Young Farmer Survey Page 3
Spring Conference Page 7
INSIDE: News in Brief.....................2 Young Farmers...................3 Around Farm Bureau.........6 Communications...............7 State & Nation...................8
The Hoosier Farmer
A Publication for Voting Members of Indiana Farm Bureau
APRIL 7, 2014 Issue No. 51
New farm bill includes disaster assistance for livestock producers
—By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team Among the changes made to the federal farm program by the 2014 farm bill are two programs of particular interest to livestock and forage producers: the Livestock Forage Disaster Program and Livestock Indemnity Payments. The 2014 bill makes both programs permanent, and it provides retroactive authority to cover eligible livestock losses back to Oct. 1, 2011. Sign-up begins on or before April 15, 2014, at any local Farm Service Agency service center. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (or LFP) provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses due to drought. LFP payments for drought are equal to 60 percent of the monthly feed cost for up to five months. The grazing losses must have occurred on or after Oct. 1, 2011. Additional details on the types of information required for an application will be provided as part of the sign-up announcement. An eligible livestock producer is one who owns or leases grazing land or pastureland physically located in a county rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as having Indiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206
experienced a sufficient degree of drought. The length of the drought period that qualifies a producer for assistance varies depending on the severity of the drought from D2 through D4. Consult your local FSA office or the drought monitor website for details. For example, at least 78 Indiana counties qualify for some forage assistance due to the drought of 2012, according to the website. Others could qualify for other periods. Counties eligible for LFP assistance can be found at fsa.usda.gov. The Livestock Indemnity Payments (or LIP) program provides covers eligible livestock losses back to Oct. 1, 2011. LIP provides compensation to eligible livestock
producers who have suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law, including wolves and avian predators. LIP payments are equal to 75 percent of the market value of the applicable livestock on the day before the date of death of the livestock as determined by the secretary. Sign-up will begin on or before April 15, 2014, at any FSA service center. Additional details on the types of information required for an application will be provided as part of the sign-up announcement. Eligible livestock include beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, poultry, sheep, swine, horses and
IFB sponsored three meetings across the state March 27 and 28 to help acquaint members, other farmers and media with some of the provisions of the 2014 farm bill. Shown is the central Indiana meeting, held in the Glass Barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The two main speakers were John Anderson, deputy chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation (shown above), and AFBF economist Matt Erickson. Photo by Rachel Schrage
other livestock as determined by the secretary of agriculture. For information on the
required documentation, talk to your local FSA office or visit the FSA website, fsa. usda.gov.
Grassroots action, cooperation with ag partners result in legislative success for IFB —From the IFB Public Policy Team In spite of major legislative initiatives undertaken this session, the 2014 session of the General Assembly ended one day early with very high levels of success for farmers across the state. The legislative package that passed for agriculture is evidence that the members of Indiana Farm Bureau were heard loud and strong. The actual number of bills impacting agriculture passing this session was the highest in recent memory. This alone is a sign of the hard work of members and Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage
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lobbyists who delivered the IFB policy message and the growing clout of agriculture in the General Assembly. “We are grateful for the legislature’s support of agriculture again this session and of the dedicated efforts of our members,” said IFB President Don Villwock. “IFB’s legislative success depended on concerted efforts with commodity partners and other allies like the Association of Indiana Counties,” he added. The most critical win for farmland owners was the third delay of the soil productivity factors proposed by the Department of Local Government Finance back in February 2012. A seat for agriculture on the tax commission contained in the personal property tax legislation of SEA 1was prioritized by IFB and offers a platform for input into future tax reforms. Working tirelessly with commodity partners yielded another big win for agriculture in the ag trespass
language of SEA 101. The heightened penalties in SEA 101 for trespassing on an ag operation when coupled with damage provide a real disincentive. Eliminating the need to post signs to prevent trespassing is a very practical victory for Indiana farmers. SEA 186 protects farming in the future by expanding the statutory vision for agriculture in the ISDA statute and expressing a priority for farmers’ rights to choose their practices. The list of victories is long and progress was made in many other areas, including levees, CAFO permitting, child labor, water resources, diversified agriculture and a tax incentive for preserving barns built before 1950. Ag-
riculture’s youth were front and center in SEA 114 (Sen. Leising, R-Oldenburg and Rep. Cherry, R-Greenfield) by providing up to five days of excused absence from school while exhibiting at the State Fair. “I am so proud of the involvement of our members and the team effort we had at the Statehouse this year. While we can enjoy the success achieved in this year’s session, there is always more work to be done,” said Katrina Hall, director of state government relations. “Our policy process in the coming months will reveal IFB priorities, but we know that farmland taxes, annexation, water resources and government reform will be on the list.”
