Young Farmer Programs Recognized Page 4
Former Driver to Keynote Spring Conference Page 8
INSIDE: News in Brief.....................2 Rules & Regs.....................3 Around IFB........................6 Communication.................7 Around Indiana.................8
The Hoosier Farmer
A Publication for Voting Members of Indiana Farm Bureau
FEBRUARY 18, 2014 Issue No. 49
Farm Bureau welcomes 2014 farm bill —From the AFBF Public Relations Team With passage of the 2014 farm bill, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Feb. 7 after more than two years of work, farmers and ranchers from across the nation now have answers about how they can manage the many and varied risks they face in producing food and fiber. “It’s been a bumpy road for the farm bill over the past several years, with many twists and turns, but farmers never gave up nor lost momentum in working toward its passage,” said American Farm Bureau Fed-
eration President Bob Stallman. “Farm Bureau believes this farm bill will give farmers and ranchers a measure of business certainty for this and coming years, allowing them to better manage risk while carrying out the important business of providing food and jobs for America.” Stallman credited congressional Agriculture Committee leaders – House Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla.; House Ranking Member Collin Peterson, DMinn.; Senate Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; and Senate Ranking Member Thad Cochran, R-Miss. – for their leadership, persever-
ance and cooperation during what was a long, difficult and politically charged farm bill cycle. Including the cuts already made through sequestration, the farm bill will save $23 billion over the next 10 years. It will enhance rural economies with additional jobs, invest in research and education and include reform that works for farm and ranch families. Importantly, the bill also provides disaster provisions for livestock producers and fruit and vegetable growers. Now that it’s been signed into law, the Agricultural Act of 2014 now heads into the implementation phase.
Despite difficult weather conditions, county Farm Bureaus have been making regular visits to the Statehouse to lobby their legislators on issues important to Farm Bureau. Here Bob (left) and Frances Geswein of Floyd County talk to Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany. A summary of the status of some of Farm Bureau’s highest priority issues can be found on page 5 of this issue of The Hoosier Farmer. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
A snapshot of the Agricultural Act of 2014 Here is a synopsis of the priority issue areas as agreed upon in the conference report, as summarized by Kyle Cline, IFB’s national policy advisor. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will take a reduction in funding of about $8.6 billion. The cuts were primarily achieved by boosting the minimum threshold for low-income fuel assistance to food stamp households. Under this practice, known as “heat-and-eat,” as little as $1 per year in fuel aid has been used to claim a higher utility deduction and trigger eligibility for food stamps. The compromise will require Indiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206
that the fuel aid minimum be upped to at least $20. Marketing loans are the same as current law for all commodities except cotton, which is set an average of the prior two years and not more than 52 cents per pound or less than 45 cents per pound. The new law implements a dairy gross margin insurance program but without a supply management feature. Instead, dairy producers will have a base assigned to them at the highest level of their production in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Indemnities will be paid on any production up to base. If a producer increases his marNon-Profit Organization U.S. Postage
Berne, IN Permit NO. 43
ketings, only 25 percent of the indemnity will be paid above the base amount. For example, if a producer’s base was 3 million pounds and he produced 3.2 million pounds in 2014, he would receive indemnities on the 3 million pounds and 25 percent of the indemnities on the .2 million pounds. In addition, there is a transition period whereby the premiums are significantly reduced for the first two years for those producing less than 4 million pounds of milk. Also a new “Section 32 type” program is implemented and USDA will be required to purchase excess product if the margin falls below $4.00 for two consecutive months. Importantly, the funding for dairy when we began this process was only $300 million and now the baseline will be between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion. Target prices are those passed by the House – wheat at $5.50/bushel, corn
at $3.70/bushel, rice at $14/ cwt, soybeans at $8.40/ bushel, and peanuts at $535/ton. Also established by the law is a “shallow loss” program called the Agricultural Risk Coverage Program (ARC). Payments are made on base acres when actual crop revenue falls to a level between 76 and 86 percent of historical revenue. Maximum payments under this program will be 10 percent of the historical revenue. Cotton will transition away from the commodity programs toward the STAX (Stacked Income Protection Plan) program. However, STAX cannot be implemented this year, so cotton producers will receive a form of transition payment in 2014. There is a one-time option to re-allocate base acres and also a one time option to update yields. The payment limit for all commodity programs (Price Loss Coverage, Agricultural Risk Coverage,
Marketing Loan Gains, etc.) is $125,000 per person or $250,000 per couple. There is a 3-year adjusted gross income limit on onfarm or off-farm income of $900,000. If the AGI exceeds that level, program benefits are not allowed. Conservation compliance is linked to the crop insurance program, but there is no payment limit or means testing of the crop insurance program. The Livestock Indemnity Program, Emergency Livestock Assistance Program and Tree Assistance Program are all continued, funded at a higher level than in the past, and payments will be made retroactively. A Supplemental Coverage Option program is established for all program crops except cotton. For more on the details of the new law as well as the details of implementation, see the next several issues of The Hoosier Farmer. You can also contact Cline, email@example.com.
NEWS IN BRIEF
groups intend to regulate under the CWA. Through draft guidance and from a document leaked to the press, the agency implies that nearly all water is connected and EPA has authority to regulate it as the agency would “navigable” waters, according to Dierschke, a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s board of directors.
