; debate moves to the House —By Kathleen M. Dutro IFB Public Relations Team & the AFBF Communications Team A bipartisan farm bill is advancing through Congress, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. However, AFBF said, if the House farm bill makes it through Congress and is sent to the White House, senior advisors to the president are expected to advise him to veto it, due to the $20.5 billion cut in federal nutrition assistance programs that will be spread out over 10 years. The Senate-passed farm bill also cuts nutrition aid, but only by $4 billion. The Senate passed the bill, titled the Agriculture Reform, Jobs and Food Act, on June 10 by a vote of 66-27. Just two days later, House Speaker John Boehner announced his support for the legislation. “With his statement of support for the farm bill today, Speaker Boehner is giving all Americans, including the farmers who feed them and those concerned with nutrition programs, real optimism that Washington can get important work done in 2013,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. Both of Indiana’s senators, Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republican Dan Coats, voted in favor of the bill. AFBF policy supports strengthening crop insurance and offering farmers a choice of program options to complete their safety net. In addition, AFBF supports providing programs that encourage farmers to follow market signals rather than make Indiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206
planting decisions based on government payments. “We appreciate the Senate’s decision to protect and strengthen the federal crop insurance program and not reduce its funding, as well as the approval of a commodity program that provides
farmers varied safety net options,” Stallman said. “This approach to farm policy will encourage farmers to follow market signals rather than basing planting decisions on anticipation of government farm benefits. Most importantly, the program will be
viable because the Senate stood firm on a budget savings level of $24 billion.” As of The Hoosier Farmer’s June 17 deadline, House debate on the bill was expected begin as early as that week. “Spirited debates on federal nutrition programs
and dairy policy are anticipated,” AFBF said. For more on Farm Bureau’s position on the farm bill, fact sheets and more, visit FBACT Insider, www.fbactinsider. org/issues/farm-bill.
Livestock farmers hope for a better guest-worker program —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team What agriculture really needs from immigration reform, according to two Indiana livestock farmers, is a guestworker program that works. David Hoar, who operates a 1,050-sow hog operation in Washington County, and Mike Yoder, who milks around 380 cows in Elkhart County, said they are hoping for a guest-worker program that is effective and allows into the country enough legal workers to fill agriculture’s needs. “We need to acknowledge that we do not offer enough visas for agricultural workers,” said Yoder. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, a 2012 survey found that 71 percent of tree fruit growers in California were unable to find enough employees to prune trees and vines or pick crops. This is a problem for all facets of agriculture. Figures for 2012 from the USDA’s Economic Research Service show that 44 percent of hired farmworkers work in livestock. Hoar and Yoder said they used to use locals as workers – but that is no longer practicable. Hoar has four non-fam-
ily employees working in his hog operation, one “English” and three Latinos, plus three hired employees to tend his 2,000 acres of row crops. He started using immigrant workers about 12 years ago. “The guys that I’ve got are in place because I can’t get the English to do that job,” Hoar said – and this despite the fact that his workers earn more than $30,000 per year. Yoder, who has six fulltime employees (mostly Latinos, but also two Tanzanians he found through a company called Global Cow) plus a farm manager, said he used to use the local Amish as his workforce pool. However, even the Amish now prefer jobs with weekends and holidays off, something that isn’t possible on a dairy farm. For a while he experimented with workers from
the local work-release program. That was a “mixed” experience, he said. The problem with many potential employees is that they have no experience working with animals, and that’s something that’s very difficult to teach. “I can train people to milk in a couple of days,” he said. “But being able to handle cows, know when a cow is sick, that’s something that requires quite a bit of experience.” The Latinos he hires “have a set of skills that’s really hard to find in the U.S. right now.” “A 1,500-pound cow looks really, really big to somebody who didn’t grow up on a farm and the biggest animal they’ve ever seen is their schnauzer,” Yoder added. “There is a certain amount of animal husbandry,” Hoar
agreed. Yoder and Hoar said that what they really need from immigrant labor reform isn’t so much a path to citizenship – most of his employees want to work here for a while and then return to Mexico to be with their families, Hoar said. What they need, they said, is a better guest-worker program that allows more workers to come into the country legally so they can work, earn money for their families, pay taxes, pay health insurance and come out from “under the cloak,” Hoar said. “In our county right now, we have about 8 percent unemployment, but we cannot find enough workers for one reason or another,” Yoder said. “We need to acknowledge that we need workers, and we need skilled workers.”