For more on the 2014 session of the General Assembly, see pages 4 and 5
NEWS IN BRIEF
News Bites —Compiled by Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team
Propane transportation legislation becomes law—H.R. 4076,
the Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transportation (HHEATT) Act of 2014, has been signed into law. The legislation is intended to help provide emergency relief in response to the ongoing propane shortage in the United States. It provides a guaranteed extension of Department of Transportation hours of service waivers until May 31, allowing tank truck operators delivering propane and other home heating fuels to drive for longer hours to speed up deliveries to affected states. Due to persistently cold weather across the U.S., interruptions and tight supplies of propane have persisted in certain parts of the country. Earlier this year, DOT issued temporary emergency HOS waivers. However, these declarations can only last 30 days at a time, creating uncertainty and limited relief. (AFBF 3/25/14)
Farmers, ranchers back privacy protection bills—The recently
introduced Farmer Identity Protection Act (S. 1343, H.R. 4157) would prohibit EPA from disclosing the private and confidential information of livestock and poultry producers to the public, as the agency did in 2013 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by several environmental groups. Farm Bureau supports the legislation. EPA’s earlier massive data release contained tens of thousands of lines in spreadsheets often including personal names, home phone numbers, home emails,
employee contact information, home addresses and in some cases personal notes about the families of more than 80,000 farmers in 29 states. EPA had required state regulatory agencies to provide the agency with this information, which it then publicly released in its entirety. With the agency prepared to respond to several similar FOIA requests in July 2013, the American Farm Bureau Federation filed a lawsuit and sought a temporary restraining order before the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to stop EPA from releasing additional personal information from farmers in Minnesota, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma and Washington. In seeking an immediate court order stopping EPA’s imminent release, AFBF stalled disclosures of farmers’ and ranchers’ names, home addresses, GPS coordinates and personal contact information until a court can clarify EPA’s obligation to keep personal information about citizens private. The National Pork Producers Council joined AFBF in the lawsuit, which is ongoing.
Clinton County Farm Bureau celebrated Ag Week with a luncheon attended by 70 local businesspeople, area farmers and agri-business people. The goal was to work together as servant leaders in the community by volunteering and understanding the agriculture role in the county. Phil Anderson, a consulting partner with Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, made a presentation on “A Heart for Service and a Head for Results: Servant Leadership Is More than Style, Formula and Model.” Photo by Janice Deno
IFYE ‘See the World’ exchange program offers scholarships—The IFYE Association is accepting applications for its “See the World” international exchange program. IFYE originally stood for International Farm Youth Exchange, according to the organization’s website, ifyeusa.org. Participants will have the opportunity of a lifetime to see new places, make new friends, develop leadership skills and soak in another culture. The program offers a maximum of $2,500 scholarship to qualified young adults 19 years and over. Fewer than 100 scholarships will be awarded for the three- to six-month trip.
Indiana’s Family of Farmers, a coalition of ag groups that includes Indiana Farm Bureau, celebrated Ag Day at the Statehouse with remarks from Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, Indiana’s commissioner of agriculture, and Ted McKinney, state director of agriculture. Attendees, as well as state employees, were then free to enjoy lunch at 12 local food trucks parked near the Statehouse. Many chose to do so despite blowing snow and an unspringlike wind. Photo by Rachel Schrage
Delegates live and work as a member of the host family, learning about each other’s culture and sharing unique experiences through daily activities primarily in rural settings. The delegates move to a new family approximately every three weeks, enabling them to gain a broader perspective about life, customs, dialects, agriculture and geography. Each delegate will share information about his/her home state and the U.S. with
host families and community groups or organizations in the host country. IFYE offers exchange visits to more than 15 different countries, including Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Taiwan. Costs vary depending on the participating country. Host families provide room and board. Estimated program fees range from $2,500 to $4,000 including airfare,
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)
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
April 7, 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
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
orientation and debriefing. Participants agree to share their once-in-a-lifetime experiences with community groups upon their return. As an alumnus they would be an advocate for the IFYE mission of “Peace through Understanding.” Application deadline is April 15. For further details visit IFYEUSA.org or contact Alan Lambert, IFYE program director, alanelambert@ gmail.com or 605-366-6107. (IFYE Association 2/14/14)
