Page 1

Preliminary Census Doesn’t Tell Full Story Page 4

Local Farm Bureaus Get Creative Page 5

INSIDE: News in Brief.....................2 State & Nation................3,4 Local News.......................5 Rules & Regs.....................6 Communication.................7 Ag Industry News..............8

The Hoosier Farmer


A Publication for Voting Members of Indiana Farm Bureau

MARCH 10, 2014 Issue No. 50

Ag trespass, farm protection bills ready for governor’s signature —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team Two bills that address farmers’ rights in general and the right against trespass in particular have passed both houses of the Indiana General Assembly. Senate Enrolled Act 101, which addresses trespassing, and SEA 186, which declares the state policy on agriculture and farmers’ rights, were headed to the governor for his signature as of The Hoosier Farmer’s March 3 deadline. Removing the posting burden to enforce trespassing laws is a longstanding Indiana Farm Bureau policy, noted Amy Cornell, IFB state government relations policy advisor and counsel. SEA 101, authored by Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, will do just that. Under the legislation, which is effective July 1 of this year, 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, Cornell explained. Furthermore, the bill adds causing property damage to an agricultural operation to the existing crime of institutional criminal mischief. Indiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206

The provisions of SEA 101 provide a greater deterrent effect for those who intend harm to the property owner or his business. After passing the Senate 41-5, SEA 101 passed the House with no amendments on a 73-25 vote. “Throughout the process IFB has contended that farms and their economic viability are often harmed by trespassers, and that farmers should be not be burdened with the obligation to post signs in every field and on every building they own,” IFB said in the statement it released upon the bill’s passage. “We are gratified that the Indiana General Assembly agrees.” SEA 186, authored by Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, declares the state policy on agriculture and farmers’ rights. “IFB strongly supports legislation that strengthens and reaffirms Indiana’s vision for and commitment to agriculture,” Cornell said. “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 everchanging technology.” IFB is especially thankful for the leadership shown by the House sponsor, Rep. Don Lehe, R-Brookston, Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage


Berne, IN Permit NO. 43

Grassroots action makes all the difference when it comes to influencing legislators, according to Indiana Farm Bureau’s public policy team. Many county Farm Bureaus have been proving that by visiting the Statehouse during this session of the General Assembly. At the top of the page, a group that includes Wayne County Farm Bureau President Mary Ferris (center) prepares for meeting with legislators. (Photo by Rachel Schrage.) In the photo just above, a group from Indiana House District 33 and vicinity talks with Rep. Gregory Beumer, R-Farmland, in the hall outside the House chamber. (Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro.)

and the Senate author, Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury. Despite a misleading media campaign by the bill’s opponents, these legislators stood firm in support of Indiana agriculture, noted IFB President Don Villwock. “We appreciate that the House understood the true context of SB 186 and are thankful for their thoughtful deliberation and favorable vote,” he said. “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,” Cornell added. After passing the Senate 408, SEA 186 passed the House without amendments, 59-28.

Annexation bill moves in house —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team A bill that, as amended, would place a moratorium on annexation beginning April 1 and ending July 1, 2015, has been approved by the House Government & Regulatory Reform Committee. As of The Hoosier Farmer’s deadline, was expected to be voted on by the full Indiana House on March 3. SB 273 was amended and moved out of committee after two weeks of negotiation with cities and towns. The bill, which was authored

by Sen. Buck, R-Kokomo, was presented by the House sponsor, Rep. Robert Cherry, R-Greenfield. The moratorium provides time for the study committee requested by the bill to thoroughly assess the issue and for the next General Assembly to act. Katrina Hall, IFB state government relations director, supported the moratorium along with the Association of Indiana Counties. The bill moved through second reading on Feb. 27 without amendments.



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

Tax reform proposal addresses tax rates, key deductions for ag—The ex-

tensive tax reform proposal released Feb. 26 by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., is “a strong and much-needed start to what will surely be an extensive tax reform discussion,” according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. Camp’s proposal would lower both the top corporate income tax rate and the top individual tax rate to 25 percent, down from the current 35 percent for corporations and 39.6 percent for individuals. While lower income tax rates sound good, the elimination or reduction of some key accounting methods and depreciation and expensing deductions could possibly offset the benefit of a lower income tax rate for farmers and ranchers. Read more on FBNews’ website, (AFBF 2/28/14)

a range of production agriculture, organic, biotechnology and academic interests. Barry Bushue, vice president of AFBF and president of Oregon Farm Bureau, serves on the committee. Farm Bureau strongly believes that coexistence is working and, as of The Hoosier Farmer’s March 3 deadline, was planning to submit comments to USDA by the March 4 deadline. For more information on coexistence, visit the USDA’s website,, click on “Topics” then “Biotechnology,” and then on the link labeled “Advisory Committee on Biotechnology & 21st Century Agriculture (AC21).” (AFBF 2/26/14)