District 1 Farm Bureau took its members out to the ballgame for its annual summer meeting – specifically the South Bend Silver Hawks vs. the Dayton Dragons. The meeting was held just prior to the June 15 game in South Bend, and the district honored its scholarship winners and 4-H tenure winners. Shown in the photo to the right (from left) are Deb Walsh,
Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage
Huntington, IN Permit NO. 832
District 1 woman leader; Todd Wottring, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance district sales manager; district scholarship winner Kayla Bailey; district winner Michael Day; and District 1 Director Larry Jernas. Not pictured is the state scholarship winner, Garrett Corning. At left, Nathaniel and Whitney Ness and their two children enjoy the game and a beautiful evening in South Bend. Photos by Kathleen M. Dutro
NEWS in brief
News Bites —Compiled by Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team
FSA county committee nominations begin—USDA’s
Farm Service Agency has announced that the nomination period for local FSA county committees has now opened. “County committees play a vital role in the administration of federal farm programs and are the voice of local landowners and farmers,” said Julia A. Wickard, State Executive Director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency. “They have a positive effect on rural communities as they represent farmers in their area of the county. We have been seeing an increase in the number of nominations of women and minority candidates and I hope that trend continues.” To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate. A complete list of eligibility requirements is posted online at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Farmers may nominate themselves or others, and organizations representing minorities and women
also may nominate candidates. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form, FSA-669A. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available online at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Nomination forms for the 2013 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1. Elections will take place this fall. While FSA county committees do not approve or deny farm ownership or operating loans, they make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. In Indiana, committees consist of 3 to 5 members that are elected by eligible producers. FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 4. The voted ballots are due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 2. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office on Jan. 1. (FSA 6/14/13)
Coalition opposes congressional ‘Meatless Monday’—Compass Group/Res-
taurant Associates, the British-owned
Mother Nature is still in charge —By Don Villwock IFB President It is hard to believe that just 12 months ago we were celebrating the best and earliest planting season ever. Many Indiana farmers were done with both corn and bean planting by early May. The prospects for a good harvest were off to a great start. Little did we know then what the record drought of 2012 would do to our optimistic start. Thank heaven for crop insurance and the resources it provided us to start again this year. Now, one year later, many of those same farmers struggled to get their crops planted between the frequent rains. As I write this during the first week of June, we are still struggling to finish our corn and bean planting. I know most of the state is 90 to 100 percent planted, but southwestern Indiana continues to get showers every two to three days.
What a difference just a year makes. Last year we had a perfect planting season and an extremely dry and hot summer, now this year we have delayed planting by 30 to 45 days and the forecast for our growing season ahead is mixed at best. As farmers file for prevented planting or even replanting claims, our economic futures are back stopped by the safety net of our federally supported crop insurance program. Once again, thank heaven for a strong crop insurance program. Yes, in less than 12 months, Mother Nature proves that she is still in charge. As farmers, we can do all of the risk management strategies possible, but the one risk that we cannot control is the weather. As I travel around the state, it is easy to see why Indiana farmers are asking the highest priority of the new farm bill be a strong crop insurance program.
food service provider for the House of Representatives’ cafeterias, is promoting Meatless Mondays as part of its global menu selection. Farm Bureau and other Animal Welfare Coalition members sent a letter to the House Administration Committee requesting the company cease political activity based on misinformation about animal agriculture in the congressional food service areas. Meatless Monday is a campaign started through the Center for a Livable Future at John Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health and is funded, in large part, by long-time animal rights activists promoting false claims about agriculture. (AFBF 6/11/13)
Expanded TPP could be big deal for agriculture—
New trade negotiations with one of the world’s biggest economies could lead to good things for U.S. agriculture and the nation’s overall economy. “Japan’s entry into the negotiations next month is huge because now you’ve got a big economic player in the region as part of the discussions,” said Dave Salmonsen, American Farm Bureau Federation trade specialist, in a Newsline audio report (which can be found at (www. fb.org/index.php?action=newsroom. newsline). Japan is the second-biggest economy in Asia and one of the United States’ biggest trading partners. Almost 50 percent of U.S. ag exports are going to the Asia-Pacific region and there’s room for growth if the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are successful. (AFBF 6/4/13)
‘HIT’ repeal bill garners majority support in House —A House bill that would repeal
the $100 billion Health Insurance Tax that will end up being paid by small employers who provide coverage for employees recently garnered its 218th co-sponsor. Attaining the 218th co-sponsor is important because it means there is majority support in the House (one more than half of the 435 members) for repeal of the law. “We’re pleased with the bipartisan support in the House to eliminate the HIT, which will affect small business employees – such as farmers and ranchers – the hardest,” noted Pat Wolff, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s tax specialist.
