Page 1

IFB Almanac: What’s Coming in 2014 Pages 4, 5

AFBF Round-Up Page 3

INSIDE: News in Brief.....................2 Around IFB........................6 Around Farm Bureau.........7 Around Indiana.................8

The Hoosier Farmer


A Publication for Voting Members of Indiana Farm Bureau

JANUARY 29, 2014 Issue No. 48

Soil productivity delay approved by Senate —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team A one-year delay in implementation of proposed soil productivity factors has been approved by the Indiana Senate by a 48-0 vote and now moves to the House. Authored by Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, SB 111 would create another one-year delay of the soil productivity factors that were released by the Department of Local Government Finance in February 2012. It was passed by the Senate on Jan. 23. In the 2013 session, the legislature passed a bill that delayed implementation of the factors and also required a study to determine what new factors should be. The Purdue School of Agronomy is working hard with the DLGF to complete the study, but the problem is, Hall explained, that the data from NRCS includes “management,” and Indiana’s soil productivity factors were based

on average management. “So adjustments are in order, but they need to be refined,” she explained. Also on Jan. 23, the Senate approved SB 186, a bill that declares the state policy on agriculture and farmers’ rights, by a vote of 40-8. The bill reaffirms the General Assembly’s desire to preserve and protect the development and improvement of agriculture and agribusiness. Where permissible, the Indiana Code shall be construed to protect the rights of farmers to choose among all generally accepted farming and livestock production practices, including the use of ever changing technology. The official kick-off for Farm Bureau’s grassroots activities at the Statehouse was Jan. 8. A highlight of the legislative luncheon was honoring two members of the House of Representatives and two members of the State Senate as 2013 Legislators of the Year, who were selected

Eighty-eight IFB members, 16 senators and 46 representatives struggled through terrible road conditions to attend Indiana Farm Bureau’s annual legislative kickoff luncheon, making the event a great success despite the weather. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro

for their exemplary legislative leadership for members of Indiana Farm Bureau. Honored were Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, chairman of the Ways & Means Committee; Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso; Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg; and Sen. Randy Head, R-Lo-

gansport, chairman of the Local Government Committee. Visits to the Statehouse by Farm Bureau members are an important component to successful efforts by the Farm Bureau staff, according to IFB’s statehouse lobbyists. “If your county has not scheduled a visit, we ask you

to do so soon,” said Katrina Hall, state government relations director. She added that this year, such visits should occur by Feb. 20 at the latest. Those with questions about scheduling a county visit should contact Zach Schmidt, 317-692-7855,

Farm Bureau delegates set public policy positions for 2014 —By the AFBF Public Relations Team & Kathleen M. Dutro IFB Public Relations Team Delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation approved resolutions that will provide the organization with authority from its grassroots members to push Congress toward the goal line on unfinished issues such as the farm bill and ag labor. “Our delegates have provided us direction to work with Congress to complete this agenda,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman, who Indiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206

was re-elected to his eighth two-year term as the organization’s president. The delegate session was held on Jan. 14. A total of 357 voting delegates, representing every crop and livestock sector in the United States, deliberated on policies affecting farmers’ and ranchers’ productivity and profitability that will guide the nation’s largest general farm organization throughout 2014. On the farm labor front, delegates reaffirmed their strong support for meaningful ag labor reforms that ensure farmers and ranchNon-Profit Organization U.S. Postage


Berne, IN Permit NO. 43

ers have access to workers when they are needed. Delegates also voted to support flexibility that would allow the employment of workers by more than one farmer. With congressional farm bill action nearing completion, delegates reaffirmed Farm Bureau’s policy, determining that now is not the time to make changes. Specifically on dairy-related issues, delegates reaffirmed policy supporting changes to the dairy safety net, including margin insurance programs. Delegates also maintained their support for country-oforigin labeling and reiterated that it needs to be compliant with World Trade Organization rules. Of particular interest to Indiana Farm Bureau’s 14 delegates were data privacy/ security issues, renewable fuels, and an amendment from IFB President Don Villwock on labeling seed to show when the product is approved for export.

