Connecting with Consumers: Mutt Strut & Earth Day Pages 4, 5
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TOTAL $53.27 Up $1.73 or 3.5% from a year ago.
Up < 1% compared to 6 months ago.
Volunteers Needed for Market Basket Survey Page 7
INSIDE: News in Brief.....................2 Rules & Regulations...........3 Around IFB........................6 Communications...............7 Around Indiana.................8
The Hoosier Farmer
A Publication for Voting Members of Indiana Farm Bureau
MAY 19, 2014 Issue No. 53
Farmers need to remember to tell their ‘tax story’ to lawmakers —By Katrina Hall State Government Relations
Indiana Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation need farmers’ help in collecting photos that show how widespread the effect of the EPA’s proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule. Identifying information will not be used with the pictures. For more, see pages 4 and 5 of this issue of The Hoosier Farmer. Photo above by Marybeth Feutz; photo below by Kathleen M. Dutro
It’s May in Indiana, and farmers are planting – and making that trip to the county courthouse to pay their property taxes on all the land, buildings and equipment that their business cannot operate without. Farming families know all too well about the “big check” they must write in May and November. Now is the time to tell others just how big those checks are. Before you file away those tax bills, make a note of the total real and total personal property tax you pay. How many acres does that cover? Do you know how much property tax your landlords pay? You are paying a part of those. Yes, it’s May in Indiana and farmers are in the field and putting into motion the business plans they have contemplated all winter. Planning for success considers the opportunities and obstacles you will face. Planning for success in the next legislative session is no different. Our legislative opportunity is telling legislators how concerned you are about reliance on prop-
erty tax and how your bills are increasing when your residential and business neighbors’ bills are not increasing as much. Our obstacle is convincing legislators that property taxes for a farming operation are a problem. There won’t be much convincing without the members of Indiana Farm Bureau shaping that story. Relating how rapidly escalating property taxes impact you, your family and your farming operation is simply essential to legislative success. So get out that notepad, the old-fashioned pocket style or electronic device, and jot down just how property taxes are a big chunk off your bottom-line. We’ll be asking you to tell your stories very soon. If you missed the article last month’s Hoosier Farmer, it is important for farmers across the state to be paying attention to any chatter or official notice about a proposed annexation in their area. Please email me at khall@INFB.org with any details about annexations occurring near you. We have a lot of work to do with legislators this summer on taxes and annexation.
Farm Bureau ELECT successful in the 2014 primary —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team Farm Bureau ELECT (Indiana Farm Bureau’s political action committee) made endorsements this year in three congressional primaries and 12 Statehouse primary races, and the ELECT-endorsed candidate was successful in Indiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206
all but four of those races. “We won in 73 percent of the races, which is pretty good for hotly contested primary races,” said Megan Ritter, IFB director of public policy, who coordinates ELECT activities. “Congratulations to the farmers and members in these districts who worked Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage
Berne, IN Permit NO. 43
hard to be involved in the primary last night and select the candidate that would support agriculture and Farm Bureau policies,” Ritter said. “Our staff and members put significant time into evaluating these races for agriculture and their work should be commended.” Here are the full results. • Rep. Susan Brooks, Congressional District 5 – won. • Rep. Larry Bucshon, Congressional District 8 – won. • Rep. Todd Young, Congressional District 9 – won. • Rick Niemeyer, Indiana Senate 6 – won. • Ken Fries, Indiana Senate
15 – lost. • R. Bruce Wissel, Indiana Senate 27 – lost. • Chip Perfect, Indiana Senate 43 – won. • Mark Messmer, Indiana Senate 48 – won. • Rebecca Kubacki, Indiana House 22 – lost. • Don Lehe, Indiana House 25 – won. • Jerry Torr, Indiana House 39 – won. • Adam Bujalski, Indiana House 48 – lost. • Milo Smith, Indiana House 59 – won. • Mike Braun, Indiana House 63 – won. • Casey Cox, Indiana House 85 – won. These endorsements were for the primary only. As of
The Hoosier Farmer’s May 12 deadline, the ELECT Oversight Committee was scheduled to meet May 13 to begin the process for the general election. Counties will need to take action by July to be involved in the general election endorsement process. “We can feel good about our grassroots process and the relationships members built though the interview process,” Ritter said. “I know there were several other local races that members and staff were involved with and it would be great to share lessons learned and results as well,” she added.
NEWS IN BRIEF
U.S. Drought Monitor
May 6, 2014
(Released Thursday, May. 8, 2014) Valid 8 a.m. EDT
EPA proposes new ag worker standards
—Edited by Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team
Drought Impact Types: Delineates dominant impacts S = Short-Term, typically less than 6 months (e.g. agriculture, grasslands)
SL Author: Mark Svoboda National Drought Mitigation Center
L = Long-Term, typically greater than 6 months (e.g. hydrology, ecology)
D0 Abnormally Dry D1 Moderate Drought D2 Severe Drought D3 Extreme Drought D4 Exceptional Drought
L L L SL
The Drought Monitor focuses on broadscale conditions. Local conditions may vary. See accompanying text summary for forecast statements.