Legal Affairs Team
Public Relations Team
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 Law Clerk.........................................Aly Blume Law Clerk........................................Laura Buck
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 Intern.......................................... Hannah Klare
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) Allie Rieth (4)
District Directors Larry Jernas (1) Kerry Goshert (2) Kevin Underwood (3) Steve Maple (4) Dave Wyeth (5)
June 24, 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 State Government Relations............ Katrina Hall Political Education Specialist.......Pete Hanebutt Administrative Assistant ............ Wanda Hunter Advisor...............................................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 Intern........................................Samantha Lowe
To find the full news release from AFBF, visit the organization’s website, www.fb.org, and then click on “Newroom” followed by “News Releases.” (AFBF 6/17/13)
Upgrade to U.S. BSE risk status announced—The World
Organization for Animal Health has upgraded the United States’ risk classification for bovine spongiform encephalopathy to negligible risk. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a USDA statement that he was pleased with the decision, calling it “a significant achievement that has been many years in the making for the United States, American beef producers and businesses, and federal and state partners who work together to maintain a system of interlocking safeguards against BSE that protect our public and animal health.” Vilsack said that the negligible risk classification provides a strong foundation for increased exports of U.S.origin beef and beef products. He also noted that USDA will continue to press U.S. trading partners to base decisions on science, consistent with international standards. Last year, exports of U.S.-origin beef and beef products totaled $5.5 billion. (USDA 5/30/13)
Obama administration will not re-propose farm labor rules—Sen. Jerry Moran
(R-Kan.) questioned Acting Department of Labor Secretary Seth Harris on June 6 on the future of the farm labor rules that were withdrawn in April 2012. The withdrawal was spurred by an outpouring of concern by farmers and ranchers. When asked by Moran if the proposed regulation would be reintroduced, Harris responded, “We have no plans to re-propose it and we won’t be re-proposing it during the rest of the Obama administration.” DOL’s previously proposed rules would ban children from performing common farm tasks and suggested nixing farm safety and certification programs such as Extension, 4-H and FFA, claiming the programs were too locally driven and lacked federal direction. You can watch Sen. Moran question Harris via YouTube, www.youtube.com/watch?v=S04hjzIZpRU&fe ature=youtu.be .
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: email@example.com 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.
Drought recovery For orchards, last year’s freeze caused more damage than the drought —Story & photos By Hannah Klare Public Relations Intern After last summer’s weather conditions, this season of fruit production is more in line with long-term climatic averages, according to representatives of two orchards in northern Indiana. The cool spring has caused the strawberry harvest to continue farther into June and delayed the apple bloom 30 days later than last year, the two growers said. Grounded on a rich history of almost 120 years of experience and the accumulative goal of producing high-quality fruit, there are actually two different orchards operating under the name “Doud.” David Doud’s Countyline Orchard, owned and operated by David Doud, is located in Wabash County, while Doud Orchards, owned and operated by Kelly and Becky Shanley, is located in Miami County on SR 19. The 2012 drought brought production and yields down for the majority of farmers in Indiana. However, this was very secondary for the fruit producers, who were instead affected much more by the frost that hit much of the state on April 12 and 13, 2012. Extensive irrigation on those freezing nights helped save the strawberry crop last summer, but Doud said he was not as fortunate when it came to his apple crop. “I have spent my life associated with an orchard, and there have been many years that a crop was greatly reduced by a freeze. This was my first experience with a 100 percent loss from a freeze,” said Doud. Because of this, “The drought had not much of an impact on this farm because there was no crop.” It was also the first time in Doud’s life that he was able to take a vacation in October and have a life that wasn’t run by a harvest. However, he did have to spend a lot of time irrigating to maintain the young trees on the orchard grounds. Many of the trees were able to withstand the conditions due to the fact that he operates a semi-dwarf orchard which has moderate-sized fruit trees. “From my standpoint my orchard didn’t have the stress of a crop when it got dry. They have assimilated carbohydrates and the trees are rested and ready to go,” he said. After a year of no fruit and the fear of an over crop that can diminish the product quality from his 20 acres of trees, Doud said he is pleased with the progress of his orchard so far. The trees have shed excess fruit and he has done what he can to help with growth regulators. Reflecting back and focusing on the freeze and drought recovery, Doud recalled that last year was a trying year from the money standpoint, but, “From the horticulture standpoint, as far as maintaining a mature orchard, that was the easiest year I had ever had.” However,
David and Valerie Doud, owners and operators of David Doud’s Countyline Orchard in Wabash, Ind., stand in front of one of the oldest apples trees on their property.
Doud said he would never wish to have two of last summer’s weather conditions in a row. Kelly and Becky Shanley bought Doud Orchards in Miami County from Steve Doud, the former owner and brother of David. The Shanleys continue the Douds’ “Delicious traditions since 1894” through agritourism and the fruit they produce. Every year they conduct school tours of the facility and orchard, a corn maze, pumpkin patch, bands on select weekends and a free petting zoo. Items such as honey, peaches, pears, cider, rhubarb, asparagus and over 150 varieties of apples are also sold. “We have the big fall festival, and we’re working on getting a winery and hard cider going,” Kelly said. “We also have two trees that are descendants of what Johnny Appleseed planted. We integrate those into our school tours to give people a little history behind Johnny Chapman.” Unfortunately, the Shanleys weren’t spared by last summer’s freeze and drought. With apples being a large part of the farm’s income
and business, “We were all in the same boat at the same time,” Becky remembered. In order to operate, the Shanleys had to buy apples from about 11 states. They also were forced to inventively water the pumpkin crop so it would germinate for the fall activities. On the positive side, Kelly said he is “thankful it [the freeze] happened when it did because you have a lot less inputs, emotional and financial.” Like David Doud’s Countyline Orchard, the Shanleys weren’t extremely affected by the drought “except for the fact if you’re trying to make your living on fruit and there isn’t any, it’s hard,” said Becky. “But for the plants, it was probably the best it could have been with all the little factors now balanced together.” On the road to recovery, the Shanleys are pleased that they have had an almost perfect season so far this year. Because of the freeze, their plants aren’t stressed from having to produce a fruit in mid-drought last year. Instead of looking for apples from other orchards as they did last year, they are looking for harvesters
to pick the crop in about five weeks. “I’m happy to look out there and see little green apples and fuzzy peaches,” Becky said. “It makes my heart sing. The abundance of the Midwest is absolutely back.”