Statement on swine feeding practices clarifies legality of feedback—Dr. John

Last week the Humane Society of the United States alleged that swine feedback is prohibited by Kentucky state law, in conjunction with the release of video footage shot at a hog farm by an undercover activist. Visit the American Association of Swine Veterinarians’ website ( for more information about PEDv. (AFBF 2/25/14)

New ethanol economic study released—The Renewable

Fuels Association unveiled a new study by ABF Economics entitled “Contribution of the Ethanol Industry to the Economy of the United States,” at the National Ethanol Conference in Orlando, Fla. The study, authored by economist John Urbanchuk, examines the nationwide impact of the ethanol industry in 2013 on job creation, the economy, household income and foreign oil displacement. Among the highlights of the study: a substantial improvement in industry profitability resulting from declining feedstock prices; the first commercial-scale production of cellulosic ethanol; and an increase in total ethanol production on a national level by an estimated 0.4 percent from 2012 levels to 13.3 billion gallons. The full study is available on the RFA website, (AFBF 2/24/14)

Current Format

FDA proposes updates to nutrition facts label on food packages—The U.S. Food and

Drug Administration on Thursday proposed updates to the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods. The proposed label would replace out-of-date serving sizes to better align with how much people really eat, and it would feature a fresh design to highlight key parts of the label such as calories and serving sizes, according to the FDA. Some of the proposed changes would require information about the amount of “added sugars” in a food product; present “dual column” labels to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition information for larger packages that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings; and refresh the format to emphasize certain elements, such as calories, serving sizes and Percent Daily Value. (USDA 2/27/14)

Department is soliciting public comments on how to strengthen agricultural coexistence—the concurrent use of organic, conventional and modern biotechnology in agriculture production—in the United States. USDA is seeking public comment to identify ways to foster communication and collaboration among those involved in all sectors of agriculture production. The comment period is related to AC21, a committee that advises the secretary of agriculture on issues related to coexistence and consists of 23 members representing

Clifford, the Agriculture Department’s chief veterinarian, has issued a statement on swine feedback as a means of stimulating disease immunity. In the statement, Clifford clarified that federal law does not prohibit feedback. “The practice of feedback is commonly used by the veterinary industry and is used to stimulate immunity to prevent the further spread of infection,” Clifford stated. Further, “It is used when vaccination and other tools are not available to treat disease. It does not fall under the authority of the Swine Health Protection Act as this act defines ‘garbage’ as ‘resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking or consumption of food,’” he said. For decades, hog farmers have immunized sows through controlled exposure to a virus so they can transfer antibodies against that virus to their piglets through lactation. Swine feedback is a long-standing procedure to achieve controlled disease exposure. In dire situations, such as the devastating porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, this is the only tool to stimulate the immunity of the sow.

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 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)

Farm Bureau comments on coexistence—The Agriculture

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

March 10, 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

Proposed Format

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 Univer-

sity, John S. Wright Conference Center, West Lafayette. April 5 – City of Elkhart, Elkhart Environmental Center. April 9 – Southeast Purdue Agricultural Center, Butlerville. April 16 – Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center (SIPAC), 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 presentations are based on Manufacturing and Marketing Eastern Hardwood Lumber Produced by Thin Kerf Band Mills, by Dan Cas-

sens, Purdue professor of wood products. The Society of American Foresters has approved the workshop for professional Continuing Forestry Education (CFE) credits of 6.5 hours. Participants should bring their own lunch. The registration fee is $20. To register online and pay with a credit card, go to the Purdue Education Store, default.asp, and click on the “Workshops” link. 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, 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:

Workshop to offer advice about hardwood lumber—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

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

Duplicate Magazines If you are receiving more than one copy of The Hoosier Farmer®, please cut out both labels and return them to the address above. Magazine Design and Layout Davis Graphic Design The Hoosier Farmer® is published 14 times per year by Indiana Farm Bureau Inc., P.O. Box 1290, Indianapolis, IN 46206, and is furnished as a service to voting members and others. Controlled circulation. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Hoosier Farmer® P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206-1290. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.



Commodity program changes outlined for new farm bill —By Kyle Cline IFB Public Policy Team Now that the dust (and euphoria) has settled a bit on the new farm bill, farmers are beginning to ask “So what’s next?” This Hoosier Farmer series will explore and shed light on the various provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014 over the course of the next few months. Many of the specific program details and planned implementation are currently unknown. According to USDA Secretary Tom Villsack, the agency has formed steering committees for each title, and plans are underway regarding rollout and specifics. Livestock disaster aid programs are expected to accept enrollments very soon. In the meantime, here is an overview of the new commodity program intended to outline the decisions and options that farmers will be faced with in 2014 and beyond. Direct payments: Direct payments are repealed for the 2014 crop year with the exception of cotton producers. Cotton producers will collect a “transitional” direct payment equaling 60 percent of their past payments for the 2014 crop year and 36.5 percent for the 2015 crop year. Cotton producers will be eligible for those transitional payments in counties where the insurance program STAX is not available. Revised commodity program: Farmers must make a one-time, irrevocable decision between two competing commodity program approaches, which include the following: A) price program or B) county or individual farm revenue support program. The revenue program is known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and the price support program Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The choice of program is a onetime decision to be made by the deadline established by FSA. That deadline is expected to be during the upcoming summer. Once selected, farmers will be locked in to their program election until at least 2018. The commodity programs and the choices required all begin with the 2014 crop year. The payout in the different programs and insurance options will be tied to the individual farm,