SL S L L SL SL SL SL SL time on the
take effect with the New Year in 2015. (BOAH 4/30/14)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s agricultural worker protection standard, or WPS, is a regulation aimed at reducing the risk of pesticide poisonings and injuries among agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. A rule recently proposed by EPA extensively revises the existing WPS in several areas, including training, notification, hazard communication, minimum age and personal protective equipment. The current comment deadline is June 17, 2014. AFBF requested a 90-day extension of the comment deadline. Proposed changes include: • Altering the family farm exemption. • Increasing legal obligation related to training of workers, content of training materials, timing of training, and recordkeeping of training.
laws that designate what types of identification and documentation are needed for livestock will soon be changing. Hoosier livestock producers and others have the opportunity to give their input on the proposed changes in a virtual public hearing, hosted by the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture changed the federal requirements for ID and documentation for many livestock species, a program known as ADT (Animal Disease Traceability). Members of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health recently voted to move ahead with changes to align Indiana laws with the new federal ADT standards. BOAH is hosting a public comment period until the board members reconvene on July 10, when they will vote for a second and final
proposed changes. Members will consider comments submitted until that time, to determine if the proposal should be modified. To view the proposed rule changes, livestock owners, dealers, veterinarians and others should visit the BOAH website, www. in.gov/boah/2328.htm. Comments may be submitted via U.S. mail, on the website, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Under the new laws, beef and dairy cattle owners may have to adopt new forms of animal identification for their herds. Official ID (types that are recognized by USDA and state animal health agencies) will be limited to three types: 840 tags, NUES (National Uniform Eartagging System) tags (often called “brite” tags), and official program tags (such as orange calfhood vaccination tags). All must bear a US shield emblem to be valid. In a related effort, BOAH proposes a record-keeping requirement for all purchases, sales, leases and movements of cattle and bison for five years. If board members approve the second reading of the rule, the new changes will
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
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)
News Bites —Compiled by Kathleen M. LDutro Public Relations Team
BOAH seeks input on changes to livestock laws—Indiana’s
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
Public Policy Team Director........................................ Megan Ritter Policy Development & Industry Relations.........................Bob Cherry National Government Relations Policy Advisor................. Kyle Cline Policy Advisor & Counsel..............Amy Cornell Administrative Assistant .................... B.J. Fields State Government Relations Director...................................... Katrina Hall Administrative Assistant .............Wanda Hunter Senior Policy Advisor & Counsel..................................Justin Schneider Livestock Development Specialist... Greg Slipher Direct Retail Business Specialist........Bob White
Western states continue multiyear battle with drought—As of May 6,
all of California is now in moderate to exceptional drought for the first time in a decade and a half, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor (http://droughtmonitor. unl.edu/). The worst drought conditions are in the normally crop-rich Central Valley. Western and/or southwestern states are dealing with a multi-year drought that is not letting up this spring and probably won’t let up during this crop-growing summer season. Only Montana, Wyoming and northeastern Washington have escaped these conditions. (AFBF 5/9/14)
USDA announces funding for next generation of farmers and ranchers—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the availability of more than $19 million in grants to help train, educate and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of agricultural producers through the Be-
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
ginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. BFRDP is an education, training, technical assistance and outreach program designed to help farmers, ranchers and managers of non-industrial private forest land–specifically those aiming to start farming and those who have been farming or ranching for 10 or fewer years. It is managed by the National Institutes of Food and Agriculture. NIFA will competitively award grants to organizations conducting programs to help beginning farmers and ranchers. Learn more about the program at www.nifa.usda. gov/fo/beginningfarmersandranchers.cfm. Grant applications are due June 12. (AFBF 4/15/14)
Indiana Farm Bureau Inc./ Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Director of Affiliate Relations.................. Julie Klarich
• Imposing stricter requirements related to personal protective equipment and availability of decontamination supplies. • Expanding mandatory posting of no-entry signs when the restricted entry interval is greater than 48 hours. • Imposing 25-100 foot buffer zones surrounding pesticide treated fields that could reduce available acreage for crop production (current buffer zones only apply to nurseries and greenhouses). • Requiring that pesticide handlers and early-entry workers must be 16 years of age (currently there is no minimum age) with an exemption for family farms. Amy Cornell, IFB policy advisor and counsel, is working with AFBF staff to prepare comments to the proposed changes. Please contact her with any questions or concerns at 317692-8005, email@example.com.