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: email@example.com Duplicate Magazines If you are receiving more than one copy of The Hoosier Farmer®, please cut out both labels and return them to the address above. Magazine Design and Layout Davis Graphic Design www.davisgraphics.com The Hoosier Farmer® is published 14 times per year by Indiana Farm Bureau Inc., P.O. Box 1290, Indianapolis, IN 46206, and is furnished as a service to voting members and others. Controlled circulation. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Hoosier Farmer® P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206-1290. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
Concerns of Hoosier young farmers track with those found in AFBF survey AFBF’s recently released survey results show that young farmers and ranchers across the country are increasingly concerned about the availability of land to start and expand their operations. In Indiana, young farmers’ concerns mirror those of young farmers nationally. “I think respondents definitely hit the nail on the head with the land availability thing,” said Neil Moseley, a specialty crops farmer from Tippecanoe County. “They’re not making any more farmland, so finding land to buy means that someone lost it, and it’s expensive.” Fifteen percent of respondents to the national survey identified the economy as their biggest concern. Jeff Bailey, who farms in Monroe County, agrees. “My biggest concerns are the economy, the government, international trade and the cost of equipment,” he said. By and large, national respondents were more optimistic about farming, and considered themselves better off, than they were five years ago, and the vast majority would like to see their children follow in their footsteps and choose to pursue a career in farming. Here at home, opinions on the matter vary. “I’d definitely like to see
my kids come back to the farm – they can already tell you more about a vegetable than most adults,” said Moseley. “The challenge will be splitting the farm four ways if they all want to come back.” Bailey has a slightly different opinion about future generations’ ability to follow in the footsteps of the family farmers who came before them. “I hope that my children can farm if they choose to,” he said. “But it’s hard to know what farming will look like when they’re old enough to decide what they want to do.” The biggest difference between the national survey results and Indiana young farmers’ practices and opinions was seen in the discussion of social media use. Sixty-nine percent of national respondents said that communicating regularly with consumers is part of their job, and most used Facebook for this purpose. Bailey and Moseley both have a Facebook page dedicated to farm news, which they use to connect with consumers. “We try to use it as a tool for understanding and updates from the farm,” Moseley said. “But I know we don’t use it as much as we should.” Twitter, which 22 percent of national survey respondents reported using to interact with consumers, has not been adopted completely by
either Bailey or Moseley. “I use Twitter to follow Farm Bureau and keep up with government policies,” said Bailey. “I mostly use Facebook to connect with
consumers.” Moseley hopes that the trend of optimism and success continues. “People are paying more attention to where their food
comes from now than they ever have before. This isn’t just a fad, and I hope that Indiana farmers will continue to be successful because of it.”
Graphic by Rachel Schrage/Information courtesy of the American Farm Bureau Federation
—By Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team
Collegiate Farm Bureau continues success —By Seth Harden Collegiate Farm Bureau Coordinator Collegiate Farm Bureau chapters at both Vincennes and Purdue Universities are continuing to grow and progress in their programming. Thirteen collegiate students from all parts of the state helped represent Indiana at the National Young Farmer & Rancher Conference held in Virginia Beach, Va., in early February. The students were able to learn about the purpose of Farm Bureau, current agriculture issues, and Virginia agriculture. They also networked with students from schools across the country as they supported IFB’s Collegiate Discussion Meet participants with Emmy Kratz of La-
Grange County representing Purdue and Brandon Knight of Knox County representing Vincennes. Purdue Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapter will take an active role in Purdue Ag Week, which began April 6 and continues through 12. This week-long event is designed to educate students from all colleges and majors about the importance and impact of agriculture. The following week on April 15, the chapter will host its annual banquet, where accomplishments are recognized and new officers are elected. This year’s banquet speaker will be Leonard Gianessi, director of the Crop Protection Research Institute for Crop Life America in Washington, DC. The Vincennes Chapter will be advocating for agriculture on campus through
Emmy Kratz of LaGrange County represented Purdue University and Brandon Knight (not pictured) of Knox County represented Vincennes University in the Collegiate Discussion Meet held as part of the National Young Farmer & Rancher Conference held in Virginia. Photo by Seth Harden
two upcoming events, The Ag Olympics, April 11, and Cow Patty Bingo, April 16. Vincennes student Grant Thomas of Washington County will be the collegiate representation on IFB’s reso-
lutions committee this year. Thank you to all who have supported the collegiate Farm Bureau chapters this school year. They have continued to grow and develop student leaders. En-
courage students from your county to join and welcome current student member’s participation in county Farm Bureau activities throughout the summer.