county revenue or national prices. There are no payment caps on individual programs, but there is a $125,000 cap on individuals for all commodity programs taken together, which is doubled ($250,000) for married couples. Furthermore, adjusted gross income eligibility in the commodity program is limited to those making under $900,000. When completed by the USDA, the final regulations will further determine program and decision parameters, as well as when farmers can begin to sign up. The USDA will also determine who is eligible as a farmer for commodity program payments. Base acres: In the new commodity scheme, base acres will be used to determine all program payments, and no payments will be based on acres actually planted. Payments for ARC and PLC will be paid on base acres for the covered commodity. For multiple commodities on base acres, the base will be prorated to reflect the ratio of planted acres to the total acres of all covered commodities on the farm. There is a one-time option to retain base acres or re-allocate base acres among those covered commodities planted during the 2009 through 2012 crop years. If the owners choose reallocation, the farm’s base acres going forward will be in proportion to the fouryear average of acres planted to each covered commodity in those crop years, including any acreage that was prevented from being planted to a covered commodity in a crop year. Other base acre provisions, such as adjustments for acres that exit the Conservation Reserve Program, are similar to the 2008 farm bill except the program decisions outlined below must be made for CRP acres when they exit. An election to reallocate base acres cannot, however, result in an overall increase in the farm’s base acres. Payment yields: At the same time, there is a onetime option to update yield payments for the covered commodities. Payment yields are currently a part of the farm records at USDA (along with base acres) and, similar to the Counter-Cyclical Payments program from 2008, payment yields will

be used to calculate the PLC payments for any covered commodities on which PLC has been elected. If a yield update is elected, the new payment yields will be equal to 90 percent of the average yield per planted acre of the covered commodity in the 2008 through 2012 crop years. Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC): Within the ARC program, producers must make yet another decision. They must decide to enroll in county level revenue (County ARC) coverage on a commodity-by-commodity basis, or individual farm level revenue (Individual ARC) coverage that applies to all of the commodities on the farm. Under ARC, 85 percent of base acres are covered for the county option, but payment acres are set at 65 percent for the individual coverage. Payments on the county option occur when actual county revenue for a covered commodity in a crop year is less than the countyrevenue trigger a particular commodity. The payment will be lesser of 10 percent of the benchmark county revenue for a commodity or the difference between the country trigger and the actual county revenue. The ARC guarantee for a covered commodity in a crop year is 86 percent of the benchmark revenue and historical yield. In this case, price and yield data from the past five years are averaged to calculate the benchmark. However, the high and low years are not used. In short, ARC provides a band of revenue protection from 76 percent to 86 percent of total revenue. In the event of deeper losses beyond this band, insurance is expected to pick up the slack and ensure adequate protections. It should be noted that farmers who sign up for ARC are excluded from buying Supplemental Coverage Option insurance because they are similar in effect. Price Loss Coverage (PLC): Starting in 2014, producers enrolled in PCL would receive a payment when effective price of a crop is less than the reference price (target price). The effective price for a commodity is the “higher of

the national average market price during the 12-month marketing year or the national average loan rate.” In other words, the average price for corn for a marketing year would have to be below $3.70 per bushel to kick in. PLC payment yields could be paid on as much as 90 percent of the farm’s commodity crops based on 2009-2012 crop years. Reference prices under PLC are set at the following: Corn, $3.70 per bushel; soybeans, $8.40 per bushel; wheat, $5.50 per bushel; grain sorghum, $3.95 per bushel; barley, $4.95 per bushel; rice, (long and medium), $14.00 per cwt; other oilseeds, $20.15 per cwt. For additional information about each of the program options, including an example farm used to illustrate payment calculations across a range of price levels for corn and soybeans, members may want to visit http://farmdocdaily.illinois. edu/ and click on “Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage in the 2014 Farm Bill.” Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO): This new program is an added insurance

policy that farmers can buy if they enroll in PLC starting in 2015. They are not eligible if they enroll in ARC. This policy will cover losses exceeding 14 percent or cover losses below 86 percent of revenue. SCO will cover that gap between 86 percent of revenue and when individual insurance coverage kicks in. Farmers will get to choose whether the additional coverage is based on individual yield and losses or county yield and loss. Farmers who buy SCO would pay 35 percent of the actual premium cost and USDA would subsidize the other 65 percent. SCO is an insurance policy so it does not have a payment cap. ––––––––––––––––––––– Sources: U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, “Agricultural Act of 2014”; American Farm Bureau Federation; Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy; “Evaluating Commodity Program Choices in the New Farm Bill,” by Jonathan Coppess, Farmdoc Daily, Feb.6, 2014; “Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage in the 2014 Farm Bill,” by Jonathan Coppess and Nick Paulson, Farmdoc Daily, Feb. 20, 2014.