Lawmakers reach agreement on waterways bill—Lawmakers
in the House and Senate said May 8 that they have reached an agreement on an $8.2 billion bill to boost U.S. ports and waterways: the Water Resources Development Act. Lead negotiators of the WRDA conference committee planned to bring the agreement to the floors of the House and Senate the week of May 12. “WRDA is extremely important for agriculture,” Andrew Walmsley, AFBF’s transportation specialist. “The industry depends heavily on rails, roads and waterways to transport products to market. We look forward to this important waterways legislation becoming law.” (AFBF 5/9/14) Address Letters & Questions To: Indiana Farm Bureau Inc. Box 1290, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1290. Phone: 1-800-327-6287 or (317) 692-7776 E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Duplicate Magazines If you are receiving more than one copy of The Hoosier Farmer®, please cut out both labels and return them to the address above. Magazine Design and Layout Davis Graphic Design www.davisgraphics.com The Hoosier Farmer® is published 14 times per year by Indiana Farm Bureau Inc., P.O. Box 1290, Indianapolis, IN 46206, and is furnished as a service to voting members and others. Controlled circulation. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Hoosier Farmer® P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206-1290. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
Director..................... John Shoup
May 19, 2014
RULES & REGS
Farm bill consolidates conservation programs, expands energy funding —By Kyle Cline Public Policy Team Conservation programs received a reduction of nearly $4 billion over the next 10 years in the Agricultural Act of 2014, better known as the farm bill. The cost-cutting is due in large part to the consolidation of existing duplicative programs, taking the number from 23 in the last farm bill down to 13 in the new bill. The savings will also come from the reduction in the Conservation Reserve Program cap from 32 million acres to 24 million acres by 2017. Collectively, conservation programs are projected to spend $57 billion over 10 years coming mainly in the most well-known programs: Conservation Reserve Program, Conservation Stewardship Program and Environ-
mental Quality Incentives Program. Overall, conservation programs receive around 6 percent of the total farm bill budget. The Wetlands Reserve Program, Grassland Reserve Program, and Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program are now consolidated under a single umbrella to be called the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (or ACEP). The program provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. Funding for this program is permanent.
Similar to the newly consolidated ACEP, the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative, Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative, and Agriculture Water Enhancement Program are now consolidated into the Regional Conservation Partnership Initiative. This program is designed to coordinate conservation program assistance with partners to solve problems on a regional or watershed scale. The new farm bill also relinks crop insurance premium subsidies to conservation compliance (conservation of highly erodible land and wetlands) for the first time since 1996. The farm bill’s energy title will receive $879 million in new money over 10 years to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs on farms and in rural communities.
Around $500 million of the total energy title is allocated for the Rural Energy for America Program. REAP promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy and producer cost savings. REAP will also have a new per-
manent funding baseline, which means that if Congress fails to reauthorize the farm bill again in 5 years, the REAP program will still receive an allocation of $50 million a year, providing additional investment certainty.
AFBF creates new resources to help farmers understand the new farm bill —From the AFBF Public Relations Team The American Farm Bureau Federation has produced a new series of videos and launched a website (http://goo.gl/ujjnny) to help farmers, landowners and other stakeholders better understand the provisions of the 2014 farm bill. About this series: These articles are part of a series on the Agricultural Act of 2014, better known as the farm bill, provided to The Hoosier Farmer by Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. The new farm bill extended the livestock disaster payments authorized by the 2008 farm bill indefinitely and made the programs retroactive to October 1, 2011. Also, under the new legislation, producers are not required to purchase crop insurance or participate in NAP (Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program) to be eligible.
Featured content includes videos on key commodity program and crop insurance provisions of the farm bill. “We have distilled down a massive and complex piece of legislation – the 2014 farm bill – into several ‘bite-size’ pieces, with the goal of helping farmers and managers understand how it will affect their farms,” said
John Anderson, deputy chief economist with AFBF. “Now that safety net and risk management tools important in crop planning are in place, along with the new program for dairies, the next step is for farmers to be able to move forward with confidence in determining the best options for their individual farms,” Anderson said. “We
created the farm bill video series with that goal in mind.” The videos include a farm bill overview describing the basic provisions of the commodity title, including a description of the decisions related to program participation that will need to be made by farmers and landowners. Four other videos go in-depth on the price loss coverage and
supplemental coverage option, the agricultural risk coverage program, the stacked income protection program for cotton and the dairy margin protection program. Links to useful farm bill information from USDA, land-grant universities, and other organizations also is available on the website at http://goo.gl/ujjnny.