April 7, 2014
Session results in importa Taxes
Compromise measures on soil productivity factors, personal property taxes win approval Passage of SEA 111 seems like déjà vu all over again. In the final days of the session, there were competing ideas about how to handle the yet-tobe justified increases in the February 2012 version of soil productivity factors proposed by the DLGF. The great news is that a one-year delay was again passed, protecting farmland owners from an unjustified tax shift of about $57.4 million. SEA 111 (Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, and Rep. Don Lehe, R-Brookston) did not receive a negative vote – in fact, delaying the factors hasn’t received a negative vote for two sessions in a row. While the House adopted a proposal that would have put the factors back to pre-2012 levels until new ones were adopted in an open rulemaking process, negotiations held a week before adjournment resulted in the simple delay. Some legislators want to give the Purdue study more time to refine the factors they presented in November 2013. Indiana Farm Bureau supported both House and Senate versions due to the critical nature and priority of this issue, along with the recognition that farmland taxes are already increasing at an alarming rate due to changes in the base value. The much debated and much anticipated final personal property tax deal ended up in SEA 1 (Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek, and Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero), revealing the compromise between the Senate’s ideas for personal property tax relief vs. the House version. The multi-faceted plan, which includes a phase-down of the corporate income tax, is heavy on local options for personal property tax. Options
would be enacted by a county income tax council rather than a county council. Votes of the COIT council are divided by the population of county government, cities and towns. The county’s vote share is based on those living outside municipalities. All personal property proposals discussed this session met considerable pushback from the local officials’ coalition, “Replace Don’t Erase.” Map courtesy of the Natural Resources Conservation Service – available at www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/ Governor Pence offered nrcs/main/in/soils/ replacement revenue for tion of budgets, tax rates and levies. deduction against the assessed value any personal property tax Proposed by the DLGF, legal notices of a barn that qualifies as a heritage revenue eliminated. With the goverfor budgets, currently done in newsbarn, which are those constructed nor’s pledge and concerns about lagpapers, would only be available on before 1950. To offset public safety ging state revenues, SEA 1 does not the DLGF’s website. The DLGF would services, a county could impose a include any immediate elimination provide a hotline to answer taxpayer public safety fee up to $50 for each or state replacement. It remains to be questions. Indiana Farm Bureau obbarn receiving a deduction. The Ofseen how often local officials use the jected to converting to this system fice of Tourism would be required new options in SEA 1. “cold turkey” so a measure was addto promote heritage barns, and the The bill also creates a new tax ed in the Senate that would have both Indiana State Department of Agricommission that will investigate the newspaper and online systems culture and Office of Community & business taxes and many other asoperating for the next budget cycle. Rural Affairs would be required to pects of the property tax. Agriculture SEA 420 (Sen. Randy Head, Rprovide assistance in developing a has a seat on this tax commission as Logansport, and Rep. Milo Smith, heritage barn tourism program. requested by Indiana Farm Bureau. R-Columbus) changes the property Three bills passed that affect propThe bill includes a credit for sales tax assessment timeline so that aserty tax deadlines. HEA 1234 (Rep. tax paid on propane during the first sessors can complete their work on Jeff Thompson, R-Lizton, and Sen. three months of 2014 on prices a timely basis and so that annual Pete Miller, R-Avon), gives property above $2.50 per gallon. budgets can be adopted with the best taxpayers an additional week to pay The HEA 1046 tax incentive to assessed value information possible. their bills by changing the amount of preserve vintage barns is aimed at This bill changes the assessment date time required from mailing to payment salvaging the heritage of Indiana from March 1 to Jan. 1, but the filfrom 15 days to 15 business days. agriculture and the state’s rural landing deadline for personal property HEA 1266 (Rep. Dan Leonard, scape. HEA 1046 (Rep. Bob Cherry, remained at May 15 to answer the R-Huntington, and Sen. Brandt HerR-Greenfield, and Sen. John Waterconcerns of IFB members and CPAs. shman, R-Buck Creek) changes the man, R-Shelburn) permits a person public notice requirements for adopto receive a 100 percent property tax
Farm protections After the issue drew considerable controversy last year, legislation dealing with ag trespass cleared the General Assembly with broad support. SEA 101 (Travis Holdman, R-Markle) adds causing property damage to an agricultural operation to the existing crime of institutional criminal mischief. Indiana farmers will no longer 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
April 7, 2014
could result in additional penalties, depending on the amount of damage caused. Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Danville) and Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville) sponsored the bill in the House. Gov. Mike Pence signed the legislation on March 14. SEA 186 provides the state with a policy framework for agriculture by amending the Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s statute. SEA 186 (Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, and Rep. Don Lehe,
R-Brookston) 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-changing technology. Despite misleading publicity by the measure’s opponents, including Humane Society of the United States and the Hoosier Environmental Council, SEA 186 passed the Senate 40-8 and the House 67-30. The governor signed the legislation on March 14.