A plump and luscious strawberry from David Doud’s Countyline Orchard in Wabash, Ind. Kelly and Becky Shanley, the owners and operators of Doud Orchards, pose in front of the orchard sign that sits right off SR 19 in Miami County inviting in all travelers. They are hoping to begin harvesting their 2013 apple crop in approximately five weeks. Photo courtesy of Kelly and Becky Shanley
Farm Bureau kicks off 2013 photo contest —From the AFBF Communications Team The American Farm Bureau Federation, in conjunction with the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, has announced the 2013 Farm Bureau photo contest. The contest is open to all state and county Farm Bureau members and staff above 18 years of age at the time of entry, including professional photographers. Photo submissions will be used to accurately portray today’s agriculture and safe practices of farmers and ranchers, and also for future publications and promotions by AFBF and related companies. Photo submissions must exemplify safe practices on the farm or ranch. The contest will run May 20
through Oct. 15, and photos may be entered in three categories: Sharing the Story; Working on the Farm or Ranch; and My Scenic Farm or Ranch. Monetary prizes will be awarded to the top three placing photos from each category. First place winners will be awarded $100, second place $75 and third place $50. New to the contest this year, special $200 awards may be given to photographers showcasing animal care, safety or the Farm Bureau Proud initiative in their contest submissions. Judges also will select a “Best in Show” winner for the most dynamic photo entered as well as two-runners up. The Best in Show winner will receive $400, with first runner-up and second runner-up receiving $300 and $250, respectively. “Today’s family farmers and ranch-
ers work hard to provide a variety of food choices that meet consumer demand. They’re also growing more food using fewer resources than ever before,” said AFBF President Stallman. “We look forward to seeing a rich tapestry of submissions from photographers around the country,” he added. Contest winners will be announced Nov. 15 on Farm Bureau’s social media platforms and website, and celebrated at the AFBF Annual Convention in January 2014 in San Antonio. For more information on how to register and to view the contest rules and regulations visit the 2013 Farm Bureau Photo Contest webpage. Questions about the contest may be sent via email to photocontest@ fb.org.
June 24, 2013
IFB Almanac: What’s coming up Purdue Farm Management Tour June 26-28 Clinton County Five farms in Clinton County will be featured on this year’s tour. The deadline to register for lunches has passed, but no reservations are required for the tour, which is free. For more information: www.agecon.purdue.edu/commercialag/progevents/tour. html or call 765-494-4310.
National Holstein Convention July 7-11 Marriott Indianapolis Downtown Theme: “Race to Indy” www.indianaholstein.com/
IFB Mineral Rights Seminar July 29 Vanderburgh County Fairgrounds
July 30 Indiana Farm Bureau home office, Indianapolis The seminars offer landowners a look at regulations, land-leasing tips, and how to protect property rights, among other topics. Oil, gas and coal permits; mineral lapse; surface rights and environmental considerations will be covered. To register, visit www.infarmbureau.org and look under the “Events” menu. The seminar cost is $20. For more information, contact Maria Spellman, 317-6927840, firstname.lastname@example.org.
IFB Resolutions Committee Meeting Aug. 1 and 2 Indiana Farm Bureau home office, Indianapolis
June 24, 2013
IFB summer membership blitz June 28-July 26 The focus of the four-week summer blitz is a statewide recruitment campaign. Each county is asked use volunteers to sign six new members per county. The goal of the blitz is to successfully organize and implement a new member recruitment activity. Members who help their counties reach this goal are eligible to win a specially designed polo shirt, and counties who reach the goal are also eligible for a prize and will be honored at the 2013 state convention.
Keith Ledbetter, health fitness specialist at Indiana Farm Bureau’s fitness center, poses in one of the specially designed shirts that volunteers can win by recruiting new members. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
Indiana State Fair Aug. 2-18 Indianapolis IFB’s state fair activities: Taste from Indiana Farms, Aug. 13-15, Farm Bureau Building Old Fashioned Pancake Breakfast, Aug. 14, Main Street Also planned for the Farm Bureau Building throughout the fair are story times for school-age children (which will include book giveaways), games, new movies for the Grain Bin Theatre, and an improved kids’ area with much more interaction, and Farm Bureau’s famous free popcorn. The Farm Bureau Building will also host, as it has in the past, the Wonder Trail and recipes for the Indiana’s Family of Farmer’s Recipe Trail. New this year are self-guided tours of the livestock barns. Fairgoers who have a phone with scanning capabilities can access an app though a QR code (available on this page, at the fairgrounds and possibly elsewhere), or they can get the information from a new barn tour website, www.infarmbureau.org/followmebarntours/default.aspx.