Program compensates producers who suffer grazing losses due to drought —By Michael Langemeier Associate Director Center for Commercial Agriculture Purdue University This article briefly discusses the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (or LFP). The discussion below will focus on the provisions of this program that are most applicable to farmers in the Midwest. It is important to note that there is some overlap between the coverage of the different livestock disaster
programs. A producer cannot receive payments for the same livestock from more than one of the disaster programs. Producers who think that may be eligible for the LFP program are encouraged to contact their local FSA office. The LFP program provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who suffer grazing losses due to drought conditions. The eligible livestock producer must have provided grazing for covered livestock in a county that was affected by a drought during the nor-
mal grazing period for the county. Eligible livestock include beef cattle, buffalo, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, and swine. The U.S. drought monitor is used to determine whether the county experienced a drought in a given month. Using the drought monitor, an eligible producer will receive 1, 3, 4, or 5 monthly payments. Monthly payments are based on monthly livestock feed cost (feed grain equivalent) or monthly feed cost computed using the normal
carrying capacity for the grazing land. The sign-up for LFP started on April 15, 2014 and ends on January 30, 2015. Grazing losses that occurred during the last three months of 2011, and for 2012 to 2014 are eligible. Of course, for the Midwest, the primary period of interest in the 2012 grazing period. Signup for 2015 and subsequent years should occur no later than 30 days after the calendar year in which the grazing loss occurred.
Assistance available for livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish —By Michael Langemeier Associate Director Center for Commercial Agriculture Purdue University This article briefly discusses the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and FarmRaised Fish (or ELAP) program. The discussion below will focus on the
provisions of this program that are most applicable to farmers in the Midwest. It is important to note that there is some overlap between the coverage of the different livestock disaster programs. A producer cannot receive payments for the same livestock from more than one of the disaster programs. Producers who think that may be eligible for the ELAP program
are encouraged to contact their local FSA office. ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-related fish for losses due to disease, adverse weather, or other conditions not covered by Livestock Forage Disaster Program or the Livestock Indemnity Program. It is important to note that total
payments are capped at $20 million per year. Eligible livestock include beef cattle, buffalo, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, and swine. Eligible livestock losses include grazing losses, feed losses (e.g., damaged or destroyed feed, additional feed purchased above normal amount), and additional costs associated with transporting water.
The 2012 and 2013 ELAP signup began April 15 and ends on Aug. 1, 2014. The 2014 ELAP program began on April 15 and ends on Nov. 1, 2014. The 2015 and subsequent year ELAP sign-ups begin on Oct. 1 and end on Nov. 1 after the end of the program year in which the loss occurred.
May 19, 2014
Farm Bureau gears up to fight proposed ‘Waters of the —From the AFBF Public Relations Team The American Farm Bureau Federation is asking members to resist a proposed rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it says will impose unworkable regulations on the nation’s farms. Published April 21 in the Federal Register, the “Waters of the U.S.” proposed rule (which is more than 111,000 words in length) reflects the EPA’s latest interpretation of the 1972 Clean Water Act. The rule could ultimately lead to the unlawful expansion of federal regulation to cover routine farming and ranching practices as well as other common private land uses, such as building homes. “This rule is an end run around congressional intent and rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court alike,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said. “Congress and the courts have both said that the 50 states, not EPA, have power to decide how farming and other land uses should be restricted. It’s time to ditch this rule.” Among other things, the rule would expand federal control over land features such as ditches and areas of agricultural land that are wet only during storms. EPA says its new rule clarifies the scope of the Clean Water Act. However, EPA’s “clarification” is achieved by categorically classifying most water features and even dry land as “waters of the United States.” If carried out, Farm Bureau said, ordinary field work, fence construction or even planting could require a federal permit. The result will be
a wave of new regulation or outright prohibitions on routine farming practices and other land uses. “Congress, not federal agencies, writes the laws of the land,” Stallman said. “When Congress wrote the Clean Water Act, it clearly intended for the law to apply to navigable waters. Is a small ditch navigable? Is a stock pond navigable? We really don’t think so, and Farm Bureau members are going to be sending
that message.” EPA contends that an entire set of exemptions will protect many farmers from the burdensome new rule. But Stallman counters that those exemptions will only apply to farming that has been ongoing since the 1970s, not new or expanded farms. Even for farms that do qualify for exemptions, the exemptions do not cover weed control, fertilizer use or other common farm practices. The
already narrow exemptions, Stallman said, have existed for years but have been further narrowed by EPA guidance issued simultaneously with the proposed rule. “The EPA exemptions offer no meaningful protection for the hundreds of thousands of farmers and ranchers whose operations and livelihoods are threatened by this expansion of EPA’s regulatory reach,” Stallman said.