Ag trespass bill passes with broad support
Stories by Katrina Hall Justin Schneider & Amy Cornell Public Policy Team
ant wins for Farm Bureau Diversified agriculture
New rules make it easier to sell some Indiana ag products HEA 1039 (Rep. Matt Lehman, RBerne) creates an initiative to market and promote Indiana-grown products to users such as residents, retailers, restaurants, grocery stores and farmer markets. SEA 339 (Sen. James Merritt, RIndianapolis) repeals a provision that prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages at the state fairgrounds during the period of the Indiana State Fair. The State Fair Commission will develop plans to implement this change in the law that is supported by IFB policy. SEA 179 (Sen. Jim Banks, R-Co-
lumbia City) allows poultry farms to slaughter and process up to 20,000 birds annually without inspection under federal regulations. Poultry that is sold on a farm must be refrigerated at the point of sale. Poultry that is sold at a farmer market, through delivery, or at a roadside stand must be frozen at the point of sale. Poultry that is sold on a farm, through delivery or at a roadside stand must be used, sold, or frozen within seventy-two hours of processing. The bill removes local control for bona fide egg producers, but they will continue to be regulated by the State Egg Board.
Photo courtesy of the Indiana State Fair
IDEM, DNR to make changes in some permitting programs The development of a deliberate and comprehensive water plan is a top priority of Indiana Farm Bureau. SEA 271(Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso) moves that goal further down the line by authorizing a study of the water resources in the state and the impact they have on economic development and rural Indiana, in particular agriculture. The bill requires a review of government structure for water management and how state and local entities can better coordinate activities. After much negotiation, the Indiana Departments of Environmental Management and Natural Resources have been charged with implementing a process by Jan. 1, 2015, to improve efficiency and transparency in permitting programs for water quality certifications, isolated wetland activity and floodway activity. Currently, many activities are subject to a permit from both DNR and IDEM and often from federal agencies. HEA 1217 (Rep. Steve Davisson, R-Salem) began as an effort to require IDEM and DNR to implement one permitting program, but agency concerns about cost and their administrative software led to a focus on: (1) informing individuals of the permits they need, (2) changing permit forms and processes so that duplicate information is not needed, (3) determining how one agency can serve as the single point of contact for collecting applications and issuing permits, (4) creating a process for timely review, and (5) monitoring of the process. Farm Bureau views this as an important step in regulatory reform and will
work with the agencies in the coming months to ensure that the process is completed on time and fulfills the intent of the General Assembly. Levee associations, which were created under government authority and had been operating under expired code provisions, are now subject to the requirements for levee committees found in IC 14-27-3. HEA 1053(Rep. Messmer, R-Jasper) unanimously passed the House and the Senate. Farm Bureau supported the bill in an effort to address challenges which faced levee associations attempting to operate under expired laws that no longer provided the tools those levees need to operate. HEA 1083 (Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel), places into Indiana law the federal exemption for working in certain occupations designated as hazardous. The exemption allows a child to work for the child’s parent or person standing in the place of the parent on a farm owned or operated by the parent or person. Farm Bureau appreciates Rep. Torr’s support because this has been a much needed alignment of state and federal law. While fish and wildlife kills from agricultural activities are rare, a few alleged minor fish kills have garnered a lot of attention from farmers because of the process used by the state to collect the damages. Current law allows the state to make a claim for damages. The accused had no opportunity to dispute liability, other than refusing responsibility and waiting for the attorney general to file suit. HEA 1307 (Rep. Sean Eberhart, RShelbyville) establishes an administra-
tive procedure in which the alleged responsible party can present his or her own evidence regarding liability and damages to the state. The bill also establishes a recreational trail maintenance fund. While no money has been directed to the fund, DNR can receive gifts, appropriations from the General Assembly, or federal grants for trail maintenance. Indiana’s livestock and manure storage laws were clarified in SEA 359 (Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso). SEA 359 removes statutory provisions that created internal inconsistencies within the confined feeding operation permit program. The changes now clarify that an approval is good for
five years and that renewals must be submitted 30 days before expiration of the exiting approval. Individuals with an approval allowing construction have four years and 11 months to begin construction as compared to the current requirement to begin construction within two years and complete it within four. The law expands the allowance to compost organic matter without obtaining a solid waste processing permit and requires notice for construction of a satellite manure storage system to anyone within a half mile of the proposed facility, which is the same as notice for construction of a confined feeding operation.