—Compiled by Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team
Farm Bureau comments on ‘Big Data’—“Proprietary data
collected from individual farms is valuable and should remain the property of the farmer,” noted AFBF President Bob Stallman in a statement released Jan. 31. Further, as innovation and technology using this data expands to provide farmers new management tools, protecting the privacy of this data is paramount, he noted. Farm Bureau will continue to work to ensure that a farmer’s data, whether related to seed or other crop inputs, the production system used, and both business and personal information, is extended the highest degree of protection. Farmer and rancher delegates attending AFBF’s annual convention this year felt so strongly about these matters that they gave clear direction and approved strong policy resolutions on the so-called ‘big-data’ issue as it relates to data privacy, ownership and use in agricultural production. Some of that policy language came from Indiana Farm Bureau, whose delegates also felt strongly about data protection. “We will continue to advocate for farmers whenever this issue is raised, and we will provide thought leadership on production-related data privacy issues,” said Stallman. (AFBF 2/3/14)
Million Women Mentors partners with National 4-H Club Council—The Katrina Hall (left), IFB’s state government relations director, and Amy Cornell, state government relations policy advisor and counsel, were interviewed on the the topics of livestock farms, criminal trespass and related issues on Jan. 23 by WIBC’s Abdul-Hakim Shabazz. Photo by Andy Dietrick
has benefitted consumers in the United States and around the world,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. “And with global population expected to grow from seven to nine billion by 2050, we will need 70% more food production to keep pace. A federal GMO labeling solution will provide a framework for the safe and continued use of technology that is essential to the future of our planet.” (CFSAF 2/5/14)
National 4-H Council has announced a partnership with the Million Women Mentors initiative. The initiative will support the engagement of one million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) mentors – male and female – to increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women to pursue and succeed in STEM degrees and careers. Million Women Mentors is a collective effort of more than 40 non-profit, media, education and government industry partners and nine corporate sponsors. To become involved with 4-H or Million Women Mentors, visit www.4-H.org and www. MillionWomenMentors.org.
farmers and representatives from a diverse group of almost 30 industry and nongovernmental organizations announced the formation of
the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food (www.CFSAF.org) and urged Congress to quickly seek a federal solution that would establish standards for the safety and labeling of food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients. American Farm Bureau Federation is among the farm groups that are part of the new coalition. “A federal solution on GMO labeling will bolster consumer confidence in the safety of American food by reaffirming the U.S. Food & Drug Administration role as the nation’s foremost authority on the use and labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients,” said Martin Barbre, president of the National Corn Growers. A federal GMO labeling solution is needed that will protect consumers and ensure the safety of food ingredients made through the use of modern agricultural biotechnology, eliminating the confusion and uncertainty of a 50 state patchwork of GMO safety and labeling laws and affirm the FDA as the nation’s authority for the use and labeling of genetically modified food ingredients. “GMO technology has fostered a revolution in American agriculture that
Legal Affairs Team
Public Relations Team
President...................................... Don Villwock Vice President.................................Randy Kron Second Vice President................. Isabella Chism Chief Operating Officer/Treasurer....Mark Sigler Receptionist...................................... Kim Duke General Fund Accountant.............. Tiffanie Ellis Office Manager & Meeting Planner.Kay Keown Controller.......................................Elaine Rueff Administrative Assistant....................Jill Shanley Executive Secretary..................... Beverly Thorpe
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 Communications Assistant......... Rachel Schrage
Wayne Belden (1 & 3) Greg Bohlander (6) Andrew Cleveland (4 & 6) Janice Deno (3) Jennifer Chandler Gish (9) 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)
Broad-Based coalition launched to advocate for congressional action on a federal GMO labeling solution—American
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
February 18, 2014
Public Policy Team Director........................................ Megan Ritter Policy Development & Industry Relations.........................Bob Cherry National Government Relations Policy Advisor................. Kyle Cline State GR Policy Advisor & Counsel.......................................Amy Cornell Administrative Assistant .................... B.J. Fields State Government Relations Director...................................... Katrina Hall Administrative Assistant .............Wanda Hunter State GR Senior Policy Advisor & Counsel..................................Justin Schneider Livestock Development Specialist... Greg Slipher Direct Retail Business Specialist........Bob White Policy Intern................................. Zach Schmidt
(National 4-H Council 1/8/14)
Texas Farm Bureau president testifies on EPA overreach—A po-
tential rule that significantly expands Clean Water Act jurisdiction could require farmers to obtain permits necessary to continue to operate. Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke expressed concern at a Feb. 5 hearing of the House Science, Space & Technology Committee that the Environmental Protection Agency is overreaching its authority and negatively affecting America’s farmers. The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are likely to propose a rule that significantly expands the definition of waters the
Organizational Development Team Director............................................... Kim Vail Program Assistant........................ Ashley Beasley 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 Program Assistant............................ Tracie Trent
President Obama hits key ag issues in State of the Union—
In his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, President Barack Obama hit on some key issues important to agriculture, including taxes, immigration reform and trade. “Any tax reform proposal or legislative effort that does not consider the individual tax code has a chance to hurt farmers and ranchers,” said Dale Moore, American Farm Bureau Federation’s executive director of public policy, in Newsline (AFBF’s podcast). “We want to protect the farmer and rancher business tax deductions, but at the same time, we need
Indiana Farm Bureau Inc./ Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Director of Affiliate Relations.................. Julie Klarich
to make sure that those individual tax reforms are part of that package as well.” The president also called on Congress to pass Trade Promotion Authority, which Moore says is important to agricultural exports and the rural economy. And he also called for passage of immigration reform. The key component in this reform for AFBF is ag labor reform.