A proposed rule from Agency has the potent over “ephemeral strea Farm Bureau experts. I
Indiana Celebrates Earth Day White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis played host to Indiana’s Earth Day celebration on April 26. Indiana’s Family of Farmers gave kids and adults of all ages the opportunity to plant their own popcorn in biodegradable CowPots. Many of the families that came to plant popcorn this year were repeat customers, who enjoyed homegrown, home-popped popcorn courtesy of IFOF’s booth last year. Photos by Rachel Schrage
May 19, 2014
e U.S.’ rule “EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have said the WOTUS rule provides clarity and certainty. The only thing that is clear and certain is that, under this rule, it will be more difficult for private landowners to farm and ranch, build homes or make changes to the land – even if the changes that landowners propose would benefit the environment. This is pure and simply wrong, and it is why we need to ditch the rule.”
the U.S. Environmental Protection tial to give EPA regulatory authority ams” such as this one, according to Indiana Farm Bureau photo
‘Waters of the U.S.’: a glossary —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule on the “Waters of the U.S.” is long, complicated and contains vocabulary that talks about bodies of water in ways that differ from the way such words are used by regular humans. Below are EPA definitions of some of the different kinds of bodies of water that could be affected by the rule. Most of the definitions are from the American Farm Bureau Federation’s interpretation of the EPA rule. Those in quotes come directly from the EPA. adjacent waters – Waters that are bordering, contiguous or neighboring waters separated from other waters of the U.S. by dikes or barriers. The proposal would expand coverage to include not only wetlands, but all waters adjacent to traditional navigable waters, and it would expand the scope of adjacency by including a broad definition of “neighboring” waters. ditch – Considered a tributary unless the ditch falls into one of two narrow exclusions: “Ditches that are excavated wholly in uplands, drain only uplands, and have less than perennial flow”; and “Ditches that do not contribute flow, either directly or through another water (which could be another ditch or an ephemeral stream), to [a traditional navigable water].” Many farm ditches will not fall into either of the two exempt categories and therefore would be deemed “navigable waters.” ephemeral stream – A stream that moves water only during rainfall or snowmelt. intermittent stream – “A stream where portions flow continuously
only at certain times of the year, for tributaries – EPA proposed definexample when it receives water from a ing a tributary as any feature with spring, groundwater source or from a a bed and bank and ordinary high surface source, such as melting snow.” water mark (which EPA and the navigable waters – Large tidal Army Corps of Engineers view as any water bodies used in interstate comtrench or discrete path of water with merce, interstate waters and the territo- physical indications of water flow) rial seas. Those three categories of wa- that contributes flow to traditional ters do not change from earlier regula- navigable waters in any amount, tions. The proposal whether directly or will also regulate through other waIFB and AFBF have begun all impoundments ter bodies (which assembling resources to of these waters. could be ditches, help members understand neighboring other “tributaries” the proposed rule and its waters – Includes or impoundments). ramifications. You can find riparian areas and Ponds, impoundthose resources at www. floodplains. ments, lakes and infarmbureau.org/waterrule/. wetlands would other waters – Waters that have, not need to have either alone or in the aggregate with a bed and bank and ordinary high other “similarly situated” features, water mark to be tributaries if they a “significant nexus” to the more “contribute flow.” traditional navigable waters. This is Sources: American Farm Bureau a general term for anything that EPA Federation, “Waters of the U.S. proconsiders to be significant but that posed rule: Maintaining the Clean doesn’t fit one of the other definitions. Water Act’s statutory limits to federal significant nexus – A “more than jurisdiction over small, remote waters speculative or insubstantial” chemiand land-use practices.” cal, biological or ecological connecU.S. Environmental Protection tion between waters in a watershed. Agency.
IFB taking an active role in campaign Indiana Farm Bureau is also active in the Ditch the Rule campaign. The organization is developing statespecific information for its own website and will be submitting comments. “We also need your help in collecting photos to show the expansive reach of the proposed rule,” said Justin Schneider, senior policy advisor and counsel. Send your before-and-after photos of ditches and swales, ponding in driveways, water flowing in gul-
lies on hillsides (preferably with a ditch or creek in the background) and flooded lawns to askus@infb. org, Kyle Cline (email@example.com) or Schneider (firstname.lastname@example.org). Of particular use are photos that show that normally dry, productive farmland and residential areas are subject to temporary flooding. Your identifying information will not be used with the pictures, Schneider and Cline added.