Indiana’s Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area, LaPorte County. Photo by John Newsom
April 7, 2014
AROUND FARM BUREAU
State Farm Bureaus honored for contributions to Feeding America —From the AFBF Public Relations Team The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau raised more than $810,000 and donated a record of more than 32 million pounds of food to assist hungry Americans as part of Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program in partnership with Feeding America. Combined, the monetary and food donations also reached a record level of the equivalent of more than 34 million meals. Now in its 11th year, Harvest for All is spearheaded by members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program, but Farm Bureau members of all ages from across the nation contribute to the effort. In all, 18 state Farm Bureaus (including Indiana) heeded the call to action. The joint effort between Farm Bureau and Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, is a national community action program through which farmers and ranchers can help ensure every American enjoys the bounty of food they produce. In addition to raising food and funds for the initiative,
farmers and ranchers tallied nearly 13,000 volunteer hours assisting local hunger groups in 2013. “We are encouraged by what we can accomplish by working together and sharing our bounty, to help nourish those who need help the most,” said Jake Carter, who chairs the AFBF YF&R committee. He and his wife, Jennifer, offer u-pick strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, a fall corn maze and educational school tours year-round on their farm near McDonough, Ga. “America’s farmers and ranchers continue to step up to the table in a coordinated effort to serve their fellow Americans,” Carter said. “No American should be allowed to go without food and because of Harvest for All, the equivalent of 34 million meals made it to the tables of those who needed it the most this past year.” Harvest for All is one of the most important community service efforts undertaken by Farm Bureau members. Despite some improvement in the U.S. economy overall, many Americans still need the help provided by Feeding America
and its national network of local food assistance organizations, according to Carter. “Feeding America greatly appreciates the American Farm Bureau and its Young Farmers & Ranchers for its consistent contributions through Harvest for All and for our 11-year partnership that has provided much-needed assistance for the 1 in 6 Americans who are struggling with hunger,” said James Borys, regional produce officer at Feeding America. The Florida Farm Bureau took top honors for donating the most food in 2013, 11,207,790 pounds. Illinois Farm Bureau raised the most money, $645,158. And Michigan Farm Bureau tallied the most volunteer hours, 4,980. Thanks to the generosity of Chevrolet/GM, each of those state organizations received a $1,500 grant to donate to a local food bank of their choice. Second-place winners were the California Farm Bureau for food donated at 11,088,062 pounds; Michigan Farm Bureau for donated funds at $38,558; and Illinois Farm Bureau for volunteer time at 2,986 hours. Each of the sec-
Among the groups who visited the Statehouse this spring and summer was the IFB Women’s Leadership Committee. Pictured (starting from the top, left to right) are: Deb Walsh, District 1; Janelle Burnworth, District 2; Janet Kemper, District 3; LouAnn Zimmerman, District 4; Deb Jordan, District 6; Sheryl Seib, District 9; Aleta Crowe, District 7; Cindy Ramsey, District 8; and Isabella Chism, IFB 2nd vice president and chair of the Women’s Leadership Committee. Not pictured are Melba Loyd, District 10, and Judy Coon, District 5. Photo by Meggie Foster
ond-place winners received a $1,000 grant from Chevrolet/ GM to donate to the local food bank of their choice. In addition, five state YF&R committees received $500 grants from Chevrolet/GM for “most innovative” programs. Those winners were Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico and North Carolina. The awards were presented Feb. 9 during AFBF’s YF&R
Conference in Virginia Beach, Va. Since Harvest for All was launched 11 years ago, Farm Bureau families have gathered more than 105 million pounds of food, logged more than 84,000 volunteer hours and raised more than $3.5 million in donations. Combined, the food and money donations are the equivalent of more than 117 million meals.
Farm Bureau kicks off ‘Our Food Link’ program —From the AFBF Public Relations Team Farmer and rancher members of Farm Bureau from around the country officially kicked off the organization’s new “Our Food Link” program in conjunction with a
conference for state leaders of Women’s Leadership and Promotion & Education programs. “Our Food Link is a yearround program that county and state Farm Bureaus use to provide consumers of all ages and backgrounds with infor-
mation about today’s agriculture,” explained Terry Gilbert, a Kentucky farmer and chair of the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. The AFBWLC spearheads the program with participation open to all Farm Bureau members.
“People want to know where their food comes from and who is growing or raising it,” Gilbert said. “Helping people connect with sources of clothing, food, shelter and energy in their communities is the foundation of this multifaceted new program,”
Some of Indiana’s county Farm Bureaus have begun participating in the new “Our Food Link” program from the American Farm Bureau Federation, and one of these is Kosciusko County. This year, the county promoted an ag trivia contest on two local radio stations and gave $25 gift cards to 20 different winners over a week. Then one of those winners was randomly chosen as the overall winner, earning a $500 gift certificate. Shown are some of the participants in the event (from left): Mike Rees, WRSW Radio; Ryan Sands, Sands Farms; Devan Sands, Sands Farms; Katie Darr, Crestview Farms; Bob Bishop, Bishop Farms, Kosciusko Farm Bureau president; John Newsom, IFB regional manager; Nicole Miller, winner of the $500 grand prize; Jay Michaels, Willie 103.5 Radio; Waneta Bishop, Bishop Farms; and Kami Johnson, Martin’s Supermarket. Other sponsors for the grand prize are Providence Farms, Clunette Elevator, Sheets Farms, John Zimmerman Farms and the Kosciusko County Young Farmers.