IFB President Don Villwock and Vice President Randy Kron prepare for the annual delegate session at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting, held Jan. 14. Photo courtesy of the American Farm Bureau Federation

Delegates approved new policy supporting the protection of proprietary data collected from farmers and maintaining that such data should remain their property. “Indiana had been working on this issue alongside our Midwestern neighbors and AFBF to come up with acceptable language,” Villwock said. The labeling language was also approved by del-

egates. The idea, Villwock explained, is that clear labels will reduce chances of a cargo being rejected by the importing country. New language on renewable fuels supports continuing the biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol tax credits and federal incentives for the installation of blender pumps “until such time as market conditions warrant their phase-out.”



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

Pence eases restrictions on movement of propane—Governor

Pence and his administration have taken steps to help make more propane available for heating after extreme winter weather has strained propane gas supplies. On Jan. 3, Pence issued an emergency proclamation waiving statutes that limit the hours of service for propane transporters in order to help suppliers better meet market demands. Pence extended that order on Jan. 17, and it will remain in effect until Jan. 31. “With the shortage and weather conditions expected to continue, I…urge the federal government to exhaust all possible means to assist and help alleviate the supply issues currently faced across the Midwest,” Pence said in a statement In order to keep more propane available for residential customers, the Indiana Department of Transportation trucks will use diesel fuel instead of propane through March 1, 2014. Pence also said, “My administration has been in close communication with the propane industry and will continue to monitor developments and take all actions available to help Hoosiers make it through this crisis.” (Office of the Gover-

ment of Agriculture. Ellspermann and a committee of agriculture leaders developed this competition to address the lack of knowledge and appreciation among the increasingly urban population of Indiana. “I am increasingly concerned about Hoosiers’ appreciation and knowledge of the agriculture industry as only 2 percent of Hoosiers live on a farm today,” Ellspermann said. “Thus, telling the story of Indiana agriculture to our young adults and increasingly urban population is even more important. All Hoosiers should know the vital role that Indiana farmers and the agriculture industry play in our economy, as well as the sustainable, quality practices deployed to supply healthy food, feed, fuel and fiber to our state, nation and world.” To participate in the contest, a college or university was invited to establish a team(s) of students supervised by a faculty or staff member. Each team must have at least three students, but no more than 12 students plus the advisor. The team will prepare a marketing/communications proposal including messages, strategies, tactics, timeline, budget and implementation plan. After reviewing all proposals, the panel of judges will invite the top three teams to make formal presentations in March with the winning proposal announced soon after. The winning proposal will earn a $25,000 prize including a $10,000 contribution to the college or university and an additional $15,000 to be shared by the students on the successful team. (ISDA 1/2/14)

Farm Bureau members of all ages and from around the country line up for popcorn from the Indiana Farm Bureau booth that was part of the trade show at the AFBF convention in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro

put it on there or not. It is as safe here as anywhere else,” Yates said. (AFBF 1/13/14)

from 17 Indiana colleges and universities will be competing in a competition to tell the story of the “Good Works of Indiana Agriculture” sponsored by Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann’s office and the Indiana State Depart-

than luxuries, tablets and smart phones are tools that farmers can use to keep their operations running smoothly, Jackie Smith and Jay Yates of Texas A&M Agri-extension

Services, told attendees at a seminar at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention. With the ever-growing marketplace for apps, Smith and Yates recommend farmers and ranchers be careful before buying. Ask friends and peers, visit workshops, read agriculture magazines or blogs and watch agriculture television shows to see what others are using. Make sure that no additional equipment or subscription is needed. Apps are currently being developed for all corners of agriculture, turning a farmer’s phone or tablet into a portable office. Yates also touched on a new trend in Web development that allows farmers and ranchers to save websites and label them alongside other apps. With smart phones and tablets, any information that a producer needs is never more than a few clicks away. “A lot of content is not in an app. It is on a mobileready site,” Yates said. “Many sites do this now because it is easier and faster to manage content.” Security is a concern for everyone, but Yates encouraged people not to be thrown off by the potential risk. “Your information is on the Internet, whether you

Administrative/Finance Team

Legal Affairs Team

Public Relations Team

Regional Managers

President...................................... Don Villwock Vice President.................................Randy Kron Second Vice President................. Isabella Chism Chief Operating Officer/Treasurer....Mark Sigler Receptionist...................................... Kim Duke General Fund Accountant.............. Tiffanie Ellis Office Manager & Meeting Planner.Kay Keown Controller.......................................Elaine Rueff Administrative Assistant....................Jill Shanley Executive Secretary..................... Beverly Thorpe

