Page 1

State Convention Round-Up Pages 4, 5

Young Farmer Conference Offers New Sessions Page 7

INSIDE: News & Briefs.................... 3 County Recognition...........6 Around IBF........................7 Around Indiana.................8

The Hoosier Farmer


A Publication for Voting Members of Indiana Farm Bureau

DECEMBER 30, 2013 Issue No. 47

‘It’s All About Oscar’s Future’ —By Don Villwock IFB President Editor’s note: This article is a lightly edited and slightly condensed version of IFB President Don Villwock’s annual address, delivered Dec. 13 during the state convention. ___________

Photos by Kathleen M. Dutro

While this convention offers a chance to see old friends and to learn new things, it is also a chance to celebrate and honor all of the many achievements our counties have accomplished in 2013. Your record number of contacts and visits with legislators in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., are truly appreciated. In addition, your efforts to communicate with local elected and appointed officials have become an even more critical part of our political outreach to educate and inform. Every year I take a moment for the special privilege of thanking my family. This year I am thrilled to announce the

IFB Vice President Randy Kron thanks delegates for reelecting him for another term as vice president. Kron was reelected by acclamation on Dec. 14. Indiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206

arrival of a new member of our family: Joyce and my first grandchild, Oscar Knox Bowman. Little Oscar came into this world on October 17 and won our hearts over instantly. Baby Oscar has already changed our lives immensely. I found out that when I post some long-thought-out farm policy message on my Facebook page, I may only get a handful of comments or likes. But I found out that if I post a picture of Oscar on my Facebook page, I get dozens of responses. That’s why this speech is titled “It’s All About Oscar’s Future.” We don’t know yet if Oscar wants to be involved in agriculture, but he already has been on a combine at two weeks old, his pacifier has a Shorthorn cow attached to it and he has numerous Purdue outfits in his wardrobe. My job is to make sure that if he wants a career in ag, there are many bright opportunities out there for him. As you know, we have had record farm incomes these past five years since 2008. A large number of students are returning to the farm or going to work for agribusinesses. My city friends ask why agriculture is doing so well when the rest of the economy is struggling. Most believe this has been a demand-driven price increase for the grains that we sell. I believe that increased demand has been led by the Renewable Fuels Standard. The RFS mandate ignited the demand for ethanol and hence the demand for corn. Prior to the RFS, corn demand was mainly composed of feed demand, exports and some domestic uses. Since 2008, corn usage and prices have skyrocketed due to the building Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage


Berne, IN Permit NO. 43

of ethanol plants all across the Midwest. Today ethanol and its byproduct, dried distillers grains make up close to 40 percent of the total demand for corn stocks. Ethanol is now in almost every gallon of gasoline sold in the country at the 10 percent level. I’m extremely proud to announce the U.S. has greatly reduced its dependence on imported oil thanks to ethanol. Our environment is cleaner, consumers pay 80 cents less for every gallon of gasoline and rural America has added jobs and experienced a rebirth of economic activity. According to American Farm Bureau, since the Renewable Fuels Standard was put in place in 2007, agriculture exports have increased 57 percent, total livestock output has increased by 31 percent and total crop output has increased by 44 percent. Other grains have benefitted and have followed the price of corn upward, and farmers are now making their money from the marketplace rather than relying on government checks in our mailboxes. However, all of this recent economic success is now in jeopardy. Just a few weeks ago,

IFB President Don Villwock delivering his annual address at the state convention.

the EPA proposed lowering the number of gallons of ethanol and biodiesel that “Big Oil” must blend into our nations’ fuel supply. The EPA administra-

tor, Gina McCarthy, was invited to visit with Indiana by our senator, Joe Donnelly. At that listening session, I stood up and Continued on page 2

Grassroots involvement crucial to IFB’s efforts at the Statehouse The Indiana General Assembly officially begins its 2014 session on Jan. 7 – just a few days after this issue of The Hoosier Farmer comes out – and IFB’s public policy team has identified some ways in which members can assist in the organization’s Statehouse lobbying efforts: • Legislative kick-off lunch, Jan. 7. Space is strictly limited for this event, but participation from all counties is important, so if you are interested in attending, contact your county president. • Statehouse visits. The public policy team says these need to occur between Jan. 13 and Feb. 20. The best days to visit are Mondays-Thursdays, except for Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 20) and the legislature’s mid-session break (Feb. 6). Talk to your county president or state policy action chairman if you want to be part of your county’s lobbying team. Members are also encouraged to visit with their state legislators when they are back home in their districts.