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she said. Our Food Link activities range from outreach at supermarkets or farmer markets to hosting interactive booths at community events, speaking with lawmakers and neighbors about food and visiting classrooms to help students understand agricultural topics. Other program ideas include: an Adopt-aFarmer program, fun runs, garden projects and “Zest ‘n Zing” or other foodie events. Our Food Link activities may also include the collection of food and monetary donations for Ronald McDonald House Charities or other charities. About 15 Farm Bureau members shopped for and donated food to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, D.C., earlier this month. The connection between Farm Bureau and Ronald McDonald House Charities was forged in the mid-1990s. Since then, Farm Bureau members have donated more than $3 million in food and monetary contributions to Ronald McDonald Houses and other charities.
Positive reviews for Farmland —By Andy Dietrick Public Relations Team Even though filmmaker James Moll’s new feature length documentary Farmland won’t be released nationally until May 1, a group of ag leaders and local food and farm bloggers got a sneak peak at the finished product on March 27. The private screening was held at the Keystone Landmark Theatre in Indianapolis and was sponsored by BASF, Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Farm Bureau. Farmland offers viewers an intimate glimpse into the lives of six young farmers and ranchers, chronicling their high-risk/high-reward jobs and their passion for a way of life that has been passed down from genera-
tion to generation, yet continues to evolve. The reaction from the nearly 200 who attended
was, in Siskel and Ebert parlance, a solid “two thumbs up” for the 80-minute film. During the screening there were laughs, knowing nods and even a few tears. Overall, the reception by both the ag and non-ag audience was overwhelmingly positive. Farmland’s official premiere will be at a private screening on April 17 in New York, during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. Additionally, the film has been selected to compete at the Cleveland International Film Festival on March 28 and 29; the Atlanta Film Festival on April 6; the Nashville Film Festival on April 19; and at the Newport Beach Film Festival in late April. There will be a public screening of Farmland at the Keystone Landmark Theatre
Poultry and grain farmer Leighton Cooley (right), one of the six young farmers profiled in Farmland, was in Indianapolis for the March 27 screening. He chatted with guests at a reception before the viewing and participated in a Q & A session afterward. Photo by Rachel Schrage
in Indianapolis on May 1. Visit www.FarmlandFilm. com to locate other screenings and see additional information about the film and to watch the trailer.
Farmland was produced by Moll’s Allentown Productions, with generous support from the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.
—By Chris Fenner Director of Field Services Organizational Development Team Counties across the state are engaging in numerous activities. As of March 24, more than 1,528 activities have taken place across the state. This is a fantastic number considering the winter we have endured and the number of meetings that have had to be cancelled or rescheduled due to weather. We appreciate your volunteer efforts and the many successes of your engagement. Here are some ideas for continued engagement that yield recognition for your county Farm Bureau: • Post legislative meetings are encouraged, especially if you weren’t able to make a Statehouse visit this year, to build relationships with legislators and
continue to talk about our priority issues for summer study committees and policy development activities. • Beginning April 1, county Farm Bureaus can initiate additional contacts to achieve renewal member retention. • A contribution can be made by your county Farm Bureau to the Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation or you could collect five “leads” for the Ag Law Foundation to follow up, or you could collect donations from five members in your county (any dollar amount). All three activities lead to recognition at your county Farm Bureau. • It’s also a great time of year for your Young Farmer committee to begin to make a plan on developing a relationship with a non-ag group.
Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
Engagement can continue despite end of the legislative session
“Slice of Life” was the theme of the 2014 Spring Conference, held March 7 and 8 in Indianapolis. Hundreds of Farm Bureau members attended the event, held at the Indianapolis Marriott East. Among the offerings was a broad variety of breakout sessions – attendees could choose the education/communications track, the farm/ business track or the home/health track, or they could mix and match from all three tracks. Also offered were guest speakers, entertainment, and socializing. Clockwise from left: A total of $10,000 was raised for this year’s dedicated charity – School on Wheels, which serves homeless kids in Indianapolis – through a live auction, a silent auction and individual contributions. Here Melba Loyd (left) and Janet Kemper (right) hold up a quilt made up of Dodgethemed fabric. John Newsom, IFB regional manager, acts as auctioneer. Governor Mike Pence was on hand to welcome attendees to the conference. The keynote speaker was Sarah Fisher, former IndyCar driver and current owner of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.