Law foundation newsletter continues series on farmland leases —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team Land application leases one of the topics of the latest issue of the Spotlight, the Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation’s monthly electronic newsletter. The article is part of the Spotlight’s series on leases, which has so far covered cash, cash-share leases and flex leases, said John Shoup,

director of the IALF. The latest article is written by Brianna J. Schroeder of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun. Anyone can sign up to receive the Spotlight by visiting Old issues of the newsletter are also available on the website. For more information on the IALF, contact Shoup at 317-692-7801.

March 10, 2014



Preliminary census doesn’t tell the full story —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team

operators. But that may not be the real story, according to Bob Young, chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation. The real story won’t become clear until the full census is released in May. Young said he’s particularly interested in the figures for those who

When the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the preliminary results of the 2012 Census of Agriculture last month, many people, including media, focused on the continued decline in the number of principal

Selected Operation and Principal Operator Characteristics: 2012 and 2007 United States


2012 total

2007 total

2012 total

2007 total

Farms (number)





Land in farms (acres)


922,095,840 14,720,396


Average size of farm (acres)





Median size of farm (acres)





1 to 9 acres





10 to 49 acres





50 to 179 acres





180 to 499 acres





500 to 999 acres





1,000 acres or more





Farms & Land In Farms

Farms by size:

Market Value of Agricultural Products Sold & Government Payments Market value of agricultural products sold

$394.6 billion

$297.2 billion $11.2 billion $8.3 billion

Average per farm



Crops, including nursery and greenhouse crops

$212.4 billion

$143.7 billion $7.5 billion

$5.3 billion

Livestock, poultry, and their products $182.2 billion

$153.6 billion $3.7 billion

$3.0 billion

Government payments

$8.1 billion

$8.0 billion

$267.3 million

$260.1 million






aren’t counted as “principal operators.” The oldest generation in many cases still qualifies as the principal operator, but on many farms, there’s now a erators age 25-34. (See the pie charts son and a grandson or daughter who below.) are also considered second or third In the USDA’s view, among the operators, he said. The demographics most significant findings is the infor those second and third operators crease in the value of agricultural are not included in the preliminary products sold in the U.S. – up more data. than 33 percent nationally to $394.6 “I just really feel, as I go to these billion and up nearly 36 percent in (Farm Bureau) meetings, that the Indiana to $11.2 billion. age demographic of those meetings Young added that ordinarily, the is down,” Young explained. “It’s not full survey results would have been that Dad or Granddad’s not still in released by now, but the budget the room, but you’ve also got these younger folk in the room as well. And sequester and mandatory furloughs for federal employees prevented the that’s why I’m going to be very interUSDA from getting the full analysis ested in looking at that second and put together in the usual time. third principal operator.” USDA “did what they could do, An indication of this possible shift but there’s still an awful lot more might be visible in the preliminary that needs to be done in terms of bedata, Young said, specifically in the ing able to look at the census,” he increase both nationwide and in Indistribution of  added. diana in the number of principal op- Age

Indiana farmers  as of 2007


Age distribution of Indiana farmers as of 2007 Age distribution of  Indiana farmers  as of 2007

Farms by economic class: Less than $50,000 $50,000 to $249,999





$250,000 to $999,999





$1,000,000 or more





Under 25 years Under 25 years

25 to 34 years

25 to 34 years 35 to 44 years

35 to 44 years

45 to 54 years 55 to 64 years

45 to 54 years

Selected Principal Operator Characteristics Operators (number)

65 to 74 years










65 to 74 years






75 years and over











2 years or less





3 or 4 years





5 to 9 years





10 years or more





Under 25 years





25 to 34 years





35 to 44 years





45 to 54 years





55 to 64 years





65 to 74 years





75 years and over





Average age





75 years and over

55 to 64 years

Sex of operator:

Primary occupation:

Years on present farm:

Age group:

Age shift on Indiana farms from 2007-2012 Under 25 years 25 to 34 years 35 to 44 years 45 to 54 years 55 to 64 years 65 to 74 years 75 years and over

Decrease from 396 to 315 Increase from 4,136 to 4,449 Decrease from 9,217 to 7,818 Decrease from 16,832 to 13,761 Increase from 15,003 to $16,433 Age distribution of  Increase from 9,954 to 10,407 Increase from 5,400 to 5,512 Indiana farmers 

as of 2012

Age distribution of Indiana farmers as of 2012 Age distribution of  Indiana farmers  as of 2012

Under 25 years 25 to 34 years

Under 25 years


25 to 34 years

American Indian or Alaska Native










45 to 54 years

Black or African American





55 to 64 years

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander










More than one race reported





Spanish, Hispanic or Latino origin *





35 to 44 years

35 to 44 years

45 to 54 years

65 to 74 years

55 to 64 years

75 years and over

65 to 74 years 75 years and over

(*Operators of Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino origin are found in all of the racial groups)