Some of the members of the 2012 resolutions committee discuss a point of policy. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
IFB Drainage School Aug. 28
IFB trip to the USDA’s August crop report lockup Aug. 11 and 12
Indiana Farm Bureau home office, Indianapolis Open to farmers, public officials, agency personnel, attorneys and members of the public, the purpose of the seminar is to promote an understanding of the laws and regulations that control drainage laws and dispute resolutions. Cost is $50. Register online at www.infarmbureau. org under the “Events” menu. The seminar is $50. Contact Maria Spellman, 317-692-7840 or email@example.com.
IFB Summer Delegate Session Aug. 24 Indianapolis
Cory Harris, who represented the Purdue Collegiate Farm Bureau on the 2012 resolutions committee, answers a question from a delegate at the 2012 delegate session. Photo by Mindy Reef
Natural Resources Enterprises Program Workshop Sept. 4 Bob and Ellen Mulford property, Ripley County
Ag in the Classroom update Sept. 4
Sept. 5 Rick & Debbie Schavietello property, Montgomery County
More information will soon be available in The Hoosier Farmer and on IFB’s website, www.infarmbureau.org.
IFB Young Farmer trip to the USDA’s September crop report lockup Sept. 11 and 12 Washington, D.C.
Indiana Rural Summit Oct. 3 and 4 Indianapolis
National FFA Convention Oct. 30-Nov.1 Louisville
Indiana Cooperative Summit Nov. 1 Indiana Farm Bureau home office, Indianapolis
IFB State Convention Dec. 13 and 14 Fort Wayne www.thehoosierfarmer.com
IFB Campaign Management School Nov. 7 and 8 Indiana Farm Bureau home office, Indianapolis
AFBF 2014 Annual Meeting Jan. 12-15
Julie Thelen of Clinton County competes in the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion meet. Thelen qualified for the Sweet 16 round of the meet. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
San Antonio, Texas
IFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference Jan. 24-26 Indianapolis Marriott East June 24, 2013
Indiana Farm Bureau announces changes to lobbying team —By Andy Dietrick Public Relations Team
From left: Aly Blume, law clerk; Laura Buck, law clerk; Samantha Lowe, organizational development team intern; and Hannah Klare, public relations intern. Photo by Mindy Reef
Interns join IFB staff for summer —By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team The IFB staff usually gets a little bigger during the summer time, and this year is no exception. Two law clerks have joined the IFB legal affairs team while the organizational development and public relations teams each have a new face. Laura Buck is one of the legal team’s law clerks. A native of Kokomo, Ind., she completed a law degree at Indiana University Maurer School of Law last December. She holds an undergraduate degree from Purdue University. This summer, she will work on annexation, unincorporated coalitions and other legal issues for Farm Bureau. Aly Blume is the other law clerk. Blume is a thirdyear law student at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law with a concentration in environmental and natural resource law. She holds an undergraduate degree from Butler University. A native of Kokomo, Ind., she’ll research
issues relating to water rights and drainage for the legal team. Samantha Lowe of Fishers, Ind., is the organizational development team intern. While not from a farm background, she started at Purdue with “no idea of my future plans, or career goals,” and ended up in the Purdue College of Agriculture. She is an animal agribusiness major and plans to graduate in December 2014. Lowe’s projects this summer include displays for the Indiana FFA Convention, ag careers educational profile, Savor the Flavor and other events at the Indiana State Fair. Hannah Klare is the public relations team intern. Klare, a Wabash, Ind., native, is a rising senior at the University of Indianapolis, where she studies communication with an emphasis in public relations. This summer she’ll write for The Hoosier Farmer; interview farmers across the state for profile pieces; work with and create tools for county PR coordinators; and update IFB social media.
Indiana Farm Bureau has announced that Bob Kraft, director of state government relations, is planning to retire at the end of September. Katrina Hall, IFB’s lead lobbyist on tax, education and fiscal policy, has been promoted to the role of director and will lead the organization’s state policy efforts. She began her new duties June 10. Kraft began his career with Indiana Farm Bureau in 1990 and has been instrumental in many of the organization’s legislative successes over the years. In addition to his decades as the legislative face of Farm Bureau, Kraft
has made significant contributions to the execution of member-driven policy and worked tirelessly for the benefit of Indiana farmers. “Even though he’s known as one of the best in the hallways and is well-respected by our legislators, Bob Kraft has been much more than just a lobbyist for us,” said Farm Bureau President Don Villwock. “He has provided significant service to Farm Bureau, our member-farmers and rural communities across Indiana through his policy leadership, lobbying efforts and relationship building at the Statehouse.” Hall, who has been with IFB for 13 years, brings a significant background in state
and local government to her new position, as well as a strong understanding of how policy impacts IFB members. She is a well-recognized authority on Indiana’s state budget and tax structure and has worked in government finance her entire professional career. “I’m very proud of the work Bob has done and I’m confident Katrina will pick up right where he left off,” said IFB public policy director Megan Ritter. “There’s still a lot of legislative and policy work to do through the summer, and I look forward to working with Bob and Katrina as we tie up the loose ends from this last session of the General Assembly.”