Midwest Mint Growers to meet Feb. 27, 28 in Indiana—
Midwest mint growers will gather Feb. 27-28 in Plymouth to learn about a variety of production and use topics related to this specialty oil crop. The Midwest Mint Growers Meeting is sponsored by the Office of Agricultural Research at Purdue, Purdue Extension and the Indiana Mint Market Development and Research Council. It will be at Swan Lake Resort, 5203 Plymouth-LaPorte Trail. Indiana ranks third in the nation in spearmint production and fourth in peppermint production. The two-day program will start with a welcome from Dan Gumz, president of the Indiana Mint Market Development and Research Council. A banquet will be held that evening with an address by Mike Hoffman, chief meteorologist for WNDU-TV in South Bend. The workshops will wrap up with midday state grower meetings Feb. 28. Educational talks will be offered both days. Among the topics are the use of new herbicides and insecticides in mint, proper sprayer tank use and maintenance and a marketing update from an oil buyer’s perspective. Registration forms and program details were mailed to council members. Early registration is $40 per person and due by Feb. 21. After that date, the fee is $45. For more information, contact Fankhauser, 765-4948368, fankhaus@purdue. edu. (Purdue 2/6/14) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Duplicate Magazines If you are receiving more than one copy of The Hoosier Farmer®, please cut out both labels and return them to the address above. Magazine Design and Layout Davis Graphic Design www.davisgraphics.com The Hoosier Farmer® is published 14 times per year by Indiana Farm Bureau Inc., P.O. Box 1290, Indianapolis, IN 46206, and is furnished as a service to voting members and others. Controlled circulation. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Hoosier Farmer® P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206-1290. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
RULES & REGS
Trade Promotion Authority legislation introduced in Congress —By Kyle Cline IFB Public Policy Team On Jan. 9, the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 (S.1900/HR 3830) was introduced by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Rep. Dave Camp, RMich., who chairs the House Ways & Means Committee. This legislation, also known as “Trade Promotion Authority” (or TPA), provides for congressional consideration of a trade agreement without amendment; establishes negotiating objectives for trade agreements; and provides mechanisms for consultation between the administration and Congress during the process of a trade negotiation. The previous trade promotion authority expired on July 1, 2007. Farm Bureau policy supports the renewal of trade promotion authority for the president of the United States. TPA is viewed by other governments as a signal of serious congressional interest in moving ahead with trade negotiations. TPA legislation establishes the political support for and understanding of trade goals
necessary for the administration and the Congress to negotiate and approve international trade agreements. The TPA would improve market access through tariff reduction and science based sanitary standards as chief negotiating objectives for agriculture. “This trade negotiation authority is needed now,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “For negotiations to keep moving forward on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) discussions, we need the TPA authority in place.” The growth of U.S. agricultural exports, which exceeded $140 billion in 2013, contributes greatly to the economic well-being of farmers. Furthermore, on average, one out of every three acres in the U.S. is planted for export and farmers earn 25 percent of their farm income from exports. The current Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations and the potential US-EU trade agreement offer the opportunity for added billions of dollars of future U.S. farm exports with the expansion of agricultural market op-
Farm Bureau: OSHA overreach on grain bins must end —By the AFBF Public Relations Team A guidance memo produced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on grain bins and grain storage should be withdrawn because it provides authority for enforcement activities on small farms that are exempt under law, the American Farm Bureau Federation told Congress. While Farm Bureau has always made farm safety a priority, the OSHA memo overreaches agency authority and circumvents clear legislative language, according to Farm Bureau. “Farm Bureau understands OSHA’s concerns with grain bin safety,” said Scott VanderWal, president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation, testifying to the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections on behalf of AFBF.
Further, noted VanderWal, “Farm Bureau remains committed to grain bin and farm safety generally. Had OSHA reached out to Farm Bureau and others in agriculture we would have been eager to work with them to develop additional safety training programs if necessary to prevent injury.” Instead, OSHA inspectors have forged ahead with investigations of farmers in areas where agency authority is limited, if not entirely restricted by Congress, said VanderWal. “Congressional intent is clear that this language was adopted to protect small farms and should be interpreted broadly to protect farms with fewer than 10 employees and no labor camp,” VanderWal explained. He closed by calling on Congress to take action to prevent OSHA’s continued regulatory overreach.
Deb Walsh, District 1 woman leader, brought a group of members to Indianapolis Jan. 30 to lobby at the Statehouse and to take a tour of Indiana Farm Bureau’s home office. Front row (from left): Jack Rust, Porter County; Wayne Belden, IFB regional manager; Katy Rust, Porter County, Julia Tam, Fulton County; John Graeber, Lake County; Matt Hayden, Lake County, Deb Walsh, District 1 woman leader. Second row: Mary Ann LaFree, St. Joseph County; Tami James, St. Joseph County. Third row: Bree Beeney, Marshall County; Ruth Willy, Lake County. Back row: Wayne Wieterock, Lake County; Susie Hayden, Lake County, John Newsom, IFB regional manager. Not pictured: Dave Sommers and Joe Rude. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
portunities by the reduction of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers. Without the ability to negotiate and ratify trade agreements through a new Trade Promotion Authority, potential markets and economic leadership may be lost to our competitors. “The U.S. market is one of the most open in the world, yet our farmers and ranchers face high tariffs and other noncompetitive practices when they try to export their products,” said Stallman. “For U.S. agriculture to thrive, we have to correct these disparities and level
the playing field.” TPA provides that U.S. trade negotiators must participate in consultations with interested congressional committees and members, and it provides Congress with a strong role in the conduct of trade negotiations. Trade Promotion Authority was a critical component of the successful efforts to negotiate and pass trade agreements important to U.S. agriculture with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. The principal objective for agriculture in the legislation is to obtain competi-
tive opportunities for U.S. exports of agricultural commodities through more open and equitable access to foreign markets. Objectives for agriculture in the legislation also include achieving science-based rules for sanitary and phytosanitary measures which are enforceable by full dispute settlement procedures. Farmers are asked to contact their members of Congress to ask them to support a new Trade Promotion Authority that will benefit U.S. agriculture and establish a consensus for trade expansion.