told her “The EPA has just shot the golden goose of American agriculture.” I said almost every rule EPA proposes costs farmers and ranchers money. Just the mandate to produce Tier 4 diesel engines in our tractors adds $30,000 or more to the cost of each new tractor. But with this proposed rule, I told her, you are reducing our income and thus the ability to comply with your regulatory mandates. Since 2008, farmers have upgraded machinery, have adopted new precision technology that reduces the amount of fertilizer and pesticides we use, and have greatly improved our water and air quality in rural America. But with declining incomes, farmers’ ability to stay in compliance with EPA and USDA rules is greatly reduced. But we do have a chance to stop this proposed reduction. But it will take all of us. I need every one of you to send a letter, to send postcard or an e-mail to the EPA. You can find out more by visiting IFB’s site, It doesn’t need to be elaborate. Just writing a simple note of what increased corn and bean prices have meant to you, your family, your business and your community is critically important. If you have a flexfuel vehicle and have trouble finding E-85 because “Big Oil” refuses to allow gas stations to install new pumps or sell E-85, please tell EPA your story. I feel, as do many others, that this proposed reduction by the EPA could mean more to our future incomes than having a new farm bill. Since the news of the proposed rule was leaked on October 10 in the press, corn prices have dropped more than 5 percent. This one event could be the tipping point to send corn prices once again below the cost of production. I can tell you, Oscar’s future is not very bright with prices at those levels. Please, let’s all of us unite. Send EPA a strong message to rescind this proposal. With the reduction in renewable fuels, livestock production will become even more important as a demand factor for our 14 billion bushel corn crop. While grain prices are

decreasing and livestock profits could be increasing, state and federal rules and regulations are growing in number. Outside groups who do not understand the strict environmental rules under which livestock farmers raise their livestock are still trying to eliminate or shut down our ability to take care of our animals. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is active in Indiana and they claim to protect animals. But in reality, this vegan-leaning organization’s No. 1 goal is to eliminate livestock production. It spends less than 1 percent of its income on grants to help local pet shelters. Other extreme Hoosier environmental groups are using false and misleading livestock stories to scare the public and increase their fundraising efforts. We must continue to tell our environmental success stories, and we must base them on the truth, on science and on the fact that farmers have long known that if we take good care of our animals, they will take care of us. As grain profits move toward break-even, livestock will be a key option for Oscar and his friends in the years ahead if they want to return home to the farm. We must engage in the debate and tell our stories if we are to have a livestock future in Indiana. One of Farm Bureau’s legislative priorities this year is to expand and redefine the definition of trespass laws. It doesn’t matter if you are a grain farmer, livestock producer or a specialty-crop grower, we have all noticed an increase in trespassers on our property in recent years. Our grain fields often have pickup truck tracks going across them or into them. We all spend extra time hiding machinery that is left in a field overnight, trying to avoid theft or vandalism. Hunters often cross pastures trying to take a short cut to our woods to put up a tree stand to hunt deer without permission. Our urban (and sometimes rural) neighbors treat our farms as if they were their own. Yet they would be livid if we drove our four-wheel-drive trucks across their yards or walked into their garage or their house unannounced. Factories

and businesses would go ballistic if an intruder came onto their property without permission. Why should agriculture be any different? One of the basic tenets of our constitution is based on strong private property rights. Farm Bureau feels we must improve the trespass statute to protect those rights and to insure Oscar and his friends can protect their property, their rights and their families. Many of you remember that last year we were celebrating the delay in the soil productivity factors that saved farm property owners $57 million dollars in taxes in one year alone. Unfortunately, after a year of study and a recent release of the data, we are still finding shifts and inequities in the formulas. While we truly appreciate the leadership and cooperation of

Administrative/Finance 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

Continued from page 1

District Directors Larry Jernas (1) Kerry Goshert (2) Kevin Underwood (3) Steve Maple (4) Dave Wyeth (5)

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

Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation Director..................... John Shoup

December 30, 2013

the lieutenant governor’s office, the hard work at Purdue and assistance from NRCS, we are still working extremely hard with the administration to find a solution to this problem and we may have it ready to go for this legislative session. If we do not succeed we may be asking for more time to study what needs to be done. Your Farm Bureau public policy team will keep you informed about what action we will want you to take in lobbying your legislator on the soil productivity index. I can tell you that during my recent visits with our lieutenant governor, Sue Ellspermann, she made it clear that she is equally concerned and looks forward to working with Farm Bureau to find a fair solution to the issues and the overall property tax formula. With her leadership and with the support of Governor Pence, I feel we can find a

more equitable solution. It seems like we have been talking about property taxes forever. Hopefully by the time Oscar buys his first farm, the property tax issue will finally be resolved. About every farm publication you read is writing about “Big Data.” This fall I met with representatives from Monsanto, Pioneer and Beck’s Hybrids on this issue. We had staff attend AFBF meetings in Kansas City and Chicago on this topic. So what is “Big Data” and what should a farmer know? I would classify it as the automatic collection of information by different machines, such as planters, sprayers, and combines, that is then transferred to a seed or machinery company, wirelessly over the Internet. For a fee, the data is transferred, it’s analyzed, it’s compiled and it’s compared with information gathered from other farmers and customers of the companies. There are a number of potential benefits from this sort of data sharing. It could be a great agronomic tool for farmers to compare hybrids across a wide range of soils, plant populations, herbicides and fertility levels, all across the Corn Belt. It will also allow a farmer to compare and benchmark his or her individual yields against everyone else in the data pool. I think that’s a tremendous tool. But we do have serious concerns, including who owns the data, who has access to the data, the security of the data, and what the data be used for other than agronomic comparisons. Farm Bureau believes farmers should own their data and have control of its use. We also believe that the data needs to be secured to prevent unauthorized use or access by others. Farm Bureau has concerns about the selling of the data to outside or affiliated firms. Unfortunately, many of the companies we visited with would often say: “We never thought of that.” I would hate for this data to accidentally be transferred to the EPA or USDA for potential compliance issues and fines. I would hate for harvest yields to be shared with large grain marketing firms,