Who’s who at Indiana Farm Bureau
Newest regional manager is settling in —By Andy Dietrick Public Relations Team Allie Rieth is Indiana Farm Bureau’s newest regional manager, and she will be working with Farm Bureaus in Grant, Howard, Huntington, Miami, Tipton and Wabash counties. She graduated from Purdue University in December 2012 with a degree in animal sciences. Originally from Zionsville, Ind., Rieth enjoys singing, dancing, riding horses, watching football and doing just about anything related to her beloved Boilermakers. Rieth comes to IFB from the Washington, D.C.-based Animal Agriculture Alli-
ance where she worked with social media strategies, membership services and education and outreach. She says she is looking forward to getting to know people and becoming part of the IFB family. “I want to provide opportunities for members to be as successful as possible,” said Reith. “To help them make a difference in their communities through public policy and to be a positive voice for agriculture to educate the public.” Rieth began her IFB duties on May 20, and has since kept busy visiting with county leadership, IFB staff, members and potential members; encouraging development of
county Women and Young Farmer programs and political action committees; and facilitating meetings with local and state elected officials. “I measure my success by the successes of others,” Rieth says. “So please don’t hesitate to let me know how I can help you.”
Summer membership blitz runs June 28-July 26 —By Hannah Klare Public Relations Intern The third and final 2013 Indiana Farm Bureau membership “blitz” begins June 28 and concludes July 26. This is the last opportunity to campaign for new membership, promote membership and reach county goals, said Kim Vail, director of Indiana Farm Bureau’s organizational development team. “Summer is the prime growing season for our crops, so let’s make it the prime growing season for our membership,” Vail said. September 30 marks the end of the 2013 membership year, leaving only four
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months left for volunteers to earn credit for recruiting new members. This year’s four-week summer blitz continues the statewide recruitment membership campaign, which has a goal per county of six new members recruited by volunteers. The hope is that counties will successfully organize and implement new member recruitment activity, ultimately inviting and acquiring new members to join county Farm Bureaus. “Plan creative membership promotion opportunities and utilize the abundance of park baseball games, county fairs, an-
nual meetings, community festivals and picnics during the summer months when implementing,” Vail said. County fairs are a prime location to make use of during this blitz. Many community members will congregate for the duration of the fair week to eat the food, observe the livestock and visit company booths. These setups create countless openings to interact with and engage Indiana citizens in the agricultural and community goals Farm Bureau has for its members while promoting membership. Volunteer membership workers who recruit one
new primary member or two new select or student members will each receive a specially designed polo shirt, identifying them as part of the IFB “membership team” in their county. (For a photo of this shirt, see page 5.) Those who meet the new-member goal during the membership year (Oct. 1, 2012, through Sept. 30, 2013) will be designated membership champions. Membership champions will earn a $100 check and recognition at the 2013 Indiana Farm Bureau state convention in December. The membership champion who recruits the most new 2013 primary voting members will
also receive special recognition during the state convention and will be awarded a check in the amount of $25 multiplied by the number of new members recruited. The recommended date for completion of membership of all paid members is July 1. To retain prior and current year unpaid members, activities such as calling nights, direct mail and farm visits are encouraged. Eligible for up to $150 matching funds, membership appreciation events are a great way to show gratitude towards current members during the blitz. Vail added.
Rules & Regulations
AFBF urges Congress to keep current tax tools —By the AFBF Communications Team
Farmers and ranchers need a tax code to manage the risks associated with agriculture while complying with tax liabilities, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. In a statement filed May 15 with the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee for a hearing on small business taxation, AFBF urged congressional members to maintain cash accounting tools and higher small business expensing limits in any tax code rewrite. Cash accounting tools, like the deferral of commodity and product receipts and prepaying the cost of livestock feed, fertilizer and other farm supplies, are important to farmers. Proposed changes to cash accounting rules, which would require some farmers to change to
accrual accounting, would be time-consuming and costly to farms and ranches. “Farmers and ranchers will either have to take time away from running their businesses or pay for help to comply,” said AFBF. “Both are harmful in an industry with tight profit margins, unpredictable income streams and an inability to pass on added expenses to customers.” Farm Bureau said it supports the continuation of unrestricted cash accounting currently available to most farmers and ranchers and cautioned against reducing the number of partnership types eligible to use the tool. Further, because farming and ranching requires large investments in machinery, equipment and other depreciable capital, Farm Bureau said it supports maintaining the $500,000, Section 179 small business expensing
limitation and not reducing the $2 million acquisition limit, both of which are scheduled to drop next year respectively to a $25,000 limitation with a $200,000 threshold. Section 179 provides accelerated expensing and depreciation, allowing farmers to better manage cash flow, minimize tax liabilities and reduce borrowing. “Whether caused by unpredictable weather that affects crop yields or uncontrollable markets that set the price of goods sold, it is not uncommon for farmers and ranchers to have a year of high income followed by several lean years,” said AFBF. “If the Section 179 small business exemption and threshold are allowed to drop at the end of the year, farmers and ranchers will lose some of the accounting flexibility they need to manage their businesses.”