Photo by Andy Dietrick
Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
Spring Conference offers educational opportunities
Marshall County Farm Bureau hosted Sen. Dan Coats at a special luncheon on March 19. Coats updated the group on federal ag issues. Here he’s greeted by Marshall County board member John Childs, IFB national government relations policy advisor Kyle Cline, and members of the local FFA chapter. Photo by Rachel Schrage
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STATE & NATION
More work needed on some local government issues —By Katrina Hall Public Policy Team Progress was made in the debate on egregious involuntary annexations even though the bill that would have placed a moratorium on such annexations failed in the final hours of the session. The saga of annexation reform ended in the actual last hour of the session with a 24-24 tie in the Senate on SB 273 (Sen. Jim Buck, RKokomo, and Rep. Robert Cherry, R-Greenfield). The lieutenant governor, who serves as president of the Senate, could not break the tie because a 25-25 threshold was not reached. This was extremely disappointing for Indiana Farm Bureau and the Association of Indiana Counties, both of whom fought hard for the bill. The final version of SB 273 included a 15-month moratorium on involuntary annexations and a study committee to review the statute. SB 273 offered an escape clause to municipalities that needed to do an involuntary annexation for economic development. The only stipulation was a sign-off by the county commissioners. Cities and towns, already energized by
concerns over personal property, contacted legislators in both the House and Senate in droves. After failure in the Senate, no vote was taken in the House. Both Buck and Cherry deserve thanks for their incredible work up until the last minute to provide landowners some much needed protections. Landowners in a proposed annexation territory can’t vote for those who pursue annexation and have no effective way to fight off involuntary annexation even when they go to court. It is hoped that a study committee will still be able to reveal how landowners are being subjected to annexations in all corners of the state. Annexation will be a top priority next session. IFB opposition to single county executive was overcome by a last-minute measure concerning Allen County. The idea surfaced for the first time as a Senate amendment to HEA 1318. The Allen County language found a new home in conference committee through a process known as “strip and insert” of HEA 1346, a measure addressing unemployment. HEA 1346 (Rep. Dan
Nearly fifty Farm Bureau leaders visited Washington, D.C. March 4-6 to lobby Indiana’s congressional delegation about matters of concern back home. Following briefings from AFBF staff about water regulation, immigration reform, farm bill implementation and international trade, the group met with Sens. Coats and Donnelly in the Capitol Visitors Center. Above, on the way to the House office buildings they pause for a group shot on the south steps of the Capitol Building. The delegation spent an afternoon visiting with their respective House members and heard from representatives of the European Union about renewed trade negotiations between the U.S. and the EU. Photo by Andy Dietrick
Leonard, R-Huntington) was the final home for the mandate that a November 2014 referendum will be held in Allen County to determine whether or not the county will have a single county executive or retain the existing three county commissioner structure. No local action is needed to initiate this referendum. County legislative functions would move to a nine-member county council organized by districts rather than the current three
Students win $1,000 scholarships —Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team Winners of the Marion Stackhouse and Collegiate Farm Bureau scholarships have been announced. Each of the three winners will receive a $1,000 award. Sarah Correll, a sophomore at Purdue University, is the winner of the Marion Stackhouse scholarship. The scholarship is given each year in memory of former Indiana Farm Bureau President Marion Stackhouse and
assists students pursuing a degree in an agriculturerelated field. Correll is studying agricultural education and agricultural economics. She is a former State FFA secretary and is an active member of Collegiate Farm Bureau at Purdue. Winners of the Collegiate Farm Bureau scholarship are Cameron Mann and Joseph Morman. The Collegiate Farm Bureau scholarship assists Collegiate Farm Bureau members with their educational pursuits. Mann is a
freshman at Purdue studying agricultural communications; she is from Cloverdale, Ind. Morman is a freshman at Purdue majoring in animal sciences; he is from Monroeville, Ind. A complete list of Farm Bureau sponsored scholarships is available online at www.infarmbureau.org. To find the list, float your cursor over the “Programs” heading at the top of the page and click on “Scholarships.”
Calendar of Events April 9, 10 12 16 26 26 May 21, 22 25
April 7, 2014
IFB Board of Directors meeting, Indianapolis. IFB Leaders in Action program session, South Bend. IFB Women’s Leadership Committee, Indianapolis. Earth Day Indiana, Indianapolis. Mutt Strut (sponsored by the Indianapolis Humane Society), Indianapolis.
IFB Board of Directors meeting, Indianapolis. IFB Leaders in Action program session, Indianapolis.
at-large and four district members. The loading up of HEA 1346 and final passage took about 24 hours in spite of
opposition by Indiana Farm Bureau and the Allen County Farm Bureau. The measure was signed by the governor on March 24.
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