who could afford to purchase it and use it to manipulate the Chicago Board of Trade. Many of these “Big Data” companies have sister companies that sell pesticides, crop insurance and other products. They could potentially reap billions in profits from having access to this data, while farmers actually pay them annually to participate in these programs. Farm Bureau believes we should address the concerns before these companies move past the prototype stage. The future uses of technology will be mind-blowing for many of us. They already are for me. But for Oscar’s generation it will be an everyday occurrence. I think we owe it to him to get the protocols right before we let this powerful genie out of the bottle. Finally, if Oscar is to have a bright future in agriculture, he will need a strong local, state and national Farm Bureau organization. Farm Bureau will protect agriculture, maximize his opportunities and improve the well-being of his family in rural Indiana. I wish his granddad’s crystal ball were a little less cloudy and I could clearly predict what his future will be. But, I can’t. No one can. But I do know that if he is to succeed he will need a loving family, a great education, and a passion and a strong work ethic, regardless of the vocation he chooses. Plus, he will need the strong support of friends and like-minded professionals. Being a member of Farm Bureau will be just as important to him as it was to his great grandparents, his grandparents and his parents. I cannot imagine a time when farmers banding together won’t make more of a difference than an individual acting alone. Unfortunately, his agricultural challenges will be great. It will take the collective minds and teamwork of many, to solve these challenges. What better organization than Farm Bureau to lead the way? Oscar, I love you and I will support you in whatever you choose to do in life. But in case you choose agriculture, I’m willing to put a down payment on your success. I’m buying your first membership in Indiana Farm Bureau.

Legal Affairs Team

Public Relations Team

Regional Managers

Director & General Counsel ...Mark Thornburg Associate Counsel for Corporate Compliance & Nonprofit Affairs ............Sara MacLaughlin 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) Allie Rieth (4)

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:

Public Policy Team Director........................................ Megan Ritter Policy Development & Industry Relations.........................Bob Cherry National Government Relations Policy Advisor................. Kyle Cline State Government Relations Policy Advisor & Counsel..........Amy Cornell Administrative Assistant .................... B.J. Fields State Government Relations Director...................................... Katrina Hall Administrative Assistant .............Wanda Hunter Senior Policy Advisor & Counsel..................................Justin Schneider Livestock Development Specialist... Greg Slipher Direct Retail Business Specialist........Bob White

‘Just writing a simple note of what increased corn and bean prices have meant to you, your family, your business and your community is critically important.’

Organizational Development Team Director............................................... Kim Vail Field Services Program Director.....Chris Fenner Young Farmer & Women’s Program Coordinator................ Meggie Foster Collegiate Farm Bureau Coordinator................................ Seth Harden Program Assistant.......................Kathryn Rogers Education Coordinator.................... Julie Taylor Member Services Coordinator...........Anna Todd Administrative Assistant.................. Tracie Trent

Indiana Farm Bureau Inc./ Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Director of Affiliate Relations..... Julie Volbers-Klarich

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 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.



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

Study shows animal ag important to Indiana’s economy—

Indiana’s animal agriculture sector continues to help support the state’s economy by adding 9,200 jobs within the past decade, according to the recent United Soybean Board-funded Animal Agriculture Economic Analysis (which can be found by visiting the USB’s media center at news-releases/). A successful animal ag industry also benefits the soybean farmers who depend on animal ag as the biggest market for soybean meal. The report also outlines the economic benefits the poultry and livestock sectors provide at the state and national levels. In 2012, animal ag provided the following benefits to Indiana’s economy: Support for 38,200 jobs. • $7.3 billion in total economic output. • A $1.26 billion impact on household incomes. • More than $500 million in income and property taxes paid. Nationally, the animal ag industry supported 1.8 million jobs and provided $346 billion in total economic output, according to the study. The sector also added $60 billion to American household incomes and paid $21 billion in income and property taxes. According to the study, hogs are the biggest soybean meal eaters in Indiana, consuming 55 percent, followed by egg-laying hens and turkeys, both at 15 percent. Poultry, swine and other livestock consume about 97 percent of the supply of U.S. soybean meal every year in their feed. Last year in Indiana, animal ag used an estimated 987,000 tons of soybean meal, or the meal from nearly 41 million bushels of soybeans. Overall, U.S. poultry, livestock and fish farmers used more than 30 million tons (the meal from 1.26 billion bushels) in the 2011/12 marketing year, which is an increase of 1 million tons (meal from 42 million bushels) from the previous year. (ISB 12/17/13)