Director & General Counsel ...Mark Thornburg Associate Counsel for Corporate Compliance & Nonprofit Affairs ............Sara MacLaughlin Legal Assistant........................... Maria Spellman Legal extern.................................... Colin Poling

Director & Editor .......................Andy Dietrick Web Designer/Developer..............Diane Brewer 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) Allison Hines (10) Amy Hutson (5) Susan Lawrence (2) John Newsom (1 & 2) Kermit Paris (8) Keegan Poe (5 & 8) Brad Ponsler (10) E.B. Rawles (7) Allie Rieth (4)

nor 1/23/14)

37 teams enter agriculture communications competition—Thirty-seven teams

District Directors Larry Jernas (1) Kevin Ousley (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

January 29, 2014

Availability of agriculture apps continues to grow—Rather

Public Policy Team

Organizational Development 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 Policy Intern................................. Zach Schmidt

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 regional dairy meetings slated—The Purdue Extension

Dairy Team will co-host a series of free regional dairy meetings around Indiana beginning in late January to help producers improve their operations. The meetings will feature industry experts presenting about topics that focus on animals, economics, labor and farm maintenance. Other workshop hosts are the Indiana Dairy Producers and the Indiana Forage Council. “While milk prices have remained fairly strong, and have combined with decreasing corn prices to improve profit margins on dairy farms, there are always opportunities to review the latest on management practices,” said Mike Schutz, Purdue Extension dairy specialist and one of the meeting organizers. “The regional dairy meetings offer dairy producers a great opportunity to learn from industry experts on a number of important management topics ranging from forages to better utilizing milk marketing strategies. “There will be plenty of management tips for dairy farms of any size.”

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

All locations also will offer presentations about artificially inseminating heifers, labor and immigration, animal identification and traceability and bird control. Additionally, each date will include location-specific topics. Representatives of the Purdue Dairy Team and the Indiana Dairy Council will give industry updates at each meeting, as will some of the program’s sponsors. All meetings will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. local time. The meeting date or registration deadline will have passed before members received this issue of The Hoosier Farmer for the meetings in Turkey Run State Park, Warrenton and Columbus. But the remaining dates and locations are as follows: Feb. 11: Farmstead Inn, Shipshewana. For more information: 260-768-4595. Feb. 12: Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds, Ag Hall. For more information: 574533-0554. Feb. 13: Back 40 Junction Restaurant, Decatur. For more information: 260-7243355. Registration is required by Feb. 5. Lunch will be provided. For more information, to register by phone or email, or to request a registration form, contact Schutz at 765-494-9478 or 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: 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 2014. All rights reserved.



IFB recognized at AFBF annual meeting —Compiled by Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team Here are a few of the top stories from the 2014 AFBF annual meeting. Indiana recognized for excellence Indiana Farm Bureau was among a select group of states recognized for program excellence at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting in Nashville. IFB received Awards of Excellence in all six program areas: education and outreach; leadership development; member services; membership initiatives; policy development and implementation; and public relations and communications. IBF president Don Villwock credited the county Farm Bureaus for IFB’s success. “They all work hard all year long,” he said. “I am so proud of them.” Chism re-elected to AFBF leadership committee IFB 2nd Vice President Isabella Chism was re-elected to a two-year term on the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee. Also elected were Denise Hymel of Louisiana, Lillian Ostendorf of Montana and Joan Myers of Pennsylvania. Also at the convention, the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee introduced “Our Food Link,” a new year-round program that county and state Farm Bureaus can use to reach consumers of all ages and backgrounds with information about today’s agriculture. The roll-out of the program included the distribution

of a planning toolkit and publicity tools to help Farm Bureau members start thinking about projects that will engage people in their communities. For more on this program, see page 7 of this issue of The Hoosier Farmer. Lugar receives AFBF’s highest honor The American Farm Bureau Federation presented its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Sen. Richard Lugar. AFBF established the Distinguished Service Award to honor individuals who have devoted their careers to serving agriculture. Lugar served in the U.S. Senate for 36 years and was a member of the Agriculture Committee throughout his tenure. From 1995 to 2001, he served as the committee’s chairman and from 1986 to 1995 and again from 2001 to 2002 as the committee’s ranking member. Through Sen. Lugar’s singular efforts, the Conservation Reserve Program was incorporated into the 1985 farm bill, thus creating the basic CRP program that remains in effect today. He was also instrumental in the elimination of set-asides and planting limitations to base acres for a particular crop, which led to the concept of planting flexibility contracts. “Throughout his Senate career, Sen. Lugar championed agricultural progress. He was a leader in support of the biofuels movement and a solid promoter of free and open trade,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “He was also in the forefront of many other efforts important to farmers, such as farm