March 10, 2014



Local Farm Bureaus Get Creative

—By Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team

Photo by Andy Dietrick

Goal of Benton County meeting was preparing residents for irrigation

Before irrigation came to Benton County, the Benton County Farm Bureau hosted a meeting for community members outlining rules for water use, liability of operations using irrigation systems and laws that are in place to protect homeowners from losses caused those irrigation systems. Under Indiana law, small-capacity well users are protected from significant groundwater withdrawal facilities, which are defined as facilities or users that have the ability to pump

100,000 gallons of groundwater per day. If high-capacity pumping has lowered the water level in a small-capacity well so much that it affects the ability of the well to supply adequate water, the high-capacity owner can be held liable and may be required to provide those affected with an alternate water supply. Attendees were encouraged to be proactive and have their wells measured, a free service offered by Indiana DNR, to get a baseline level

Counties team up to host special meeting on levees After realizing that attendance at traditional district meetings was dropping off, the Knox and Sullivan County Farm Bureaus teamed up for a targeted meeting on an issue that has been plaguing residents of District 7 for years: levees. The meeting, which was attended by more than 50 farmers, government officials and lawyers, took place Feb. 5 and brought to light many issues facing those impacted by levees. In discussing these issues, attendees discovered that minimal oversight of levees has led to a severe lack of money for maintenance and repairs. There is also difficulty reconciling the inconsistencies in EPA and Army Corps of Engineers rules over responsibility for levees, leaving those in charge with questions about which guidelines to follow. The hope is that this meeting will serve as a starting point for policy de-

velopment and changes to state laws about the oversight of levees. “We’ve discovered that there’s a real lack of expertise about laws and guidelines concerning these levees,” said E.B. Rawles, IFB regional manager. “We hope that, in the future, we’ll be able to build on this and put together a levee forum for local levee commissions.” The meeting was the first of several targeted meetings for residents of District 7. The next will be April 10 to discuss property taxes in Monroe County. “We left the levee meeting with the understanding that there’s no silver bullet for this, or any other, issue, but people were encouraged that someone was finally looking at something that hasn’t been addressed in a long time,” said Jeff Gormong, District 7 director. “We hope that by targeting specific issues, we’ll be doing a greater service to Farm Bureau members.”

before irrigation began. “Because there was no irrigation in Benton County, we needed to find out if we could maintain a system,” said Lana Wallpe, president of Benton County Farm Bureau. “Being a farmer, I see the benefits of irrigation, but we also have to be good stewards of water resources; we don’t want to deplete the water supply.” The county’s state representative, several local government officials, Benton County Farm Bureau mem-

bers and non-members attended the meeting. Two new members were signed as a result of the meeting. The county was one of nine counties that earned an Impact Award from Indiana Farm Bureau for its effort to inform and engage members and non-members alike. The award, which is presented annually at IFB’s state convention, recognizes counties for efforts that resulted in a significant impact or an increase in political influence and clout.

Cass County tries the direct approach with its elected county officials Cass County Farm Bureau decided to try the direct approach with its elected county officials. For the second year in a row, the county hosted the officials to a luncheon that immediately followed the county council’s budget meeting. More than 15 elected officials attended. Cass County was one of nine county Farm Bureaus recognized at the 2013 IFB convention with an Impact Award, which is presented annually by Indiana Farm Bureau. The award recognizes counties for efforts that resulted in a significant impact or an increase in political influence and clout. According to Dave Forgey, Cass County Farm Bureau president, the goal of the luncheon was to create a closer relationship between the Farm Bureau and elected officials. County officials sat at tables with at least one Farm Bureau board member, ensuring that there was good discussion throughout the meal. Following lunch, attendees discussed upcoming legislation affecting agriculture in Cass County and

compared the cost of government in Cass County with other counties in the state. The county government officials in attendance were then given the opportunity to ask questions about important issues and share their thoughts on the relationship between government and agriculture. “We believe it is a great benefit for the county elected officials and the county Farm Bureau board to have an annual discussion on topics involving agriculture and its importance to Cass County,” Forgey said. “Providing a luncheon seems to encourage them to join us.”

Bridge across Wabash River in western Indiana. ©iStock Photo/alexeys

March 10, 2014

6 —From the AFBF Public Relations Team & Kathleen M. Dutro IFB Public Relations Team The U.S. Department of Labor has decided to rescind a controversial guidance document that provides authority for enforcement activities regarding grain bins on small farms that are exempt under law. “The Department of Labor’s decision to withdraw enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s small farm grain bin guidance is a positive step forward for agriculture,” said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “The American Farm Bureau Federation is optimistic that this action will result in OSHA’s compliance with the small farm exemption as required by law.” 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 safety is a top-ofmind priority for our farmers. Throughout the country, state and county Farm Bureaus conduct safety training programs and work to ensure that everyone who is working on a farm is trained and safe. We not only appreciate OSHA’s concern with grain bin safety, we are committed to grain bin and farm safety,” Stallman said.