Workshop to offer advice about hardwood lumber —By the Purdue Ag Communications Service The Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources is offering a workshop for those interested in the hardwood industry and wanting to learn about lumber production, proper handling and use. “Hardwood Lumber: Producing, Using and Selling” will be a one-day workshop, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the following locations: April 2. Purdue University, John S. Wright Conference Center, 1007 N. 725 W., West Lafayette. April 5. City of Elkhart, Elkhart Environmental Center, 1717 E. Lusher Ave. April 9. Southeast Purdue Agricultural Center (SEPAC), 4425 E. C.R. 350 N., Butlerville.
April 16. Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center (SIPAC), 11371 E. Purdue Farm Road, Dubois. Workshop topics include wood quality and characteristics, log scaling, hardwood lumber grading and pricing, sawing patterns and grade sawing, determining veneer quality logs, wood moisture and drying, stain and insects, and selling and marketing wood products for small and traditional producers. There will also be a sawing demonstration. “The hardwood industry is composed of a very diverse group of individuals, small companies and large companies that produce timber and continue to add value until a wood product finally ends up available to an individual consumer or to an industrial user,” said Dan
Cassens, a Purdue professor of wood products. Cassens is the author of Manufacturing and Marketing Eastern Hardwood Lumber Produced by Thin Kerf Band Mills, on which the presentations are based. The registration fee is $20. To register online and pay with a credit card, go to https://mdc.itap. purdue.edu/wk_sessions. asp?itemID=21371. To pay by check, complete the registration form with check payable to Purdue University and mail to Purdue Extension – The Education Store, 700 Ahlers Drive, MMDC Building, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2012. Registration by phone, at 888398-4636, also is available. For more information about the workshop, contact Cassens at 765-412-6844, email@example.com.
February 18, 2014
YOUNG FARMER CONFERENCE
Young Farmer programs recognized —By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team More than 500 young farmers and ranchers traveled to Indianapolis Jan. 24 and 25 for the annual Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Leadership Conference. LaPorte County Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer program was recognized as the top program in the state. The Young Farmer committee chairman and a guest will receive an expenses-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Conference in Virginia Beach, Va., in February. Jasper and Adams counties were runners-up. Clay, Elkhart and Tippecanoe counties received the Awakening Award. The Awakening Award was started in 1998 as a part of the outstanding county program to recognize county Young Farmer programs that are new or have not applied for the contest in the last three years. Grant County was recognized as the most improved Young Farmer Program. This is based on a comparison of activities of the past three years and how the activities and programs have improved in that county young farmer program. Two counties were recognized for their contributions to the Feeding Amer-
Attendees to the Young Farmer Conference packed 31,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger, an organization whose mission is to significantly reduce the number of hungry children in the USA and to feed starving children throughout the world. Photo by Andy Dietrick
ica program. Bartholomew County donated the most volunteer hours and the most money. The county young farmers collected $4,500 for local food banks and volunteered more than 500 hours in 2013. Fountain County was the top county in pounds of food donated. They work with Food Finders, a program that serves more than 160 hunger relief agencies such as food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters, among others. Overall, Fountain County Young Farmers helped collect and donated 18,000 pounds of food for the Food Finders program in 2013. Winners of the state’s two collegiate Farm Bureau chapters’ Discussion Meets were also recognized. Vincennes University Discussion Meet winner Brandon Knight, Daviess County, and Purdue University Discussion Meet winner Emmy Kratz, LaPorte County, were slated to compete in Virginia Beach, Va., Feb. 7-10 against other collegiate winners from around the country. Young farmers who recently competed at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in San Antonio received recognition as well. Alan Duttlinger, Tippecanoe County, competed in the Discussion Meet at AFBF. Matt and Kristen Schafer, LaPorte County, competed in the Achieve-
ment Award, which recognizes young farmers whose farm management techniques and commitment to their communities set a positive example for everyone involved in production agriculture. Nick and Julie Wenning, Decatur County, competed in the Excellence in Agriculture Award, which recognizes young farmers who do not receive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation that they own. Three non-profit organizations benefited from the conference. Tshirt and decal sales raised $970
for the Feeding America food bank network. Proceeds from a silent auction contributed $650 to the Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation. A live auction raised $5,096.50 for Kids Against Hunger, which will receive an additional $2,500 from Indiana Farm Bureau. Conference attendees also packed 31,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger. For more information on programs and conferences sponsored by Indiana Farm Bureau, visit www.infarmbureau.org or call 1-800-FARM-BUR (327-6287).