Senate approves bill that will help local businesses compete with online retailers —By Hannah Klare Public Relations Intern
The Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 743), which promotes fair competition between local retailers and Internet-only sellers, was approved by the U.S. Senate on May 6 by a 69-27 vote. The legislation would permit states to enforce their existing tax rate per sale on remote retailers. The bill provides that sales taxes be uniformly applied between local and Main Street retailers and internet-only sellers, but it does not create new taxes or increase current sales tax. Indiana Farm Bureau, through its policy develop-
ment process, was the first state Farm Bureau to bring this issue up before the American Farm Bureau Federation. For quite some time, Indiana farmers had noticed that the common practice of online-only retailers not charging internet sales tax put local businesses and governments at a disadvantage. Through grassroots efforts, IFB members shaped the American Farm Bureau’s position on this issue. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the bill provides a small seller exception so that remote sellers with less than $1 million in annual sales do not have to collect sales taxes and
A bill approved by the U.S. Senate might make Main Street businesses more competitive with online retailers. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
requires that businesses be provided software for collecting the tax to ease the administrative burden. Currently, online-only retailers collect sales taxes voluntarily, skewing rural equity of purchasing online. Without sales tax compliance, online-only products appear as the more affordable option and can create loss for businesses and governments that reside in small and rural communities. Farm Bureau supported the bill as it promotes fair competition between business entities and communities. In a letter to senators urging them to vote for the bill, AFBF President Bob Stallman stated, “Since local governments and schools rely heavily on property taxes for funding, when sales tax revenues decline they often turn to property taxes to make up the difference. For land-based businesses like farming and ranching, this is particularly onerous”. To avoid heavier property taxes but ensure equality between retailers when selling online, it is extremely important that all commerce comply with current sales tax, AFBF said. The House Judiciary Committee has yet to act on the bill.
Legislative council selects topics for summer study committees —By Bob Kraft Public Policy Team The Legislative Council, the group of leaders from each of the four legislative caucuses charged with managing the agenda and business of the General Assembly, has identified the subjects that will be addressed by summer study committees this year. This year there was an unusually large number of suggestions for summer studies. The recommendations for study committees often serve as the basis for legislation introduced in the General Assembly’s next session. The Farm Bureau lobbying staff will be following the progress of all these studies, but will be particularly interested in the following: • Commission on state tax and financing policy which will consider, among a number of things, the recommendations of the Department of Local Government Finance to permanently address the soil productivity factors, providing more flexibility in political subdivision’s budgets, public library budget procedures, and the establishment and funding of an Indiana Motorsports Commission and improvement program. • Interim committee on economic development will consider several items of interest to Farm Bureau. • Economic development in rural areas. • Several issues dealing with farm wineries.
• Trespassing for the purpose of harming a business, and making video images of a business with the intent to falsely portray the operations of a business. • Interim study committee on common core education standards which compare Indiana’s existing education standards with the common core standards and those of other states. • Joint study committee on transportation and infrastructure assessment and solutions which will look at impact fees for hybrid and plug-in vehicles. • Commission on improving the status of children in Indiana which will address as part of its assignment a number of issues dealing with the administration of SNAP benefits in Indiana (SNAP is the USDA’s Sustainable Nutrition Assistance Program that is commonly called “food stamps.”) • Not included in the resolution adopted by the Legislative Council was the Environmental Quality Service Council. The EQSC is expected is to consider several waterrelated issues that are important to Farm Bureau and our members. The chairs and members of these and the other study committees have not yet been appointed. You can find a copy of the Legislative Council’s Resolution identifying study topics at www. in.gov/legislative/pdf/LCR1301_study_committee_topic_ assignments.pdf.
LEGAL FAQ This should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only. You are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.
Intellectual property update The Supreme Court recently reaffirmed the prohibition against saving patent-protected seed for repeated planting in Bowman v. Monsanto. Vernon Bowman, an Indiana soybean farmer, based his case on “patent exhaustion.” Exhaustion is a rule of patent law that prevents a patent holder (Monsanto in this case) from controlling what a purchaser (Bowman) does with the patented product after the point of sale. There is an exception, though: Purchasers cannot make copies of the patented item. By saving Monsanto’s seed and replanting it, the court determined Bowman unlawfully made copies of the patented soybeans.