Thousands of mutts strut around the IMS Thousands of dogs and their two-legged companions strolled around Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 26 at Mutt Strut 2014. Indiana’s Family of Farmers was on hand, along with the Indiana Board of Animal Health, to educate pet owners about disaster preparedness for cats and dogs. More information, including emergency preparedness procedures for livestock, horses and birds, is available at the Board of Animal Health’s disaster preparedness website, www.in.gov/boah/2441.htm. Photos by Rachel Schrage
May 19, 2014
Grants available for many different kinds of farm improvements —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team “There’s an app for that” has become a cliché because there actually is an app for almost everything. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that there’s a grant for that, said author Sarah Aubrey, Farm Bureau voting member and owner of Prosperity Consulting in Morgan County. “Every day of my life is, ‘Is there a grant for that?’” Aubrey said. “I get asked that in the elevator, in the driveup for Starbucks – I literally got asked that one time – by peers and every phone conversation that I have. “The answer, of course, is ‘Maybe,’” she said. There are more grants available to farmers than most farmers realize, she added – for improving energy efficiency, for making conservation improvements, for installing more efficient equipment. “We’ve done over 800 grants for grain dryer improvements…We do irrigation equipment upgrades because of the new, improved energy efficiency. “What I don’t see grants for, so much, is land acquisition,” she added. Aubrey and her husband,
Cary, live in Morgan County where they raise purebred Herefords and Simmentals. Her business is operated from a little old farmhouse just a few steps away from one of the pastures. Helping people identify and qualify for grants is a big part of the business – and it’s the topic of her new book, Find Grant Funding Now! The Five-Step Process for Entrepreneurs and Business. “My favorite thing to talk about, besides farming, is books,” she enthused. This particular book is about the approach she takes to writing grants: “The feasibility, should we partner with this agency or not, can we actually administer this money if we get it, can we meet these terms. I wanted to talk more about those things than how to write the grant,” Aubrey explained, adding that there are already plenty of great resources available on grant writing itself. The book’s focus is “how entrepreneurs and businesses might want to take a look at this as an alternative funding source, just like lending or venture capital. It’s another non-perfect way to find money for a portion of the work you need to do,” she said. And, she added, grants are not just for large companies.
Sarah Aubrey of Morgan County has written a book intended to help farmers and other small-business owners find and qualify for government grants. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
“I’ve worked on $45 million grants and $5,000 grants and everything in between,” she noted. This is Aubrey’s third book, and it’s her first to appear in hardback. Her first two are on creating on-farm businesses: Starting & Running Your Own Small Farm Business (which came out in 2007) and The Profitable Hobby Farm: How to Build a Sustainable Local Foods Business (2010). Another part of her business is strategic planning, market
consulting and proposal writing, and she, her employees and freelancers still do those things. But grant writing has become more important as grants for farmers have become widely available, particularly through the USDA. To help would-be grantees figure out if they might qualify for a grant, Aubrey has created project assessment and grant assessment tools that are available on her website, prosperityconsultingsba.com. The tools help people with a
“crazy-great idea” figure out where they are in the process of turning that idea into a business, she said. Wiley Publishing, the publisher of Find Grant Funding Now!, is offering a 30 percent discount off the list price of $49.95 to those who purchase the hardcover book through the website wiley. com. To qualify, go to the website and use the promo code “AUB30” (no quote marks). The offer is good through April 30, 2015.
IALF to offer estate, Policy advisory groups to meet in June succession planning seminar —B M R government and fiscal policy, IFB’s retail agriculture busiy
—By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team Many farm families are caught unprepared when the farm’s leader suddenly dies or becomes incapacitated. While it will be a stressful time regardless how much planning has been done, having that plan in place can help when the time comes. The Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation has scheduled an estate and succession planning seminar on July 17 that will provide basic resources for farm families to create that plan. “Conversations about what happens to the farm after someone’s death can be uncomfortable,” said John Shoup, IALF director. “If families let that discomfort prevent the conversation from happening, it can end poorly for everyone. This is an opportunity to hear from two of the most highly regarded attorneys in the state that deal with these family-farm issues.” The day-long event will feature sessions on why a succession plan is necessary for a farm, basics of estate
May 19, 2014
planning, choosing a business structure, Medicare planning and insurance. The seminar will end with a question-and-answer panel with three of the day’s presenters, which include attorneys Gary Chapman of Bose McKinney and Evans and Dan Gordon of Gordon and Associates, and Ken Roney of Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. Ken Foster, Purdue Department of Agricultural Economics, is also on the agenda. Early registration is available for $50 until June 16. If space is still available, the registration cost after June 16 will be $75. Space is limited for this event. Early sign-up is encouraged. Future seminars on estate and succession planning are being designed; this seminar provides a foundation for those in the future. Indiana Farm Bureau is a sponsor of the seminar, which will be held at the IFB home office in downtown Indianapolis. Registration and additional information is available on the IALF website, www. inaglaw.org, or by calling Maria Spellman, 317-692-7840.