AFBF presented its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Sen. Richard Lugar during the 95th AFBF Annual Convention. AFBF established the Distinguished Service Award to honor individuals who have devoted their careers to serving agriculture. Photo courtesy of the American Farm Bureau Federation

IFB’s representatives in the YF&R contests, pictured at the Indiana Breakfast, held annually at the AFBF convention. From left: Alan Duttlinger, Tippecanoe County, YF&R Discussion Meet; Nick and Julie Wenning, Decatur County, YF&R Excellence in Agriculture contest; Kristen and Matt Schafer, LaPorte County, YF&R Achievement Award. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro

Isabella Chism, IFB 2nd vice president, and Marybeth Feutz of the Gibson County Farm Bureau, served as delegates at the 95th annual AFBF convention in San Antonio, Texas. In addition, Chism was reelected to a third term on the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. The committee develops programs and materials that will empower women in Farm Bureau to strive for and attain leadership positions to strengthen the overall organization. Photo courtesy of the American Farm Bureau Federation

credit, food safety, agriculture research and immigration reform.” Since leaving the Senate in 2012, Sen. Lugar has continued to advocate for many of these important issues as president of the non-profit Lugar Center. Also honored with the Distinguished Service Award was Dr. Abner Womack, professor emeritus and research professor of agriculture economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia and primary founder of the Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute. The Indiana Farm Bureau nominated Sen. Lugar to receive the DSA award, while the Missouri Farm Bureau nominated Dr. Womack. A national Farm Bureau committee named them both as winners. State Young Farmer winners

honored at Indiana Breakfast Every year at the national convention, Indiana Farm Bureau members who are in attendance come together for the “Indiana Breakfast,” and among the activities this year was honoring Indiana’s representatives to the AFBF Young Farmer & Rancher contests: Alan Duttlinger, Tippecanoe County, YF&R Discussion Meet; Nick and Julie Wenning, Decatur County, YF&R Excellence in Agriculture contest; Kristen and Matt Schafer, LaPorte County, YF&R Achievement Award. Although none of IFB’s representatives advanced to the semifinals, all represented Indiana very well, noted IFB Young Farmer Program coordinator Meggie Foster.

January 29, 2014



IFB Almanac: What’s coming up at Farm Bureau Signup deadline for the ACE (Agricultural Cultural Exchange) program Feb. 3

Statehouse visits for IFB members Jan. 13-Feb. 20 (Session ends March 14) To find out about your county’s or district’s Statehouse visit, contact your regional manager or call Zach Schmidt at 317-692-7855,

Hamilton County Farm Bureau members Mary and Duane Rinker (left) and George Kakasuleff (right) discuss legislative issues with Sen. Luke Kenley during the 2013 session. Photo by Andy Dietrick

For the application, visit, and look under “Programs” and then “Women’s Leadership Committee,” and scroll down to the link for the ACE program application. For more information, call or write Meggie Foster, 317-692-7183,

AFBF Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Conference Feb. 7-10

Campaign Management School Feb. 3, 4

Virginia Beach, Va.

Home Office For more information, visit and look under “Events.”


Farm Bureau Leader Trip March 4-6 Washington, DC

Indiana Small Farm Conference Feb. 21, 22 Danville, Ind. (

Indiana Forage, Livestock & Grain Forum March 13 Indianapolis (

Spring Conference March 7, 8 Indianapolis Marriott East ( springconf/)

January 29, 2014

IFB members from Congressional District 9 meet with Rep. Todd Young outside the House chambers in 2013. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro

National Agriculture Day March 25 (

Consumer Ag Day at the Indiana Statehouse (A farm-to-fork event featuring food trucks and Indiana farmers)

March 25 Indianapolis



Servsafe Training (Training in safe handling of food) April 3, 4

SWAG (See What Ag Gives) Week at Purdue April 7-11

Home Office

Collegiate Farm Bureau among the groups that are involved.