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IFB Drainage School returns —By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team Indiana Farm Bureau’s annual Drainage School, a seminar focusing on Indiana drainage issues, will take place on Aug. 28 at IFB’s home office in downtown Indianapolis. The seminar’s purpose is to promote an understanding of the laws and regulations that control drainage laws and dispute resolutions. It is open to farmers, public officials, agency personnel, attorneys and members of the public. Continuing education credits are being sought for attorneys and surveyors. This year’s seminar features federal and local regulatory issues, duties of drainage boards and surveyors and surface water dispute mediation. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.; the program runs from 9 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. Lunch is provided. Sign-up runs until Aug. 9 or until the program fills, whichever comes sooner. Those interested are encouraged to register early due to limited space. Registration is not
—By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team
Ed Yanos of Henry County listens to one of the speakers at the 2012 Drainage School. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
complete without payment, and there will be no refunds after Aug. 9. Register online at www. infarmbureau.org under the events menu. The seminar is $50. Contact Maria Spellman, 317-692-7840 or mspellman@infarmbureau. org, with questions.
The event is sponsored by IFB, Association of Indiana Counties, Indiana Association of County Commissioners, County Surveyors Association of Indiana, Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program.
Purdue agricultural centers to host August field days —From the Purdue Ag Communications Service Purdue Agricultural Centers throughout Indiana will host field days in August to provide commodity producers, crop advisers and community members more information on farm management topics. Five field days are scheduled to give participants an inside look at Purdue Agriculture and Extension research projects and to provide more information about topics such as weed, insect and disease management. Attendance is free. The field days also offer opportunities for commodity producers, crop advisers and commercial and private pesticide applicators to earn continuing education hours
Mineral rights seminars scheduled
required for their certifications. Among the field day speakers are Purdue Extension specialists. The events give participants the chance to visit with Purdue faculty and staff to learn more about university research and ways to apply the information on their own farms. Dates for the 2013 field days: Aug. 15 — Northeast PAC, Columbia City. Contact: Ed Farris, Purdue Extension educator in Huntington County, 260-358-4826. Aug. 21 — Southern Indiana PAC, Dubois. This field day will have a special focus on beef cattle. Contact: Mark Hilton, Purdue University large-animal veterinarian, 765-494-8559; or the Dubois County office of Purdue Extension, at 812-
482-1782. Aug. 21 — Pinney PAC, Wanatah. Contact: Lyndsay Ploehn, Purdue Extension associate in Porter County, 219-465-3555, or Gene Matzat, Purdue Extension educator in LaPorte County, 219-324-9407. Aug. 22 — Southeast PAC, Butlerville. Contact: Don Biehle, superintendent, 812-458-6977. Aug. 27 — Davis PAC, Farmland. Contact: Jeff Boyer, superintendent, 765468-8125. Local Purdue Extension county offices will have more detailed information about field days and topics about a month before each event. Visit https:// ag.purdue.edu/arp/pac to learn more about the Purdue Agricultural Centers.
Landowners wondering about their rights when it comes to mineral extraction have two seminars, one in Vanderburgh County and one in Indianapolis, to learn more. “Mineral Rights: Knowing Your Rights Underground” will introduce the laws and regulations affecting mineral extraction from a landowner’s perspective. “With new technologies, oil and gas formations that were inaccessible can be reached,” said Mark Thornburg, director of IFB’s legal affairs team. “Landowners and farmers need to prepare to address their concerns as specifically as possible in any documents they sign.” The seminars offer landowners a look at regulations, land-leasing tips, and how to protect property rights, among other topics. Oil, gas and coal permits; mineral lapse; surface rights and environmental considerations will be covered. “Older form leases are not likely to address some of these new complexities in
mineral extraction, so farmers should consult attorneys with mineral extraction knowledge,” Thornburg said. The agenda for both events is the same. Vanderburgh County’s takes place on July 29 at the Vanderburgh County Fairgrounds 4-H Center Banquet Hall in Evansville. The Indianapolis seminar takes place at the Indiana Farm Bureau home office assembly halls on July 30. The program focuses on the interest of landowners; however, attorneys who represent landowners may find the information beneficial. Continuing legal education credits are being sought. The Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation, Indiana Farm Bureau and CountryMark Cooperative sponsor both seminars; Posey County Farm Bureau is an additional sponsor for the Vanderburgh County location. Visit www.infarmbureau. org and look under the “Events” menu to register. The seminar cost is $20. For more information, contact Maria Spellman at 317-6927840.
MEMBER BENEFIT Theme Parks & Attractions
Members save at Kings Island, Cedar Point, Newport Aquarium, Holiday World, Great Wolf Lodge and more.
Calendar of Events June 28-July 26 30
Summer membership blitz. District 2 ice cream social.
July 1 1-4 24, 25 26-28 29 30
District 3 “Summer Fun” event. District 4 trip. IFB board of directors meeting. District 1 and 3 Young Farmer trip. Mineral rights seminar, Vanderburgh County Fairgrounds. Mineral rights seminar, IFB home office.
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Call 1-800-777-8252 or visit
www.itpaystobeamember.org for current discount information.