McKinney to become new ISDA director— Ted McKinney has been named the new

Ted McKinney, who will become the director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture effective Jan. 7, spoke to Indiana Farm Bureau members at the state convention. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro

director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Lieutenant Gov. and Secretary of Agriculture Sue Ellspermann made the announcement after McKinney was appointed by Gov. Mike Pence effective Jan. 7, 2014. “Ted McKinney is a wellrespected industry leader with decades of experience in Hoosier agriculture,” said Pence. “As Indiana strives to grow and be innovative in agriculture, I am confident that Ted’s background, knowledge and passion for the industry will increase Indiana’s competitiveness and serve Hoosiers well.” McKinney grew up on a family farm in Tipton County, where he has continuing interests. After graduating with a degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University, he began a successful career with Elanco Products Company, DowElanco and Dow AgroSciences. Most recently he was director of global corporate affairs for Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company. “Indiana Farm Bureau is thrilled with the announcement Wednesday that Ted McKinney will be next Director of ISDA,” said IFB President Don Villwock. “Ted has a long history of serving Indiana agriculture. I have worked with him on many projects and he is a true leader. It was apparent that he has the interests of Indiana farmers and agribusiness at heart.” (ISDA 12/4/13)

Twenty-five workshops in 5 tracks on tap at AFBF annual convention—More than

25 educational workshops will be offered at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention, Jan. 12-15, 2014, in San Antonio. That’s up from 12 workshops offered in previous years.

Workshops are organized into five tracks: Building Better Advocates – Provide information and give members the tools to communicate and advocate. Building Better Businesses – Provide valuable updates on economics and other impacts on the farm. Building Better Leaders – Focus on the skills and ideas leaders can take home and apply at their county and state Farm Bureaus. Building Better Technology – Focus on where agriculture is headed. Building Better Memories – Showcase some of the fun to take back home from San Antonio. In addition to the five main workshop tracks, AFBF will showcase two featured workshops and two insurance workshops. Attendees may select a track and follow all of the offerings specific to their choice, or mix and match. All workshop descriptions will be available in the program and on the new annual convention app. Learn more at http://

Indiana Sheep Association symposium in February The Indiana Sheep Association will hold its annual symposium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Beck’s Hybrids conference center in Atlanta, Ind. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Are Your Sheep Working For You, or Are You Working For Your Sheep?” Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy from Hudson, Iowa, will be one of the featured presenters. They will share their six-step business expansion model which will offer Indiana sheep producers valuable perspectives into value-added products, direct marketing and customer relations. Bob Ludwig, head of the Boston-based Hale Group, will present the results of

a study sanctioned by the American Lamb Board that charts a new roadmap to profitability for the sheep industry over the next five to ten years. And Dr. Tom Turpin, famed Purdue University professor of entomology, will provide a humorous look at members of the Indiana sheep industry. Indianapolis Chef JJ will use local product to prepare a lamb fajita fiesta lunch on his Big Green Egg grill, which will be followed by the ISA annual meeting and elections. Early registration at is encouraged, and those who register by Feb. 1 will have a chance to win one of three sheep skins offered by the ISA.

(AFBF 11/27/13)

Annual grazing conference will help producers improve forages—Livestock pro-

ducers and agribusiness professionals from around the Midwest interested in improving forages and pasture productivity should attend the Heart of America Grazing Conference on Jan. 20 and 21. The conference will be at the Clarion Hotel, 2480 Jonathan Moore Pike, Columbus, Ind. The conference, now in its 13th year, rotates among Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio. Jason Tower, Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center superintendent, said the conference will highlight improved grazing management techniques and how producers can improve bottom lines and animal performance. Registration is $75 per person for both days and $55 for an additional person from the same farm. Oneday registration is $50 and $35 for a second person. Meals are included but are not guaranteed for those who register after Jan. 13. Registration forms can be downloaded at ag.purdue. edu/agry/extension/Pages/ grazing.aspx. Registration and payment should be sent to the Indiana Forage Council, c/o Keith Johnson, 915 W. State St., West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054.

Indy 500 veteran Sarah Fisher to keynote Spring Conference —By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team Indiana Farm Bureau members will enjoy a “Slice of Life” at the 2014 Spring Conference, which features IndyCar team owner and former driver Sarah Fisher as keynote speaker. Fisher will present “Racing to Win: On the Track, In Business, In Life” to conference attendees on Friday evening, March 7. The ninetime Indy 500 starter is the youngest team owner in IndyCar and the series’ only female owner. “We are very excited to have Sarah Fisher as our keynote,” said Meggie Foster, IFB’s Young Farmer and women’s program coordinator. “Sarah is an outstanding example of a woman breaking through the glass ceiling as a female in a male-centered occupation. We are looking forward to hearing more about Sarah’s journey to the

winner’s circle, both in life and on the track.” Conference breakout sessions will be divided into three tracks: education/communication, farm/business and home/health. Details on breakouts will appear in a later issue of The Hoosier Farmer. Credit for private applicator recertification program permit holders will be offered. As in prior years, the ACE Ambassador winners, LIP awards and scholarship winners will be recognized and silent and live auctions will be held. The event will also include a hunter/gun safety program for youth. Comedian Jerry Carroll will close the conference. Spring Conference is March 7 and 8 at the Indianapolis Marriott East. More information will be available soon at