Clay, Elkhart and Tippecanoe counties received the Awakening Award, which recognizes county Young Farmer programs that are new or have not applied for the contest in the last three years. From left to right, Andy Bailey, chairman of Tippecanoe County Farm Bureau Young Farmers; Meggie Foster, IFB Young Farmer coordinator; Alex Wait, chairman of Elkhart County Farm Bureau Young Farmers; Casey Evans, chairman of Clay County Farm Bureau Young Farmers; and Orville Haney, chairman of the IFB Young Farmer Committee. Photo by Mindy Reef
Three counties were recognized for having outstanding overall Young Farmer programs. From left, Orville Haney, chairman of the IFB Young Farmer Committee; Darin Gudeman, chairman of Jasper County Farm Bureau Young Farmers, runners up; Andy Minich, chairman of LaPorte County Young Farmers, top county; Justin Hummel and Lynnette Hummel, co-chairs of Adams County Farm Bureau Young Farmers, runners up; and Meggie Foster, IFB Young Farmer coordinator. Photo by Mindy Reef
February 18, 2014
Property taxes, regulatory reform, and trespassing among IFB’s 2014 Statehouse priorities —By the IFB Statehouse Lobbying Team Again this year, the number one priority of Indiana Farm Bureau is to stop the implementation of erroneous soil productivity factors issued by the Department of Local Government Finance in February 2012. With the cooperation of the General Assembly, Indiana farmers have been spared an unjustified $54.7 million annual increase that would have occurred by implementing the factors presented to the DLGF by the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service. The problem is so well known that Governor Pence called for “fixing the soil productivity factors” in his State of the State address. SB 111, authored by Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, unanimously passed out of the Senate. It is anticipated that the House will take up the measure and support it as House members have done the last two years. In the meantime, agronomists at Purdue are working to refine the results of using updated NRCS soil date through the original model that was used to determine the original factors in use since 1980. The big question of the session is “What will happen with the personal property tax”? The governor placed a priority on it in his State of the State address. Both the House and Senate passed proposals addressing the issue in the first half of the session, but that is where the common themes end. SB 1, authored by Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek, exempts taxpayers with $25,000 or less in personal property from property tax and does not provide replacement revenue to local governments. The bill lowers the corporate gross income tax. HB 1001, authored by Rep. Turner, R-Cicero, provides for a local option by the county income tax council to allow the elimination of new personal property in their county. This bill essentially provides a method for automatic abatement to all owners of business personal property and requires no application or approval process. While HB 1001 does not provide replacement revenue, it does allow local officials a measured first step in providing relief from personal property tax where the tax base is such that shifts would not be significant or where local officials want to create a more attractive tax climate for business development. County and city officials continue to fight both the House and Senate proposals. IFB will keep members updated on this important issue through The Dispatch (IFB’s legislative newsletter). For those who are keeping score, local government reform proposals filed on a single county executive for Allen County and consolidation of townships did not receive a hearing in the first half of the session. Farms and their economic viability are often harmed by trespassers. A remedy is needed to protect the private property rights of Indiana farmers. Removing the posting burden to enforce trespassing laws is a long-standing IFB policy. SB 101, authored by Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, would do just that. Indiana farmers will not be required to post “no trespassing” signs to protect the production areas of their farms. If a trespasser commits an intentional act that causes property damage, it could result in additional penalties depending on the amount of damage caused. Furthermore, the bill adds causing property damage to an agricultural operation to the existing crime of “institutional criminal mischief.” The provisions of SB 101 provide a greater deterrent effect for those who intend harm to the property owner or his business. Another important bill is SB 186, authored by Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, that declares the state policy on agriculture and farmers’ rights. Indiana Farm Bureau strongly supports legislation that strengthens and reaffirms Indiana’s vision for and commitment to agriculture. The bill further states that the Indiana Code shall be construed to protect the rights of farmers to choose among all generally accepted farming and livestock production practices, including the use of ever-
Farmland Assessment Base Value 2003 to 2017 Base x .5 SPF
Base Value $2,500
Base x 1.28
Progression of farmland tax value alarming Like clockwork, the base value of farmland used for property tax assessment has been increasing. This chart shows the progression of the base value since 2003 and the range of values that result from application of the soil productivity factors. The dollar amount and rate of increase are alarming at a time when the assessments of most other properties have deflated in the market value system used in Indiana since 2003. What farmers know is that the changes to the base value almost certainly result in a proportional increase in their tax bills. 2014 tax bills will be calculated on a base value of $1,760 which is derived using data from 2006 to 2011. This is an 8 percent increase over last year and hits farmers at a time when commodity prices and farm income are dramatically lower. The base value is averaged capitalized net income for the lowest five of six years. Because of delays in the data used in the formula, the four-year data lag creates the “perfect storm” where the base value is escalating and farm income is on the decline. The 2017 base value of $2,770 is derived using commodity prices and yields from 2008 to 2013. Accordingly, the lower prices experienced by farmers in 2014 won’t hit the formula until 2018. IFB will keep members posted on this issue, but it’s time to let legislators know that farmland taxes are out of control.