©iStock Photo/EG-Keith

Indianapolis 500 events: Earth Day Indiana April 26 Indianapolis (

Mutt Strutt April 26 Indianapolis (

Vintage Indiana Wine Festival June 7

Rookie luncheon (sponsored by the American Dairy Association of Indiana, May 20 Race Day (ending with traditional glass of milk for the winner), May 25

Indianapolis (

Ag in the Classroom Update June 10 Home Office

Estate and succession planning From the Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation July 17 Home Office

2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan in the Winner’s circle with the traditional drink of milk. Photo courtesy of the American Dairy Association of Indiana

State Resolutions Committee Home Office July 22-24

Members of the 2013 IFB resolutions committee pose in the lobby of IFB’s home office. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro

January 29, 2014



Who’s Who at Indiana Farm Bureau Melba Loyd, District 10 woman leader

Cindy Ramsey, District 8 woman leader

—By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team

—By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team

Floyd County’s Melba Loyd is ready to serve the members of IFB District 10 as the new district woman leader. While she’s still new enough to the role that she doesn’t know everything she might come across, she looks forward to opportunities to gain and spread knowledge. “I never want to become stale, [and] you are never too old to learn new things,” she said. “I love meeting new people from all over the state and United States, sharing thoughts and ideas.” She had just completed a term as Floyd County Farm Bureau woman leader before being elected District 10 woman leader. She has served in many roles at the county level, including policy development chairman, secretary, county fair committee and Ag Day committee.

The New Albany High School graduate is married to her high school sweetheart, Richard. Both had small farm backgrounds and were eager raise their family in a similar situation. “Five years after marriage we purchased a 30-acre corn field in Floyd County and built our part-time family farm from scratch,” she said. “We raised Angus beef cattle, swine, alfalfa hay, corn and soybeans.” The couple has three grown children, all of whom were 4-H members, and six grandchildren. The Loyds have retired from raising cattle, swine, corn and soybeans, but still grow alfalfa hay. Off the farm, she worked as a medical assistant and spent 15 years being a homemaker with her three children. She retired a few years ago from the Purdue Extension Service – Floyd County

Newly elected District 10 Woman Leader Melba Loyd. Photo courtesy of Melba Loyd

after spending 17 years as administrative assistant and office manager. Her volunteer work includes several years as a 4-H leader. Currently she volunteers at Floyd Memorial Hospital as information clerk and judges 4-H projects at local county fairs. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, knitting, gardening, flower gardening, reading, shopping, grandchildren, exercise and sewing.

Former Shelby County Woman Leader Cindy Ramsey will spread her love of learning to a larger geography as she takes the role of IFB District 8 woman leader. “I have really enjoyed my involvement with Farm Bureau and all the learning opportunities it has allowed me for ag education,” she said. Her favorite part of being county woman leader was being able to reach out to others and let them know where their food, fiber and fuel come from. Prior to her five years as county woman leader, Ramsey was the county Farm Bureau secretary/ treasurer. She and her husband of nearly 35 years, Phil, have one daughter, three sons and seven granddaughters. The Ramseys and their two youngest sons

Cindy Ramsey, her husband, Phil, and five of their seven granddaughters. Photo courtesy of the Ramsey family

farm corn, soybeans and wheat with a few beef cattle. They also have a farm drainage and excavating business, Ramsey Farms Ag Enterprises. In her community, Ramsey is a member and ex-officio of the Shelby County Ag Promotion committee, where she has helped bring in different speakers for the annual banquet in March. She served three terms on the 4-H advisory coun-

cil and filled many positions, as well as four years as president. She is an active member of her church, where she leads the women’s ministries program and is on the missions board. She recently returned from a mission trip to Guatemala. Ramsey loves spending time with all her granddaughters, sewing and machine embroidery as well as reading.

District 2 Director Kevin Ousley

District 9 Woman Leader Sheryl Seib

—By Andy Dietrick Public Relations Team

—By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team

Columbia City farmer Kevin Ousley is the newest member of the Indiana Farm Bureau board of directors, representing District 2. He and his wife Pam have three children – Clay, age 10, Kylee, 7, and Emma, 3 – and operate a small farm where they raise Jersey dairy feeder steers, Berkshire hogs, chickens, turkeys, corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, straw, pumpkins and sweet corn. When not busy with the farm or Farm Bureau, Ousley enjoys woodworking and supporting his local 4-H and FFA chapters. Prior to being elected to the state board, Ousley served on the Whitley County Farm Bureau board, holding both the vice president and president positions. He and Pam got their Farm Bureau start in the Young Farmer program.