December 30, 2013



Convention Round-Up

Accomplishments recognized, indivi

Starting at the top of the page: IFB President Don Villwock presented President’s Awards to two individuals. The President’s Distinguished Service Award went to Maurice Williamson, former executive director of the Purdue Ag Alumni Association and former manager of the Pioneer Village at the Indiana State Fair. (Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro) The President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership went to Jerry Canada, who is retiring as executive vice president and CEO of Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. Canada (third from the left) is shown with IFB’s officer team: President Don Villwock, 2nd Vice President Isabella Chism and Vice President Randy Kron. (Photo by Mindy Reef) Bob Geswein of Floyd County was honored as top membership solicitor. (Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro)

December 30, 2013

—Compiled by Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team

Young Farmer award winners

Indiana Farm Bureau held its annual meeting Dec. 13 and 14 in Fort Wayne. This was only the third time in the organization’s history that it has held the convention somewhere besides Indianapolis. During the annual meeting of delegates, IFB Vice President Randy Kron was re-elected by acclamation to a three-year term. Also during the course of the convention, Indiana Farm Bureau members donated $4,890 to Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana. Members donated money by purchasing special tickets to the Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s Holiday Pops performance on Friday night. Community Harvest serves food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, rehabilitation centers, and youth and senior citizen programs in Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley counties. In an average week, the food bank distributes more than 200,000 pounds of food. The convention also offered the perfect opportunity to recognize county Farm Bureaus and individual members for their accomplishments this year. Below is a list of some of those honored.

Discussion meet – Alan Duttlinger of Tippecanoe County. Runners-up: Katie Darr, Koscuisko County; C.J. Fleenor, Orange County; and Liz Stitzel, Clinton County. Excellence in Agriculture award – Nick and Julie Wenning of Decatur County. Runners-up: Tom and Jamie Schilmiller, Floyd County, and Chris and Marah Steele, Adams County. Achievement award – Matt and Kristen Schafer of LaPorte County. Runners-up: Craig and Mindy Fruechte, Adams County, and George and Carly Kakasuleff, Hamilton County.

Membership awards

Top membership solicitor – Bob Geswein from Floyd County, who signed up 20 primary voting members in 2013. Top membership chairman –William Smith from Floyd County. Membership champions (individual Farm Bureau members who recruit six or more new voting members) – Martha Bergman, Franklin County; Dave Forgey, Cass County; Roger Hadley, Allen County; Gary Michel, Warrick County; Joan Schickel, Harrison County; Elsa Smith, Tipton County; and Jan Uhlmansiek, Dearborn County.



iduals honored at annual convention Other awards

Rural Teacher of the Year – Janis Hurt, a teacher at Vincennes Community School Corp., was honored as Indiana’s Rural Teacher of the Year. President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership – Jerry Canada, who is retiring as executive vice president and CEO of Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, a position he’s held since 2002. President’s Distinguished Service Award – Maurice Williamson, former executive director of the Purdue Ag Alumni Association, a

position he held for 37 years until he retired in 1990, and former manager of the Pioneer Village at the Indiana State Fair.

J. Biehle, who has managed the Southeast-Purdue Agricultural Center since it was created in 1977. _________________

Farm Family of the Year (sponsored by Beck’s Hybrids and Indiana AgriNews) – The Duttlinger family of Jasper County.

Editor’s note: For information on the Impact Awards, which recognize counties for efforts that resulted in a significant impact or an increase in political influence and clout, see page 6 of this issue of The Hoosier Farmer.

Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence in Education Service to the Rural People of Indiana (presented by Purdue University and sponsored by IFB) – Donald

Alan Duttlinger (above) of Tippecanoe County won the Young Farmer Discussion Meet. Shown with Duttlinger and IFB President Don Villwock in the middle photo are (from left) runners-up C.J. Fleenor, Orange County; Katie Darr, Koscuisko County; and Liz Stitzel, Clinton County. (Photos by Kathleen M. Dutro) Below, a new offering at this year’s convention was a series of roundtable discussions. Convention goers could participate in up to three of these during a 90-minute period and they had 42 topics to choose from. The group shown in this photo is talking about new aps with Chris Fenner (far right), IFB’s field services program director. (Photo by Allie Rieth)

December 30, 2013



Nine counties recognized for efforts to increase their clout

Benton County – Issue Engagement White County – Issue Engagement Fayette County – Young Farmers & Youth Jasper County – PR & Education Shelby County – PR & Education Steuben County – PR & Education Cass County – Influential Organization

Marshall County Farm Bureau board member John Childs (shaking hands), board president Charlie Houin and members of two local FFA chapters welcome Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann to Plymouth, Ind. Photo by Andy Dietrick

Indiana Farm Bureaus county recognition program ended on Sept. 30, and the reports turned in to the state office indicate that county Farm Bureau’s put on more than 5,100 activities. One hundred percent of the counties participated, noted Julie Volbers-Karich, director of affiliate relations for Indiana Farm Bureau insurance, who coordinated the 2013 county recognition program. This year, counties were asked to show the importance of having an engaged and strong county Farm Bureau by applying for an Impact Award, which recognizes a county for their efforts that resulted in a significant impact or an increase in political influence and clout. These awards are also aligned with the five areas of the Farm Bureau strategic plan. Nine counties received an Impact Award in one of four program areas: issue engagement, young farmers and youth, public relations and education, and influential organization. Winning counties will be awarded $250 that can be used to help them continue to make a positive impact. Applications were judged by staff members of Farm Bureaus from across the United States including Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