changing technology. Farmers need to be able to choose from all farming and husbandry practices to be successful in raising food, feed, fiber and fuel for this and future generations. Two bills addressing regulatory reform moved through the House of Representatives on unanimous votes. The first, HB 1217, authored by Rep. Steve Davisson from Salem and Rep. Don Lehe from Brookston, requires the Indiana Departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Management to develop and implement a process in which the agencies will jointly accept and process applications for activities that require permits from each agency. The bill lists considerations that must be made, such as how to change the application process and forms to improve efficiency in applying. A deadline of Jan. 1, 2015, was set for implementation. This issue has been regularly identified in the policy development process as an area of concern for Farm Bureau members. The second bill establishes an administrative process similar to that already used by agencies for DNR to seek reimbursement from responsible parties for loss of fish and wildlife. While claims made by DNR are rare, there have been several concerns raised over the past several years that individuals were unable to challenge DNR’s determination because the law required that the individual defend in a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General. The claims for damages are most often less than $3,000, which is significantly lower than the cost of a legal defense. Farm Bureau worked with DNR to suggest an administrative process that will replace the requirement for the Attorney General to bring suit. The changes are included in HB 1307, which was authored by Rep. Sean Eberhart of Shelbyville. Another bill which has moved without much fanfare but which is vitally important to agriculture is SB 271, authored by Sen. Ed Charbonneau. The bill authorizes a significant study related to water resource management. It includes provisions on studying the impact of water availability on economic development and rural areas and specifically notes the needs of agriculture. In addition, it states that the study committee should receive information on how state agencies and state and local government can better coordinate their activities related to oversight of water resources. The deliberate development of a comprehensive water plan that addresses the needs of agriculture is a priority for Farm Bureau.
February 18, 2014
Who’s Who at Indiana Farm Bureau Ashley Beasley, program assistant
Ashley Beasley at her new desk in IFB’s organizational development team. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
—Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team Early this month, Ashley Beasley joined Indiana Farm Bureau Inc. following eight years at Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, where she held several positions, including life specialist II, payment consultant and life new business case analyst. In her new role as a program assistant in IFB’s organizational development team, Beasley will be assisting with data management for membership, Spring Conference, Ag in the Classroom, State Fair, Taste of Indiana Farms and women’s leadership conferences. Her work will help educate the community about Indiana agriculture and the
hard work that farmers are doing on a daily basis. Beasley is a native of Indianapolis who graduated second in her class from Emmerich Manual High School. She attended Ball State University for a year and is now working on her bachelor’s in organizational leadership at the University of Indianapolis. She has two daughters – Lauren, 5 and Alyssa, 3. In her free time, Beasley enjoys singing karaoke, reading and journaling. “I’m very pleased and excited for the opportunity to work for such a strong, committed organization,” Beasley said. “My favorite part is the relationship building: with staff, the members and the community. It’s what we’re all about!”
District 10 regional manager Allison Hines
Allison Hines poses in the Indiana Statehouse after bringing members from Floyd County to Indianapolis to lobby their legislators. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
—Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team Allison Hines, a native of Columbus, Ind. joined Indiana Farm Bureau in January as the regional manager for the western portion of District 10, covering Jackson, Scott, Harrison, Washington, Floyd and Clark counties. Hines is a graduate of Butler University, where she majored in political science and public relations and comes to Indiana Farm Bureau following seven years in Washington, D.C, working as a staff member in the House of Representatives for a Colorado congressman, Mike Pence and, most recently, a house caucus. In her new position, Hines will serve as a liaison between the Indianapolis office and the county offices and
membership boards. She will help the counties in her district achieve their local and statewide goals – everything from policy development to member recruitment and educational goals. Hines is excited to settle in to her new career at Indiana Farm Bureau, which has allowed her to move back to Indiana, where she looks forward to learning how to garden this summer. She also enjoys baking. Her parents, Dwayne and Tami Hines, serve on the board of directors for Bartholomew County. “I’ve only been here 14 days, so far,” she said, “but the warmth and hospitality I’ve received make it clear that IFB is an organization that represents Hoosier values. I’m honored to be a part of that legacy.”
Communications assistant Rachel Schrage
Rachel Schrage at Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica. Travel is one of Schrage’s hobbies. Photo courtesy of Rachel Schrage
—By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team Rachel Schrage became the newest member of the IFB public relations team on Jan. 27. Schrage, a graduate of Indiana University’s school of journalism, is the team’s communications assistant. A new position at Indiana Farm Bureau, the role of communications assistant combines administrative duties with writing, editing and photography. “I will work with the public relations team in many different capacities – from sending displays to county Farm Bureaus for use at fair time to writing copy for The Hoosier Farmer,” Schrage said. A native of Indianap-
olis, Schrage graduated from IU-Bloomington in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Italian and a minor in French. Prior to Farm Bureau, she worked as an event planner at Dallara IndyCar factory and interned with the National FFA. Her hobbies include traveling, watching Formula One and IndyCar racing, cooking and eating. “My favorite activities are any that combine two or more of the above,” she said. “Hopefully my work will be helpful in educating members, and the general public, about Indiana agriculture and the work of the Indiana Farm Bureau,” she added.
—From the American Farm Bureau Federation The American Farm Bureau Federation has indicated its opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2014 renewable fuel standard requirements, which would scale back the total amount of biofuels that must be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply. AFBF responded to EPA’s Federal Register notice for public comment. The proposal lowers the mandate to 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels. Of the 15.2 billion gallons, 13.01
February 18, 2014
billion gallons would come from conventional ethanol and 2.2 billion gallons from advanced biofuels. EPA is proposing that 1.28 billion gallons of the advanced biofuel target be biodiesel. “This decision strikes a blow to conventional ethanol production and dampens the prospects for the further development of advanced biofuels,” said Dale Moore, AFBF executive director of public policy. “EPA’s proposal will severely move away from achieving the goals that were set by Congress to create a more robust
Farm Bureau expresses opposition to RFS proposal
renewable fuels industry as well as a pathway to achieving energy independence from unstable regions of the world.” Farm Bureau is urg-
ing EPA to reconsider its 2014 proposed volume standards and stay the course in order to meet targets indicated in the Energy Independence
and Security Act of 2007, which calls for 18.15 billion gallons of renewable fuels next year with 14.4 billion gallons to be conventional ethanol and 3.75 billion gallons was to be advanced biofuels. “Renewable fuels have been a tremendous success story for the nation as a whole as well as to the rural economy,” continued Moore. “The RFS2 has reduced our country’s dependence on foreign crude oil, reduced air pollution, increased farm incomes and has provided good paying jobs within rural America.”