AFBF applauds USDOL’s policy change regarding grain bins on small farms

Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro

“But we also believe that the key to improving farm safety is a collaborative, cooperative process that was not helped by OSHA’s enforcement under the just-rescinded 2011 guidance document that was not consistent with the law.” “We encourage DOL to reach out to farm groups to help develop additional farm safety programs. Preventative measures would better serve OSHA’s and the farm community’s shared goal of farm safety,” he added.

630+ ag and business groups call for immigration reform —From the AFBF Public Relations Team The American Farm Bureau Federation, as part of a multiindustry coalition of 636 business organizations – 154 of which are agriculture-related – urged Congress to move forward with immigration reform this year. In a letter sent to House Republican leadership on Feb. 25, the coalition (which includes IFB) noted that all of the signatories are “united in the belief that we can and must do better for our economy and country by modernizing our immigration system.” Further, “Done properly, reform will deter illegal immigration, protect and complement our U.S. workforce, better respond to changing economic and demographic needs, and generate greater productivity and economic activity, while respecting family unity.”

March 10, 2014

The signatories included 246 businesses of every size and sector across the country and 390 business associations, bureaus, federations and chambers representing a broad cross-section of industries and commercial interests. “Failure to act is not an option,” noted the letter. “We cannot afford to be content and watch a dysfunctional immigration system work against our overall national interest. In short, immigration reform is an essential element of a jobs agenda and economic growth. It will add talent, innovation, investment, products, businesses, jobs and dynamism to our economy.” The signatories to the letter expressed support for Congress and the administration using the House Republicans’ “Standards for Immigration Reform” as guideposts for action this year.

Congressional tax proposals would cost agriculture $4.8 billion —From the AFBF Public Relations Team Proposed changes to the tax code restricting the use of cash accounting by agricultural operations would reduce agriculture’s access to capital by as much as $12.1 billion over the next four years, according to a study released Feb. 20 by Kennedy and Coe LLC and Farmers for Tax Fairness. The study, prepared by the independent research firm Informa Economics, revealed that U.S. agricultural producers forced to switch from cash-basis to accrual-basis accounting under new laws would have to pay out as much as $4.84 billion in taxes during the next four years. Additionally, the borrowing capacity of these operations would decrease by another $7.26 billion over the same time period. “The Informa study quantifies what we’ve been hearing from producers across the U.S.,” said Jeff Wald, the CEO of Kennedy and Coe, a national agricultural accounting firm. “This tax payment and subsequent loss of financial flexibility will have a major negative effect on America’s agriculture. Meeting the immediate tax burden is going to be very difficult for most of the affected operations.” According to the study, “In aggregate, these farms have less than $1.4 billion in current cash on hand to pay the additional taxes. If the tax bill as-

sociated with deferred income comes in an unprofitable farm year or if the producer cannot otherwise meet the capital requirements, the farmer or livestock producer may have to downsize to survive (e.g., sell land or livestock).” “The impact of these changes would extend far beyond producers and would affect their lenders, processors and other key suppliers,” said Brian Kuehl, director of federal affairs for Kennedy and Coe. “Producers will no longer have these funds available to buy tractors and combines or invest in labor and other inputs. These purchases support a lot of small towns and ag-related businesses, small and large. The economic effects of these proposals are potentially staggering.” In 2013, the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee and the majority staff for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee released discussion drafts of taxreform proposals that would reduce the number of agricultural operations that can use cash method of accounting. “Farmers in America have used cash accounting for decades,” added Kuehl. “Cash accounting is a simpler form of accounting and allows farmers to better manage volatility and risk. They are already at the mercy of external factors for input prices, commodity prices and weather. Requiring a change to accrual-based accounting takes away the one thing they can actually control: their

cash flow. It just doesn’t make sense. Producers already face enough risk.” The study used U.S. Department of Agriculture data to estimate the financial impact of congressional proposals to require agricultural operations with more than $10 million in gross receipts to shift to the accrual form of accounting. In January, 33 agricultural organizations including the American Farm Bureau, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Corn Growers Association and National Pork Producers Council sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee expressing their concerns about the proposed changes to the cashaccounting rules. “Cash accounting combined with the ability to accelerate expenses and defer income gives farmers and ranchers the flexibility to manage their tax burden on an annual basis by allowing them to target an optimum level of taxable income, commensurate with long-term annual earnings,” according to Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Cash accounting also gives farmers and ranchers the flexibility they need to plan for major investments in their businesses and in many cases provides guaranteed availability of some agricultural inputs.” A full copy of the Informa Economics report can be found online at