Issue Engagement

Benton County Farm Bureau held a meeting to inform the community about laws that are in place to protect homeowners against losses caused by irrigation systems. The Farm Bureau provided steps for homeowners and landowners to be proactive in having their wells measured. Two new members were signed on the night of the

December 30, 2013

meeting. Also, the meeting was attended by the county’s state representative as well as other local officials. White County Farm Bureau helped a five-generation family farm gain permission to build and expand their current swine operation. This opportunity also afforded the White County Farm Bureau to stand up for farming in their community, to educate their peers about regulatory obstacles and to educate individuals who did not find the swine facility practical. The White County Farm Bureau was successful in helping get a YES from the planning commission and the commissioner to build and expand the swine facility.

Young Farmers & Youth

Fayette County Farm Bureau spent more than a year planning for the 200th birthday celebration for Connersville. One of the 10 themed days was sponsored by the Fayette County Farm Bureau and it was titled “Youth Are Our Future Day.” As a result of this sponsorship, this Farm Bureau received a great amount of positive publicity in the form of flyers, articles in the papers, local radio stations, cable television, and signage. The county received many accolades from city leaders, the Bicentennial Committee and attendees who were appreciative of how the Fayette County Farm Bureau supports its community.

has received additional opportunities to promote the grain rescue tubes and have signed 8 new members as a direct result of educating others. Shelby County Farm Bureau has joined forces with the Shelby County Ag Promotion Committee to create a stronger volunteer effort and greater financial resources, resulting in greater outreach. One of the joint efforts is the Shelby County Ag Banquet, which funds scholarships; an ag trade show and mixer with over 20 booths; radio PSAs during the fair, harvest, and spring planting; as well as billboards on the topic of public road safety around farm machinery. Steuben County Farm Bureau held a breakfast for the public at a local farmers market with the intent of educating the non-farm public on the value of local agriculture and educating them on the county Farm Bureau. More than 300 people attended. Because the first event was so successful, the Steuben County Farm Bureau also conducted events

Jay County – Influential Organization Marshall County – Influential Organization

at two farmers markets, in one additional case giving away ice cream and in the other offering an “Ask Me About My Farm” activity.

Influential Organization Cass County Farm Bureau hosted a luncheon following a county council meeting to educate elected county officials on what Farm Bureau was doing at the local, state and national levels. Eighteen elected officials attended. Following the luncheon, the commissioner met with the county Farm Bureau president and indicated that Farm Bureau would have a seat on the county economic development committee.

Jay County Farm Bureau hosted a tour focused on and tailored specifically around local business leaders, decision makers and elected officials. The idea was to get these people onto farms to see firsthand each of the ma-

jor agriculture sectors in Jay County. Area leaders were able to ask questions, make connections and experience Jay County agriculture first hand. They were also able to gain insights into the needs of the area farmers and agribusinesses. Marshall County Farm Bureau saw an opportunity to host Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann in order to provide her a location to share her vision of agriculture to northern Indiana in her quest to visit all 92 counties. After three months of extensive planning, the event took place in March 2013, and 144 people attended. Ten county Farm Bureaus participated and members from two county FFA chapters attended as did eight area county commissioners and several county extension agents. All major agribusinesses and financial institutions from Marshall County were also present.

PR & Education

Jasper County Farm Bureau provided grain rescue tubes to their four fire departments and provided classroom instruction and hands-on training for volunteers. This endeavor brought awareness to the community about the importance of farm safety. Since this event, the Jasper County Farm Bureau

Darrell King (left), Jasper County Farm Bureau president, and other dignitaries pose during a media event at which four Jasper County fire departments received their new grain tubes, a device used to rescue people caught in flowing grain. Photo by Andy Dietrick



Collegiate Discussion Meets held

Olivia Luse, Sarah Correll and Marshall Perkins watch as Emmy Kratz, who eventually won the Purdue Discussion Meet, makes her statement. Photo by Seth Harden

—By Seth Harden Collegiate Farm Bureau Coordinator Collegiate Discussion Meets were held at both Vincennes University and Purdue University in November, and as in the past, there were strong competition and a wealth of innovative and progressive ideas to influence some complex issues facing rural America. The Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting were discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. Judges look for the contestant who offers constructive criticism, cooperation, and communication while analyzing agricultural problems and developing solutions. On Nov. 6, the Vincennes Collegiate Discussion Meet, hosted by the Vincennes Ag Club, an organization that includes student membership of Indiana Farm Bureau and Collegiate FFA, touted an impressive participation of 45 students. A group of judges representing IFB District 9, IFB District 7, IFB staff, and the State Young Farmer Committee, evaluated these students over three rounds of competition. Contestants in

the final round included John Clark, Gibson County; Sarah Kocker, Lawrence County, Ill.; Austin Gardner, Marshall County; and Brandon Knight, Knox County. On Nov. 14, the Purdue Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapter hosted its annual Discussion Meet. Nine students competed over two rounds, which included questions regarding diversification of agriculture and engaging youth. A team of judges representing IFB

