Press Releases

Ag Policy Forum theme: Get involved in the issues that affect agriculture

Contact: Dave Blower Jr. at 317-644-0980; dblower@indianasoybean.com

 INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 30, 2018) — Reminding Hoosier corn and soybean growers that weather, weeds and insects are not the only worries on the farm, the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Corn Growers Association presented the 2018 Ag Policy Forum on Nov. 27 at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Lebanon, Ind. Sponsors included FMC, Asgrow, Farm Credit Mid-America, Nine-Star, Co-Alliance, Bane-Welker Equipment and State Bank of Lizton as well as the Indiana corn and soybean checkoffs.

 

The impact of the shifting political landscape due to the state and federal elections earlier this month requires farmers to stay informed of potential policy changes that will likely affect the financial and operational security of agriculture. More than 100 farmers attended the Forum to learn more about these changes, and how to advocate for their industry.

 

The Forum’s agenda included speakers both knowledgeable and active in this discussion. American Soybean Association CEO Ryan Findlay said opening new trade markets around the world and ending China’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. soybeans are his top goals for 2019. Political analyst Brian Howey explained that Democrats will lead all committees in the U.S. House of Representatives next year, which will cause a change in many policies. Dr. Wallace Tyner, a Purdue University ag economist, said broadband internet access should be expanded to rural areas the same way electricity was decades ago.

 

“Owning and operating a farm requires many skill sets,” said Sarah Delbecq, a DeKalb County, Ind. farmer and president of the Indiana Corn Growers Association. “While production agriculture is constantly evolving, farmers are fairly comfortable with planting, fertilizing and harvesting a crop. Perhaps more important, though, is staying on top of the policies that affect how we produce that crop. We cannot expect policymakers to understand our industry without showing them what we do and explaining how policies can impact us. If farmers don’t get involved in policy discussions, we expose ourselves to risks that could potentially be avoided. That’s why joining organizations such as the Indiana Corn Growers Association and the Indiana Soybean Alliance is so critically important.”

 

Checkoff funds to the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and the Indiana Soybean Alliance cannot be used to promote farm policies to lawmakers. The ISA’s Membership and Policy Committee and ICGA perform this critical work, and these groups operate primarily on the membership dues and participation of Hoosier farmers. Sponsorship from farm corporate partners assist greatly in this effort.

 

“It’s not really possible to overemphasize how important it is to talk to lawmakers and decision makers about the policies that affect agriculture,” said ISA Membership and Policy Chair Phil Ramsey. “If farmers do not participate in the crafting of these policies, then we’re only left with reacting to them after they become law.”

 

The Indiana Soybean Alliance works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the effective and efficient investment of soybean checkoff funds and the development of sound policies that protect and promote the interest of Indiana soybean farmers. The ISA is working to build new markets for soybeans through the promotion of grain marketing, livestock, aquaculture, production research, biofuels, environmental programs, and new uses for soybeans. ISA is led by an elected farmer board that directs investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 28,000 Indiana soybean farmers and promotes policies on behalf of the nearly 600 dues paying members. Learn more at www.indianasoybean.com

 

The Indiana Corn Growers Association, which works with the state and federal governments to develop and promote sound policies that benefit Indiana corn farmers, consists of 9 farmer-directors who provide leadership to the organization on behalf of the nearly 600 ICGA members statewide. Learn more at www.incorn.org/icga.

 

This communications was NOT funded with Indiana soybean or Indiana corn checkoff dollars.