Ag stats tell a story —By Andy Dietrick Public Relations Team The release of the Census of Agriculture always creates a media buzz, and the recent release of USDA’s preliminary data was no exception. The phone started ringing even before I finished reading the statement from USDA announcing the new report. (See page 4 for more on the census itself.) I’m not sure why it is, but reporters always start with the number of farms (down) and the age of farmers (up). Those two data points become their story – unless we help them see the reality provided by the other statistics. While the total number of farms may be down, the number of acres planted remains statistically unchanged. The loss of acreage over five years can be attributed to sprawl and development. But a good number of acres were set aside for environmental enhancements, wildlife habitat and timberland. This number provides us an opportu-

nity to remind media of ag’s tradition of stewardship. Really small farms of 1 to 9 acres took a hit – down nearly 3,100. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that local food systems are going away. The other small farm categories grew by 1,500, which could mean that hobbyists are exiting the marketplace and growers who are serious about selling directly to consumers are getting bigger and better. It’s all how you read the numbers. And while total land in farms is down slightly, the value of what came from that land is up significantly – nearly $3 billion more in 2012 than 2007. Good markets and higher prices account for most of that jump, but some can be attributed to higher yields and growing more using less. That’s another good story the media sometimes misses. What story will the ag statistics from your county tell? These are national and state numbers, and we’ll have to wait until May or June to get county level data. But when

Owen County Farm Bureau held an event to publicize Food CheckOut Day on Feb. 21 at Babbs Super Valu in Spencer. Here, Kaye Erney, Owen County Farm Bureau secretary/treasurer prepares bags of information for grocery story customers. Photo by Rachel Schrage

it comes out I encourage you to go to the NASS site, download your county agricultural profile and give the 2012 snapshot a thorough review. Compare it to the data from the last census, and the one before that. The dips and spikes and trends in the numbers are more than just data points on a page. They are the chapters in the book of your local agriculture, and a good understanding of what they mean will allow you to read that book to others with clarity and authority.

‘Enough is Enough’ when it comes to food security debate, says Elanco president —From Elanco Farmers need access to innovative tools in order to feed a growing global population and save natural resources, Elanco President Jeff Simmons said during a presentation at a world food supply summit held Feb. 13. Simmons’ report was titled “Enough: The Fight for a FoodSecure Tomorrow,” and it was presented at at “Feeding the World 2014: Sustainable Solutions for a World Crisis” hosted by The Economist. During his presentation, Simmons said innovation, choice and trade will be the core solutions to tackle food security and added that a sense of urgency is needed. The fastest part of the world’s middle class growth will occur between today and 2020. This means billions of people demanding access to better diets, including an increased consumer demand for meat, milk and eggs in the next six years. “We are currently on the fast track to a crisis and a global shortage of basic foods such as meat, milk and eggs. For example, today,

we are meeting global egg demand by adding hens. On this path, hen numbers will need to double to more than 12.5 billion hens in order to meet consumer demand in 2050. This is simply not sustainable,” Simmons said. “But alternatives exist. We have – either available right now or in the pipeline – the technology that would enable us to meet consumer demand in 2050. But we need to give farmers the ability to access and utilize this technology and ensure that proven innovation and farm practices which maintain health and productivity are available for use,” Simmons continued. Simmons’ call for technology is backed up by food security experts, including Aalt Dijkhuizen from Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands. “The simple fact is that we cannot feed the world of tomorrow if we reject technology and revert to the farming practices used by past generations,” said Dijkhuizen. “It is possible to create a sustainable, global food supply if we are willing to use proven technologies

that help farmers improve animal wellbeing and productivity.” Simmons’ “Enough” report also features new research that helps detail the reality of consumer perceptions. The research includes original consumer perception and survey data from the Nielsen Company and Elanco researchers as well as in-depth new research regarding nutrition and food chain solutions for ensuring food security. Findings from the research include that only 4 percent of consumers are not concerned with price when buying food. For the remainder of consumers however, price is increasingly important. Since the 2011 study, the prioritization of cost when buying food has jumped 13 percent to become the consumers’ No. 1 priority. “Food security is an issue we can start to solve now. If we focus on the need, rely on a science-based approach and take leadership, we can create a food secure future – one in which 9 billion people have access to enough nutritious, affordable food,” Simmons concluded.

Also helping out with the event were members of the Owen Valley High School FFA. Photo by Rachel Schrage

‘Right to Grow’ program to help give farmers access to new technology —From Syngenta & the American Farm Bureau Federation Syngenta has announced an agreement with Gavilon Grain LLC that provides grain marketing opportunities for farmers who choose to plant Agrisure Duracade, the cutting-edge corn rootworm control technology that has been approved in the U.S. For farmers participating in the “Right to Grow” program, Gavilon will accept Agrisure Duracade grain at market price while providing stewardship and distribution services for producers. “Now more than ever, it is imperative that American farmers have access to new technologies to continue to provide a safe, healthy and affordable food supply both domestically and internationally,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “While the U.S. regulatory system is built on predictability and ensuring that new technology is safe, we also recognize that our international customers are subject to their own regulatory systems. As such, it is important that U.S. exporters meet the needs of our export customers. “The ‘Right to Grow’ program will serve as a model to provide confidence for the American farmer that they will continue to have access to new technologies

while meeting the needs of our international customers,” Stallman added. “The ‘Right to Grow’ program is a collaborative effort, giving farmers the choice to adopt new technology with the confidence of knowing they have options for marketing their grain,” said David Morgan, president of Syngenta Seeds Inc. “We are pleased to see Syngenta’s efforts to administer a limited trait release of Agrisure Duracade that seeks to balance the importance of maintaining farmers’ access to technology while maintaining markets for U.S. corn,” said Martin Barbre, president of the National Corn Growers Association. NCGA will provide information regarding the status of import approvals with key importing markets and reference stewardship plans in place through its Know Before You Grow website as they become available. “As it is in the best interest of corn farmers and the value chain as a whole, NCGA strongly encourages all farmers to consult with their seed providers and their first purchasers when making planting decisions,” added Barbre. For more information about Agrisure Duracade and the “Right to Grow” program from Syngenta and Gavilon, visit