Public Relations Team Seven policy advisory groups will meet during the month of June to review county Farm Bureau policy recommendations relevant to their areas of expertise. The groups will also determine if they have their own recommendations to submit. “Each policy advisory group brings a level of knowledge about their issue that will boost the quality of our public policy discussions and decisions,” said Bob White,
ness specialist. While commodity-specific issues still play an important role in Farm Bureau policy making, many issues today affect farmers who have less in common when it comes to crops and more when it comes to farm types, regulations or resources. The advisory groups enhance issue discussion, policy development and policy implementation. The rural development PAG will meet on June 24. The remaining six PAGs –
livestock and animal care, crops and farm policy, transportation, property rights and nutrient management – will meet on June 30. The groups are a recent addition to IFB’s policy process. Their topics came about from internal and external conversations with members and other stakeholders. Groups may be added or disbanded as priorities change. For more information, contact Bob White, email@example.com or 317-692-7823.
Meetings help reconnect insurance company to IFB Inc. —Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team What began as a way to roll out new internal initiatives became an opportunity for Indiana Farm Bureau to reconnect with Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance agents and customer service representatives across the state. As of The Hoosier Farmer’s May deadline, members of
the Organizational Development team had met with 658 insurance agents and CSRs who work in 87 of Indiana’s 92 counties. Participants learned about the history of Indiana Farm Bureau, the company’s structure, types of membership and how membership dues are divided among county, state and national Farm Bureau organizations.
“We wanted to reintroduce who we are, why we’re here and what we do,” said Julie Klarich, director of affiliate relations at Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. “This way, agents and CSRs will be able to better explain membership and its benefits.” As the series of 31 meetings continues, agents and CSRs from all counties will be reached.
Volunteers needed for grocery price survey program —By Kathleen M. Dutro Media Relations Specialist Public Relations Team There’s an easy, low-stress way for a member to be involved in one of Farm Bureau’s most effective public and media relations efforts. It’s called the “market basket survey,” and its most obvious purpose is to allow state Farm Bureaus and the American Farm Bureau Federation to produce news releases on food prices, releases that are very popular with media.
The release on the Thanksgiving survey is one of the most widely-run news releases that IFB sends out all year. Many newspapers and radio stations run the releases word for word as I send them out, but many also call me or IFB 2nd Vice President Isabella Chism for more information on the surveys and their findings. We get questions on everything from “Why did turkey go down in the Indiana survey but up in the national survey?” to “How can people save money on their grocery bills?” But the more subtle purpose of the market basket program is to help reporters – and their readers – see the connection between the food they buy and the farmers who produce it. Indiana Farm Bureau is currently looking for members who are willing to become “volunteer shoppers”: individuals who commit to going to a local grocery store four times per year, writing down the prices of a list of items, and then sending that list to IFB’s home office. Once here, the individual results are averaged to create
a list of statewide averages, and the data is also sent to AFBF to be included in the nationwide survey. In return, the members will receive the grateful thanks of Isabella as well as the IFB public relations team – particularly me, since I’m the one who writes the market basket news releases. Isabella and I really appreciate the strong participation of individual members – Indiana is one of the top states in terms of total number of volunteer shoppers – that allows us to speak with some confidence about food prices in Indiana. There are also more tangible ways that we say “thank you.” Each time volunteers participate, they have their names entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card. Of the four annual surveys, the most prominent is the Thanksgiving survey, which has been conducted annually since 1986. The 12 items on the shopping list for this survey consist of the fixings for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, including a 16-pound turkey, stuffing mix, cranberries and so on. Two of the surveys are
HSUS starts ag council in Indiana —By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team The Humane Society of the United States has created an agriculture council for the state. Similar councils exist in Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina and Ohio. The councils’ stated purpose is to “foster better animal welfare and environmental stewardship.” The HSUS website indicates that the farmers on the council were selected
because the organization views them as sharing HSUS principles. As council members, they will have the opportunity provide advice and guidance to HSUS. The organization also mentions that council members may “assist other traditional family farmers who want to make the switch to more humane practices.” HSUS Indiana Agriculture Council has four members. Jim Benham, Versailles, is a grain farmer and president of the Indiana Farmers
Union. Pete Eshelman, Roanoke, owns Joseph Decuis, which includes a restaurant, a gourmet retail store, an inn and a farm featuring Waygu beef. Lance Dunbar, Elizabeth, runs Big D farms, a pasture-based cow/calf operation raising registered black Angus. Cheyenne R. Kenin, Cloverdale, lives on a small farm with a number of animals she has rescued. She is particularly interested in horses and co-founded an equine rescue.
AFBF MARKETBASKET 16 ITEMS: B����� ����� O����� ����� A����� P������� C������ ������� S����� ���� ��� B���� G����� ����� S������ ��� ����� E��� M��� S������� ������ B���� F���� T������ ��� ������ V�������� ���
TOTAL $53.27 Up $1.73 or 3.5% from a year ago.
Up < 1% compared to 6 months ago.