Sheryl Seib of Posey County has served Farm Bureau in a variety of positions, but her newest is representing District 9 on the IFB Women’s Leadership Committee. Prior to her election as district woman leader, she had served as county president as well county woman leader. Her involvement in Farm Bureau began when she was asked to represent Posey County Farm Bureau as Farm Wife of the Year and then participated in the Young Farmer Discussion Meet. She and Mark, her husband of 35 years, also served as ACE ambassadors to Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland back in the 1990s. The Seibs farm with Mark’s brother, father (retired) and nephew, growing corn, wheat and soybeans in Posey County. She just retired

January 29, 2014

Kevin and Pam Ousley and their children Clay, Kylee and Emma. Photo courtesy of the Ousley family

Ousley has a bachelor’s degree in accounting, which he puts to good use as owner of Ousley’s Bookkeeping and Tax Services, which has both farm and nonfarm clients. He is also a part time pastor for Coesse and Jefferson Chapel United Methodist Churches and sits on the Union Township advisory board.

When asked if there was anything else he’d like our voting members to know about him, Ousley replied, “I serve God, my family and Farm Bureau. It is an honor to do all three.”

Sheryl Seib, the newly elected woman leader for District 9, and her three grandchildren, Ellie Ann Martin, 10, Brynn Marie Martin, 5, and Levi Thomas Gentry, 2. Photo courtesy of the Seib family

from 26 years of owning and operating an academic pre-school. They have two daughters and three grandchildren. “I believe it will be my responsibility to lead the county woman leaders in District 9 to provide opportunities for education, communication and leadership development on a county, district and state level,” Seib said. “I hope to be able to organize

enriching informational meetings that will help make District 9 women stronger in carrying out Farm Bureau goals and policy. “Some people would say I would talk to a tree but I really love hearing life stories of people I meet along the way,” she said. “If you haven’t met me or I haven’t met you, let’s make it happen. I’m excited to get to know you.”



American Farm Bureau approves strategic action plan for 2014 —From the American Farm Bureau Federation Following the delegate session of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention, which wrapped Jan 15 in San Antonio, the organization’s board of directors met to set AFBF’s strategic action plan to address public policy issues for 2014. The board-approved plan includes focusing the organization’s attention on the following key issues: agricultural labor reform, support for renewable fuels, support for biotechnology, protecting farmers’ interests in regard to new technology systems and data compilation, opposition to expanded federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, and protecting farmer and rancher interest regarding fiscal policy and tax reform issues. “This plan represents those issue areas where we believe the American Farm Bureau Federation and its grassroots members will have real opportunities to achieve success this year, as well as challenges we must tackle to help safeguard our members’ and their abilities to operate their farms and ranches,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. Aggressively working to secure passage of legislation that addresses both long- and short-term agricultural labor needs is a priority for AFBF. “America’s farmers and ranchers require a reliable and steady supply of labor, and the policies in place are simply not adequate to address this issue in a comprehensive, national scope,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “It has been too long in coming, but we will continue to work with our allies and members of Congress to get this job done.” The board also approved the inclusion of efforts to advocate for standards and incentives strengthening the U.S. renewable fuels sector. “Whether the issue is support for the renewable fuels standard, or key tax incentives targeted to sectors such as biodiesel or cellulosic ethanol, AFBF is focused to keep renewable fuels front and center as our nation continues to develop plans to address our energy needs,” Stallman said. IFB President Don Villwock said the support for