March 10, 2014



Importance of exports requires extra steps with biotech corn —By Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team Indiana Farm Bureau Vice President Randy Kron serves on the U.S. Grains Council’s biotechnology advisory team, a position to which he was appointed by the USGC’s board of directors. He has some advice for Indiana farmers. Because exports are now more important than ever, Kron suggests that farmers take no risks this season and isolate corn with biotech traits unapproved by Europe and China. “Keep that corn isolated,” he said. “Make sure that it will only be used domestically, and know that taking it to an ethanol plant no longer ensures that it won’t be shipped overseas. Do your

homework before you plant, because once it’s in the ground, it’s too late.” The USGC’s primary goal is to bring agriculture and agribusiness together to expand and develop export markets, and the members of the advisory teams are charged with helping to make that happen. The issues of key importance to the USGC fall into five categories: trade policy, biotechnology, grain supply, value of trade and food security. The biotechnology committee’s focus is to look at the issues and policy affecting the export of biotech crops to other countries. The USGC aims to help other countries understand that biotech crops are just as safe and nutritious as traditional crops, though many governments

still reject them as unnatural. The USGC encourages governments to adopt policies rooted in science and research and to realize the advantages of biotech crops. In recent months, China has been rejecting US corn

shipments because of the presence of an unapproved strain. According to Kron, China is slow to approve biotech traits found in American grains. “It is important that farmers talk to their seed companies and grain elevators

before planting this season,” Kron said. “Be sure to ask if the traits in the corn you’re planting are approved all over the world, and ask your grain elevator whether they’re marketing nationally or internationally.”

National AgrAbility workshop to be held in Lexington, Ky. Farmers and other professionals with disabilities can receive training and learn about issues related to disability in agriculture at the 2014 AgrAbility National Training Workshop. The workshop will be March 31-April 3 at the Downtown Lexington Hilton, 396 W. Vine St., Lexing-

The newest class of Indiana Farm Bureau’s leadership development program, Leaders in Action, met for the first time on Feb. 22. The theme of this first session was “Engaging Local Government.” Here Christy Penner of Wabash County, Herman Stutzman of Marshall County and Alan Duttlinger of Tippecanoe County work on one of the exercises. Photo by Julie Klarich

ton, Ky. Participants can attend preconference sessions, breakouts, tours and special events. Participants can also attend a banquet with a benefit auction for farmer and rancher scholarships. A keynote address will be given by Josh Bleill, a Marine corporal and community spokesperson for the Indianapolis Colts. Bleill is a disabled war veteran who was activated for a tour of duty in Iraq in 2006 and lost both of his legs. He is author of a book, One Step at a Time: A Young Marine’s Story of Courage, Hope, and a New Life in the NFL. “The AgrAbility National Training Workshop is a great opportunity for farmers, rural health professionals and AgrAbility staff to come together to network with each other and to participate in

special tours and breakout sessions regarding farming with disability,” said Kylie Hendress, AgrAbility engagement coordinator based at Purdue University. Session topics include beekeeping; aquaponics; agritourism; marketing products; assistive technology for agriculture; veterans in agriculture; women in agriculture care giving; and how to manage and cope with disability. Hotel rooms are available at a conference rate of $95 per night. Participants can get detailed conference information at The final registration deadline is March 28. There will be no on-site registration. For more information, contact Hendress at 765494-6679,


Save 10% on Fulton County Commissioner Sherry Fulton (far right) helps the Leaders in Action group understand county government. From left are Herman Stutzman of Marshall County; John Childs, Marshall County; Kristen Flora, Hendricks County; Kate Keefer, Allen County; and Mary Stutzman, Marshall County. Photo by Julie Klarich

Calendar of Events March 13 18, 19 25 25 25 27 31-April 3

Indiana Forage, Livestock & Grain Forum, Indianapolis. IFB Board of Directors meeting, Indianapolis. District 1 spring meeting. National Agriculture Day. Consumer Ag Day (sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers), Statehouse. IFB Women’s Leadership Committee, Indianapolis. AgrAbility National Training Workshop, Lexington, Ky.

April 3, 4 26

Servsafe Training, IFB home office. Earth Day Indiana, Indianapolis.

March 10, 2014

all Grainger products. Plus, deeper discounts on manufacturer’s list price on hand and power tools. Shop by phone, fax, in person, or online (FREE shipping at

Use IFB account #855921177.

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