Since the RFS2 was put in place in 2007, the U.S. has seen tremendous growth within the agricultural sector: agricultural exports have increased 57 percent, total livestock output has increased 31 percent and total crop output has increased 44 percent. Additionally, since 2007, the United States has seen crude oil imports decrease from 60 percent of total use down to 40 percent. If the 2014 volume requirements are finalized, this decision would stall growth and progress in each of these areas.
Celebrate Ag Day in March —By Andy Dietrick Public Relations Team This year National Agriculture Day will be observed on March 25. This marks the
41st anniversary of National Ag Day, which is celebrated in classrooms and communities across the country. The 2014 theme is “Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed.” For the past few years, Indiana has officially proclaimed March as “Ag Month,” giving Hoosiers a full 31 days to show their appreciation for agriculture. Indiana’s Family of Farmers, the outreach coalition of which IFB is an active member, will once again be working with food trucks and local growers to celebrate Ag Day at the Indiana Government Center. Local Ag Day celebrations will be taking place across the state, and we’d like to remind you be sure to invite media to your events so they can give your efforts more exposure in the community.
Farm Bureau and Indiana’s Family of Farmers will be working with local food trucks to celebrate Ag Day at the Indiana Government Center. Shown is the food truck event held as part of the 2013 Ag Day celebration. Chilly temps and wet weather didn’t stop state workers from enjoying the various foods being offered. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
And don’t forget to send us your photos and event information so we can post them on the IFB Facebook page and website. There will be a special ad-
dition to the Ag Day events taking place in our nation’s capital this year. Farmland, a documentary film by James Moll that chronicles the lives of six young farm-
ers, has been scheduled as part of the March 25 activities. More information about National Agriculture Day can be found at http://www. agday.org.
Farmers need to help other farmers during propane crisis —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team The Indiana State Climate Office has predicted that the bitterly cold temperatures and frequent snow showers
the state has experienced over the past two months will continue through February. “There’s really no relief in sight,” Ken Scheeringa, associate state climatologist, said
in a Purdue news release. “We’re in for a true Indiana winter – like the ones we old folks remember from our youth.” The cold weather as well as the hazardous condition
Congress opens ‘Window of opportunity’ for immigration reform —By Kyle Cline National Policy Advisor Public Policy Team There is a window of opportunity in the U.S. House of Representatives to move immigration reform in 2014. During a retreat in January, the House GOP Conference released its “Principles for Immigration Reform.” The GOP is also currently discussing how members will move forward immigration reform this year. To educate and advocate for agricultural labor reform, Farm Bureau has partnered with Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE) in the #IFarmImmigration campaign. PNAE brings together more than 500 Republican, Democratic and independent mayors and business leaders united in making the economic case for streamlining, modernizing, and rationalizing our immigration system. More can be found about PNAE here. PNAE is sponsoring
a broad campaign titled #IVoteImmigration and will be coordinating an effort that extends over multiple months. Agriculture will take center stage during the month of February. The goal is to spotlight individual growers who have been forced to alter their business plans or had crop loss issues because of the inability to secure a legal and reliable workforce stemming from the broken H-2A program. Indiana Farm Bureau is currently searching for producers with direct experience with the H-2A program who have experienced these challenges and/or economic hardship and who would like to join the effort by telling their stories and advocating for reform. Agricultural labor reform is necessary for the current and future viability of our farmers and rural communities as well as our nation’s collective food and economic security. Indiana Farm Bureau commends the House leadership for rec-
ognizing that farmers need long-term access to a legal and stable workforce. We are hopeful that this step in the right direction will lead to a formal framework that can finally address the challenges with the current broken H-2A program and the resulting labor shortage. This is a critical moment and it is important to make sure that our members of Congress know that we strongly support efforts that are moving us towards achieving immigration reform this year. A recent statement by AFBF President Bob Stallman on the latest developments can be found at AFBF’s website, www. fb.org, by clicking on “Newsroom” and then “News Releases,” and then “Statement Regarding House Leadership Immigration Principles.” Members with an interest in getting involved the #IvoteImmigration campaign and hosting an event or farm tour may contact me at (317) 692-7845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
of many rural roads could exacerbate an already difficult situation for those who rely on propane to heat their homes and their barns. “Hoosiers continue to face severe propane shortages and unprecedented winter weather, with no relief from either in sight,” said Gov. Mike Pence during a Feb. 4 news conference. Indiana “now encourages the federal government to take every possible action to relieve the supply shortages and ensure families, farmers, and business owners can heat their homes, barns, and businesses,” Pence added. Pence has joined governors from the Midwestern Governors Association in signing a letter to President Barack Obama requesting immediate assistance to address the current propane supply shortage across the Midwest. Pence joined fellow governors from the Midwestern Governors Association Terry Branstad of Iowa, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Rick Snyder of Michigan, Mark Dayton of Minnesota and John Kasich of Ohio – in signing the letter. It asks the administration, including the U.S. Departments of Energy and Transportation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Association, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and any other relevant agencies, to
take any possible steps to increase propane supplies through any means of transport. Indiana Farm Bureau, the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Corn Growers Association are encouraging their members to do what farmers have always done in times of trouble: Reach out across the fencerow and help out a neighbor. Grain farmers who use propane for grain drying are urged to check their tanks for any residual fuel. If there is propane left from last fall’s drying season, they are encouraged to contact their neighbors with livestock barns to see if they are in need. Hoosiers who have a surplus and wish to provide assistance can also contact their local propane supplier. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture also has communicated with the commercial grain industry, asking for a recheck on stocks that might be available for resale. To assist propane suppliers in meeting the needs of Hoosiers, Pence has repeatedly extended an emergency proclamation to waive propane transport statutes. The latest extension is in effect until March 1. Nearly 10 percent of Indiana residents use propane for residential heating, Pence noted.