A graphic produced by the American Farm Bureau Federation for the spring market basket news release. The Indiana survey showed a 51cent decrease in food prices from the previous year for an overall total of $48.22.
known as the “semi-annual surveys.” While some details of these surveys (including the frequency and some of the items) have been altered over the years to keep them current, they’ve been conducted since 1989. The semiannual surveys are performed in the spring and the fall. The next survey is the newest in Farm Bureau’s repertoire: the summer cookout survey. People who are interested finding out more about becoming a volunteer shopper for this survey should contact Ashley Beasley, 317692-7830, firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants will have the week of June 7-15 to collect prices on the food items that are part of this survey and send them in to Beasley by mail or email.
The news release on this survey will be released just before Independence Day. On a personal note, I’d like to thank the many volunteers who have contributed to this program since 1995, which is when I first came to work at Farm Bureau and took on the job of writing these releases. You may not realize how important your contribution has been and continues to be. Perhaps to you, it just seems like a minor little chore. But what you have actually been doing is giving Farm Bureau an opportunity to talk to reporters and consumers about food and farmers. That’s an important opportunity, and as your media relations specialist, I never cease to be grateful for it.
Skin cancer council reminds farmers and others not to ‘fry’ this summer —Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team We all know that too much time in the sun can leave us with a painful and unattractively red sunburn, but did you know that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States? Those who work outdoors – including farmers – are at particular risk. This year, more than 2 million people will be diagnosed with melanoma, basal cell or squamous cell skin
cancer. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated Friday, May 23, as Don’t Fry Day. It is intended as a reminder of the importance of protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, the leading cause of skin cancer. Here are some easy steps to follow to protect yourself this summer: • Don’t burn or tan. • Seek shade. • Wear sun-protective clothing.
• Generously apply sunscreen (at least SPF 30). • Use extra caution near water, sand or snow, which reflect sunlight. The council has also assembled some resources aimed at helping outdoor workers reduce their risk, including one from the University of Iowa written specifically for farmers. Links to these resources can be found at skincancerprevention.org/resources/outdoorworkers.
Indiana Farm Bureau is redesigning its main website, www.infarmbureau.org. Sometime this summer, you’ll see a redesigned IFB website that will make it easier to get where you’re going – and to find all the services that our family of sites offers.
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Project designed to show that ag is ‘committed to reducing nutrient loss’ —Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team In January, a number of Indiana farm organizations announced the Nutrient Management/Soil Health Strategy – a new voluntary initiative focused on improvement of soil health and management of nutrients on farmland. The strategy is taking a long-term look at projects to measure changes in water quality associated with conservation farming techniques that improve soil
health, such as cover crops and conservation tillage. The strategy also includes efforts to provide better access to technical information on nutrient need and application. In April, Region 5 EPA officials came to central Indiana from Chicago to discuss goals for the strategy and provide feedback on the project. As part of the ongoing effort to conduct on-farm research, participants toured the School Branch Creek watershed in Brownsburg, Ind., a small part of the larger Eagle Creek watershed. The tour was used
Representatives from Indiana Farm Bureau, IDEM, NRCS, IUPUI and EPA Region 5 toured School Branch watershed, a small part of the larger Eagle Creek watershed, in April. Photo by Rachel Schrage
to inform EPA of ongoing research on nutrient removal research using a bioswale (a landscape element designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water and
subsurface water). It showcased farms with high levels of conservation farming. The watershed, the land in which is primarily for agriculture, will also be the site of ongoing monitoring, both in stream and at the edge of the field, to document the effectiveness of different management techniques in reducing nutrient loss from fields. “We want to show the EPA that agriculture is committed to reducing nutri-
ent loss from soil as much as is practical,” said Justin Schneider, senior policy advisor and counsel for Indiana Farm Bureau. “We want to show that farmers will do this voluntarily, without additional regulations being imposed upon them.” Additional EPA Region 5 representatives will return in late June to provide additional input in the design of the research projects in the School Branch Creek watershed.
An example of a bioswale in the School Branch watershed. Photo by Rachel Schrage
Kron to promote Indiana ag on Asia trip —Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team Indiana Farm Bureau Vice President Randy Kron, will be traveling to China, Taiwan and South Korea in June as part of a delegation promoting Indiana agriculture in Asia. Over the course of the 14-day trip, members of the delegation will have the chance to engage with important business contacts
and government leaders in these countries, with the goal of generating export and investment attraction opportunities. In China, delegates will visit Hangzhou in Indiana’s sister-state province of Zhejiang and attend the World Meat Congress. In South Korea, informational meetings will be held with potential buyers of Indiana agricultural products. In
NEW this year
Taipei, Taiwan, the delegates will participate in the Taipei International Food Show, highlighting all that Indiana agriculture has to offer international customers. “I am so excited to have the opportunity to represent all that is great about Indiana agriculture to potential customers abroad,” said Kron. “I hope that this trip will expand Hoosier presence in a global market.”
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