the renewable fuels standard was of particular importance to Indiana grain farmers, but he added that it was significant for livestock farmers as well. “As our corn prices approach break-even, maintaining all commodity sectors is critical for profitability in 2014,” he said. Another important priority is working to protect farmers’ and ranchers’ abilities to use agricultural biotechnology and other innovative technologies. That point also includes the organization’s resolve to make sure farmers and ranchers are represented in matters related to agronomic data compilation, so-called “big data,” and the associated systems and applications of those technologies in the field. The board-approved action plan also includes a comprehensive effort to oppose expansion of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. “As it now stands, there are federal proposals that would allow jurisdiction over so-called waters that are not even wet,” Stallman said. “That includes areas such as ditches that are dry for weeks and months on end. That represents little more than federal regulatory intrusion and would greatly hamper the ability of many farm families to put their land to productive use for food production.” The board also directed AFBF to protect farmers’ and ranchers’ interests in debates on fiscal policy and tax reform. Many additional issues will warrant AFBF’s attention this year, Stallman explained, and through constant monitoring and attention, those issues will be addressed as they rise on the nation’s agenda. “The 2014 strategic action plan, as set by the board, is built on the dedicated efforts of our grassroots members working together during our annual convention and throughout the year to achieve policy goals that will benefit all of agriculture, as well as the nation’s consumers and our customers around the world,” Stallman said. ————————— Kathleen Dutro of the IFB public relations team also contributed to this report.

Indiana delegation participates in EPA biofuels hearing —From the Indiana State Department of Agriculture Lieutenant Gov. Sue Ellspermann and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Ted McKinney led an Indiana delegation – including a representative of Farm Bureau – to address the importance of renewable fuels as part of a comprehensive energy plan at the “Hearing in the Heartland: Supporting the Renewable Fuels Standard” hosted by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. A number of senior state officials from the Midwest met in Des Moines to testify about the changes in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) proposed by the Obama Administration. Indiana Governor Mike Pence also sent a letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on Jan. 23 requesting Federal officials to reject the proposed action (letter attached). “Since 2007, the RFS and biofuels have been critically important to the success of Hoosier farmers and have been an economic lifeline to rural communities who need this investment and

the jobs more than ever,” Ellspermann said. “Indiana is producing more corn and soy than ever in the state’s history – and we will continue to be among the nation’s leaders in production. It is our hope that the EPA will implement a sound RFS that puts our nation’s grain to good work.” Representing IFB was Kyle Cline, national government relations policy advisor. “Energy diversification and choice is more critical than ever,” he said. “We must continue to build on our successes to develop an all-of-the above portfolio approach to make our local rural communities, farms, and nation resilient and secure for the future.” Aside from Ellspermann, McKinney and Cline, members of the Indiana delegation were farmer Mike Shuter, representing the Indiana Corn Growers Association; Dave Lyons, Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC; Tim Phelps, Ethanol Producers Association; and Bruce Hosier, Randolph Economic Development Corporation and former mayor of Portland, Ind. “The recent proposal from the EPA lowering the

minimum requirements for the RFS will undermine our nation’s efforts to develop energy independence and strengthen our economy,” McKinney said. “Along with Lt. Gov. Ellspermann, I am urging the USDA and EPA to exercise their authority and halt the enactment of the RFS proposal until it can be more thoroughly analyzed. The production of biofuels throughout the United States is a crucial issue not only to those in agriculture, but to all concerned with building a renewable energy portfolio and a stronger economy.” The Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, was established in 2005 and later updated in 2007 to ensure a minimum level of renewable energy was produced and mixed with the US fuel supply. In November 2013, the Environment Protection Agency announced a proposal which would reduce the level the RFS for 2014 by 16 percent compared to what was originally mandated under the law that passed Congress in 2007. —————————— Kathleen Dutro of the IFB public relations team also contributed to this report.

New program to link farmers and consumers rolled out by AFBF women’s committee —By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team The American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee has rolled out a new program to link farmers and consumers. “Our Food Link is a flexible, year-round concept that can incorporate any number of activities,” said Isabella Chism, IFB 2nd vice president. “The new approach focuses on the values that farmers and consumers share, not just presenting data or cold facts about farming.” Chism explained that Our Food Link is an expansion of current activities that counties may be doing already, not necessarily a replacement of them. Our Food Link activities should create connections and engage audiences. They

can include anything from having an interactive booth at a farmers market or grocery store to organizing food drives for charitable organizations. AFBF has created an event planning toolkit with

several ideas for Our Food Link activities and how to execute them. For current resource materials, visit the AFBF website,, and look for “Our Food Link” under the “Programs” menu.