February 18, 2014
Former IndyCar driver will keynote Spring Conference —Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team
Ken Roney, manager of advanced sales, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.
Indiana Farm Bureau’s 2014 Spring Conference will be held at the Indianapolis Marriott East March 7 and 8. The theme of this year’s conference is “Slice of Life.” Sarah Fisher, a former IndyCar driver and the owner of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, will be the keynote speaker. She will present “Racing to Win: On the Track, In Business, In Life” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 7. Among her many accomplishments, Fisher holds the record for the most starts in the Indianapolis 500 by a woman, nine in total, and is the first female team owner to win an IndyCar Series race. In addition to speakers, award ceremonies and silent auctions, Spring Conference will feature several workshops and breakout sessions from which attendees may choose.
Friday, March 7
2:45 p.m. – Workshop series #1: • “Speed Sharing” – Dr. Julie Klarich, director of affiliate relations, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. • PARP session – Fred
Saturday, March 8
Sarah Fisher, a former IndyCar driver and now the owner of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Spring Conference.
Whitford, Purdue University. • “Flower Arranging” – Brianna Chapman, The Flower Girl, www.middletownfloraldesign.net. 4:30 p.m. – Workshop series #2: • “Standing Tall: Cowboy Ethics” – Dwight Moody. • PARP Session (continued) – Fred Whitford, Purdue University. • “Affordable Health Care Act: Making Sense of the New Healthcare Law” -
8:15 a.m. – Breakout session series #1: • Farm bill update – Indiana Farm Bureau. • “Talking With Consumers About GMOs” – Janice Person, Monsanto. • “Container Gardening Tips & Tools” – Darren Collins, Wischmeier Nursery. 9:30 a.m. – Breakout session series #2: • Ag in the Classroom training – Julie Taylor, education coordinator, Indiana Farm Bureau. • “What is Farm Succession and How Do You Plan for It?” – Kevin Spafford, Farm Journal succession planning expert. • “Dishin’ with Donna: Food Preservation” – Donna Handley. 10:45 a.m. – Breakout session series #3: • “Taking the Next Step in Farm Succession” – Kevin Spafford, Farm Journal succession planning expert. • “Electricity Thieves That Have Your Permission to Steal From You” – Bob Geswein, REMC. • “Trash to Treasure” – Deb Walsh.
Special membership prizes to be awarded at Spring Conference —Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team At this year’s Spring Conference, which marks the culmination of the winter membership blitz, membership volunteers who have recruited at least one new member will be eligible for prizes, and the more new members recruited, the more chances there will be to win. Any volunteer who signs up a new member before Spring Conference will re-
ceive a promotional gift. The volunteer will also be given one entry into a prize drawing for each new member recruited. To be eligible for these prizes, proof of recruitment must be provided in the form of a photocopy of the membership application and a check or receipt. Prize packages in the membership recruitment drawing include a Longaberger Camo Caddy basket, a Horizon of Hope basket with lid, gift certificates from
member benefit vendors and Farm Bureau logo merchandise. Membership volunteers who excel at recruiting new members during the membership year will be recognized and receive additional awards at the 2014 Indiana Farm Bureau state convention in French Lick. To qualify for this special recognition, volunteers must recruit at least six new primary voting members before Sept. 30.
Calendar of Events February 18, 19
IFB Board of Directors meeting, Indianapolis.
March 4-6 6 7, 8 13 18, 19 25 25
Farm Bureau leader trip, Washington, D.C. Women’s Leadership Committee meeting, Indianapolis. IFB Spring Conference, Indianapolis. Indiana Forage, Livestock & Grain Forum, Indianapolis. IFB Board of Directors meeting, Indianapolis. District 1 spring meeting. National Agriculture Day.
February 18, 2014
My Local Indiana challenges Hoosiers to eat and shop locally —Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team A new initiative of the Indiana Cooperative Development Center, called My Local Indiana, asks Hoosiers to pledge 10 percent of their annual food dollar to supporting local farms and growers. If every Indiana family took this pledge, more than $1.7 billion currently going out of state would stay in Indiana to support and grow Indiana farms, businesses and rural communities, according to the IDCD. For most people, 10 percent of their annual food dollar amounts to $7 per week;
for an average family, it amounts to $689 per year. There are many ways to buy local, the cooperative development center said: shopping at farmers’ markets or roadside farm stands, becoming involved in Community Supported Agriculture, or simply patronizing grocery stores which buy products from local farmers, are all ways to keep more money in Indiana and support local agriculture. Visit mylocalindiana. com to find resources for shopping and eating locally in your community and to pledge your household’s support.
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