District 5, the Young Farmer Committee, and IFB staff narrowed the field to the Final Four competitors, who were Emmy Kratz, LaGrange County; Olivia Luse, Boone County; Sarah Correll, Miami County; and Marshall Perkins, LaGrange County. Brandon Knight, the Vincennes winner, and Emmy Kratz, the Purdue winner, will be representing Indiana in the National Collegiate Discussion Meet at the 2014 Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Virginia Beach, Va., in early February. Along with this all-expense paid trip they also receive a $500 scholarship and recognition at Indiana Farm Bureau State Convention. If you would like to learn more about the Indiana Farm Bureau Collegiate Chapters and other activities they host, “like” them on Facebook (“Collegiate Farm Bureau at Purdue” and “Vincennes Ag Club”) and add them on Twitter (@PUFarmBureau).

The Final Four at Vincennes University’s Discussion Meet pose with their advisor. From left are John Clark, Austin Gardner, Susan Brocksmith (Vincennes University professor and Ag Club advisor), Sarah Kocker, and Brandon Knight, who was the winner of the meet. Photo by Seth Harden

Young Farmer conference offers new breakouts, familiar philanthropy —By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team Registration is live for the IFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference, Jan. 24 and 25 at the Indianapolis Marriott East. This year’s theme is Seeding Success. The event features an impressive agenda, with some returning activities and some first-time opportunities. Packing meals for the Kids Against Hunger program on Friday night is back. Kids Against Hunger volunteers pack vitamin-fortified soy-rice casserole meals for starving children here and around the world. Shifts are one hour long and participants can sign up when they register for the conference. The goal is to pack 30,000 meals that evening. Saturday’s breakouts feature new and updated content from experts and Farm Bureau staff. Each round includes also a session for kids. A few of the new sessions that may pique the interest of young farmers: Jason Tower, Southwest Purdue Agricultural Research, will present “Improving Grazing Efficiency” during the first round of breakouts, 9:5510:45 a.m. Tower’s tips will show how to increase your livestock’s forage utilization from 30 percent to nearly 80 percent. Bob Nielsen, extension corn specialist and professor of agronomy, Purdue University, will share his thoughts on “Growin’ Good Corn: It’s About Paying Attention to Detail” during the fourth round

of breakouts, 3:10-4 p.m. “Farming in Style” from Carly Kakasuleff, the Fashionista Farm Wife, will reveal the essentials to looking good on the farm, also during the fourth round. Many other sessions are on the schedule; visit the conference website,, for more information. Credit for private applicator recertification program permit holders will be offered on Saturday afternoon. Participants must attend both PARP sessions during breakout rounds three and four to qualify for program credit. The featured topics are fungicides and Palmer amaranth. Sign-up for the PARP course will be available during the registration process; attendees should bring their driver’s license and $10 cash or check. For participants who register before Jan. 17, the conference is $25 per adult and $12.50 per child between 12 and 17. Registrations made after Jan. 17 are $50 per adult and $25 per child 12-17. Children 11 and under are free. Attendees must make their own hotel reservations but will receive the group rate of $102/night plus tax as long reservations are made before Jan. 17. Counties may choose to reimburse participants for their costs. The 2014 IFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference takes place Jan. 24 and 25 at the Indianapolis Marriott East. Registration and more information are available on the conference website, www.

Who’s who at Indiana Farm Bureau Sara MacLaughlin, Associate Counsel for Corporate Compliance & Nonprofit Affairs —By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team Goshen native Sara MacLaughlin recently stepped into a new role at Indiana Farm Bureau: associate counsel for corporate compliance and nonprofit affairs. Her job is to keep the state organization, and by extension the county organizations, in line with legal requirements. Sara McLaughlin with her husband, Jason, and their daughters Jillian and Emlyn. Photo courtesy of the MacLaughlin family

“I make sure that IFB is complying with state and federal laws and work to help ensure that IFB does all that is necessary to keep its nonprofit status,” she said. Not complying with the requirements of the nonprofit laws could lead to fines – or worse, the loss of the state organization’s nonprofit status, which would likely extend to the county Farm Bureaus losing their nonprofit status. She also prepares and files IFB’s federal lobbying report and reviews contracts. MacLaughlin is the one to call if your county needs a refresher

on good governance issues and maintaining nonprofit status, which she says is her favorite part of the job. “I like talking to the county Farm Bureau organizations about what they are doing right and offering suggestions on how they can improve.” She interned for IFB in 2003, then went on to fulltime positions as an environmental health specialist at both the Elkhart County Health Department and the Health and Hospital Corporation in Marion County, and as association attorney at Yoder, Ainlay, Ulmer and Bucking-

ham in Goshen. She returned to IFB in 2008 as a staff attorney and was promoted to her current role in October. MacLaughlin holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Manchester College and a Juris Doctor (doctorate in law) from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. She and her husband, Jason, live in Fishers with their two daughters, Emlyn and Jillian. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, playing with her daughters and traveling.

