Indiana Farm Bureau

There are at least four Indiana names rumored to be on President-Elect Donald Trump’s short list for Secretary of Agriculture.

Most of the Hoosier prospects to run the U.S. Department of Agriculture were on the Trump campaign’s agricultural advisory team.

Those prospects include Indiana State Agriculture Secretary Ted McKinney, seed corn farmer and former Congressional hopeful Kip Tom and Fair Oaks Farms CEO Mike McCloskey.

Bill Would Extend Farm Safety Net To Urban Growers

Sep 27, 2016
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A Michigan senator is introducing legislation that would let urban farmers access the traditional agricultural safety net.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) says urban farming tactics such as community gardens and rooftop, hoop house or vertical growing are letting more people get into the business.

She told reporters on a press call Monday that she wants to make sure these farmers are included in the 2018 Farm Bill -- an omnibus package of food and agricultural policy that was last reauthorized in 2014.

As Big Ag Mergers Pile Up, Farmers Brace For Impacts

Sep 14, 2016
Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The list of big agribusinesses pursuing mergers is growing, and their plans could affect Indiana facilities.

Germany's Bayer is buying St. Louis-based Monsanto, and two Canadian fertilizer-makers, Potash and Agrium, announced Monday that they'll seek to join forces, too.

Potash just opened a $90 million fertilizer distribution warehouse and rail hub in Lake County, but its future is now unclear.

Right-To-Farm, Education Top Priorities At Indiana Farm Bureau Meeting

Aug 29, 2016
Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

More than 250 Indiana Farm Bureau members met in Indianapolis Saturday Aug. 27 to finalize the the organization’s 2017 positions on agricultural policy – from land use and environmental protection issues, to education and rural development.

  The delegates from each county farm bureau spent about five hours voting on line edits to their official stances. That included adding support for Indiana’s right to farm law, and for a balance between state funds for rural development and money for more urban-centric programs like the Regional Cities Initiative.

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Congress could be asked to vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership as soon as September -- even while both presidential candidates oppose the trade deal, and manufacturing workers rally against it.

However, the agreement has support from most manufacturing business owners -- as well as support from another of Indiana's most trade-reliant industries: agriculture.

Lauren Chapman / Indiana Public Broadcasting

 

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) spoke about farming's past -- and where it's heading -- with farmers and fairgoers at the State Fair on Thursday.

The Senate Agriculture Committee member said he'll work to help farmers adapt to new technologies and market demands -- and that farmers and the public should talk to each other about those changes, too.

But first, he tried out some old-fashioned farm equipment at the Fair's Pioneer Village -- shucking corn, baling hay and sawing logs with a steam engine.

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Representatives from business, hospitality, agriculture and construction industries are calling on Congress to reform the nation’s immigration system, and those groups want to bolster that call by highlighting contributions made by immigrants to Indiana.

Immigrants living in Indiana earned more than $8 billion in 2014 and paid more than $2 billion in taxes, according to a report released by the Reason for Reform Campaign, which works to underscore immigrants’ contributions to the economy.

Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

State officials are taking the road funding debate outside the statehouse, to rural locations across the state.

The meetings between the Department of Transportation and Indiana Farm Bureau are a chance for rural residents to speak up about their infrastructure needs.

Larry Pullam was one such resident at a recent meeting in Crawfordsville. He's a retired corn and soybean farmer from Hendricks County, and says he never felt like he had a voice in the infrastructure conversation before the meeting.

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There's a better-than-expected outlook for Indiana agriculture in a report out this week on what would happen if Congress ratifies the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The TPP is President Obama's big trade deal to reduce tariffs and open new markets with Pacific Rim countries. Congress could vote on it this year, and asked for this forecast from the U.S. International Trade Commission as part of that debate.

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On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed to increase the amount of biofuel in gasoline, a metric known as the Renewable Fuel Standard. That means more ethanol produced in the state will find its way into people’s cars.

The increase is good news for Indiana’s farmers. Kyle Cline is the National Policy Advisor at the Indiana Farm Bureau.

“Indiana’s a leading state in ethanol production,” he says, “and [the RFS] has been very important for our farmers’ bottom line and business.”

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