January 29, 2014



Applicants sought for ACE Ambassador program —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team The deadline for applications for Indiana Farm Bureau’s is ACE USA Ambassador program is Feb. 3 – just a few days after most readers will receive this issue of The Hoosier Farmer. Indiana Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee is looking for two

couples or individuals to act as ambassadors to another state. This year’s ambassadors will travel to Michigan sometime this summer. The ACE (Agricultural Cultural Exchange) program is open to any current voting IFB member. Expenses including travel, hotel rooms, meals and tips for up to five days are covered. ACE USA ambassadors

travel annually to different areas of the country to promote greater understanding of agriculture, people, family life and cultures. After the selected members return from their trip, they are expected to give presentations at Farm Bureau meetings and to community groups throughout the state. Last year’s ambassadors were Joni Naylor Doig of

Rush County and Matt and Allison Walsh, Newton County. Selection for the ambassador program will be based on an application, letters of recommendation and, for finalists, an interview in March. Interested members can download the application from the IFB website,, under “Programs – WLC info and activities,” or by calling the Organizational Development Team at 317692-7830. More information is also available from Meggie Foster, coordinator of women’s programs, 317692-7183, Applications are due to the home office by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 3.

CountryMark to offer CNG fueling infrastructure —From CountryMark Indiana-based CountryMark announced on Jan. 22 that it plans to add Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to its lineup of Americanmade transportation fuels. “Our mission is to produce and supply marketleading energy products and services,” said CountryMark President and CEO Charlie Smith. “As we look at future Midwestern transportation fuel needs, we feel confident it will include CNG, and we and our branded dealers are excited about building the CNG infrastructure needed to bring this reliable and domestically produced fuel to the marketplace in the most convenient and cost-effec-

tive manner possible.” Today, there are more than 100 CountryMarkbranded fueling stations in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. “Our branded dealers work very closely with enduser customers to understand their transportation fuel needs,” said Jon Lantz, CountryMark vice president of marketing. “Based on conversations with a variety of Midwestern fleet managers, we see a sustainable and growing demand for CNG, especially among highmileage fleet customers. However, for many small and medium-size fleets, installing private CNG fueling infrastructure may not make economic sense. In these

situations, CountryMark and our branded dealers can use our business-to-business fueling expertise to make CNG available to the public in the most convenient and costeffective manner possible.” “Many fleets will still need diesel fuel and/or gasoline,” said Lantz. “Multiple fuels will better meet the needs of fleets transitioning to dedicated CNG vehicles, fleets that have invested in dual fuel or bi-fuel vehicles and fleets that are maintaining their traditional gasoline and diesel vehicles. CountryMark’s goal will be to provide the public with convenient, one-stopshop fueling.” Fleets seeking alternative fueling stations to fill natural gas, bifuel or dual-fuel

Purdue Extension publications explain U.S. ag policy issues Purdue University agricultural economist Roman Keeney is producing a series of publications to help farmers better understand changing U.S. agricultural policy. The free publications are under the series title of “APEX,” an acronym for “Ag Policy Explained,” and they delve into ag policy issues and how they affect the agricultural economy. The first publication, The End of the Direct Payment Era in U.S. Farm Policy, ex-

plains why direct payments to farmers likely will end with enactment of a new five-year farm bill and how the elimination might affect the agricultural economy as other support programs are created. Initial topics of the other publications also will focus on farm bill issues, including agricultural risk and policy, farm bill budget and baseline, farm bill eligibility and payment limits. The series later will cover other policy

topics of importance to agriculture such as immigration, renewable fuels, animal welfare and local issues. All of the publications in the series will be available online at Purdue Extension’s The Education Store, www. The End of the Direct Payment Era can be found by searching for publication number EC-774-W or by the name of the publication.

vehicles, should contact CountryMark’s CNG fuel manager, Jennifer Karras, to discuss where CountryMarkbranded CNG fueling sites

can most benefit their fleet operations. Karras can be reached at (800) 808-3170, extension 8203, or Jennifer.


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Calendar of Events January 30

District 7 women’s Statehouse trip. ID #8000002053 must be mentioned at time of reservation.

February 3, 4 12-15 18, 19

Campaign Management School, Indianapolis. National Farm Machinery Show, Louisville, Ky. IFB board of directors meeting, Indianapolis.

March 4-7 7, 8 25

Farm Bureau leader trip, Washington, D.C. IFB Spring Conference, Indianapolis. District 1 spring meeting.

January 29, 2014

For reservations call: 877.670.7088

ID #8000002053 must be mentioned at time of reservation.

For reservations call: 877.670.7088

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