December 30, 2013



Application due for IFB’s leadership program —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team The application period is open for the 2014 class of Leaders in Action, IFB’s leadership development program, will close Jan. 6. The program is for individuals who want to enhance their leadership skills, specifically becoming more effective at the local, state or national levels in both volunteer and elected positions. Participants may come from anywhere in the state. The schedule of meetings is currently planned as follows: • Session 1: Engaging Local Government, Saturday, Feb. 22, Fulton County area. • Session 2: Self-Leadership, Saturday, April 12, St. Joseph County area. • Session 3: Communications, Saturday, May 31,

IFB home office. • Session 4: Farm Bureau History and Opportunities, Friday/Saturday, Aug. 8 and 9, IFB home office. • Session 5: Washington, D.C., trip, Sept. 8-10. The cost is $200 per person for Farm Bureau members and $250 per person for non-members. Hotel rooms are provided only when meeting in Indianapolis and in Washington, D.C. Some meals in D.C. will not be covered. Some county Farm Bureaus may choose to pay for participants. For more information, contact your regional manager or Julie Volbers-Klarich, 317-692-8011, Applications and additional information are also available online at www.infarmbureau. org under the “Programs” menu.

Capt. Michael Abrashoff was the keynote speaker at the IFB convention held Dec. 13 and 14 in Fort Wayne. The former commander of the USS Benfold and author of several books on leadership, including It’s Your Ship, talked about the importance of grassroots leadership. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro


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New resource guide assists veterans in agriculture —From the AFBF Information Team A new online resource guide developed by Farm Bureau and the Farmer Veteran Coalition Partnership is now available. Farm Bureau and the FVC are working together to train beginning farmers, make equipment available to veteran farmers and help find farm ownership or employment opportunities for members of the military transitioning into the civilian workforce. “Through this partnership, I am optimistic returning veterans will learn how to continue their service to our country by helping feed its citizens, nourish its land and make its rural communities more viable through the many entrepreneurial opportunities agriculture has to

offer,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. The resource guide provides Farm Bureaus with a simple framework outlining the many ways that are available to participate in the new partnership and assist returning veterans interested in staking their futures on agriculture and rural America. “We’re working to cultivate a new generation of farmers and food leaders, in addition to developing viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities,” said Michael O’Gorman, executive director of the FVC. “We believe that veterans possess the unique skills and character needed to strengthen rural communities and create sustainable food

systems for all,” O’Gorman continued. “We believe that food production offers purpose and opportunity, as well as physical and psychological benefits.” Service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have become the latest group of veterans in need of employment and who, by some measures, may be the most likely young people to enter agriculture and other ruralbased businesses. Only 17 percent of the U.S. population calls rural communities home, yet 44 percent of military recruits come from rural America. The FVC is an organization aimed at mobilizing veterans to enter agriculture and help feed American while rebuilding rural communities. Learn more at

Purdue Extension to host workshop on ‘Farming Together’ —From the Purdue Ag Communications Service Farm families can learn about succession planning for the future of their business operations by attending the “Business Structure, Taxes and Valuation” workshop of Purdue Extension’s Farming Together series. The workshop, to be held at four locations across the state, will focus on legal and tax issues with farm transfer, long-range business planning, operating and buy-sell agreements, and business valuation. Each workshop will feature a local attorney and accountant as well as presentations from members of the Purdue’s succession planning team. A panel of family farmers will share

their experiences from the succession planning process. “Families participating in the program will also have the opportunity to meet with members from the Succession Planning Team to discuss and ask questions specific to their operation,” said Tamara Ogle, Cass County Extension educator and event coordinator. The two-day workshop will take place at: Vincennes, Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center, Jan. 16-17. West Lafayette, Beck Center, Jan. 23-24. Huntington, Huntington University, Feb. 4-5. Jeffersonville, Women in Agriculture Pre-Conference, Feb. 18-19. Day 1 programming be-

gins at 9 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m. Lunch is included. Day 2 is a complimentary one-hour farm family meeting with the farm succession planning team. Registration is due two weeks before the program. A program packet will be mailed to each family participating. Cost is $150 for the first four family members; each additional member costs $15. To register, download the registration form from the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture website. For more information, contact Ogle at 574753-7750. Program partners include the Purdue Women in Agriculture team and the Purdue farm succession planning team.

Calendar of Events

January_____________________________________________________________________ 8 IFB legislative kick-off, Indianapolis. 12-14 AFBF convention, San Antonio, Texas. 21-23 Indiana Hort Congress, Wyndham Indianapolis West. 23, 24 IFB board of directors meeting, Indianapolis. 24, 25 IFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference, Indianapolis. 30 District 7 women’s Statehouse trip. February_____________________________________________________________________ 3, 4 Campaign Management School, Indianapolis. 12-15 National Farm Machinery Show, Louisville, Ky. 19, 20 IFB board of directors meeting, Indianapolis. March_____________________________________________________________________ 4-7 Farm Bureau leader trip, Washington, D.C. 7, 8 IFB Spring Conference, Indianapolis.

December 30, 2013

The Hoosier Farmer - issue 47  
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