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News in Brief ............... 2 Coming Soon ............ 4,5 Farm Bureau News ...... 6 Education .................... 7

A PublicAtion for Voting MeMbers of indiAnA fArM bureAu

February 14, 2011 Issue No. 007

Farm bureau keeping tabs on government reorganization initiatives

—By BoB Kraft PuBlic Policy team

Since the release of the

Member visits to the Statehouse are the foundation of IFB’s grassroots lobbying efforts, especially at this point in the session. Simultaneous committee hearings make it especially important that members know where to go, who to talk to and what to say. Here, IFB political education specialist Pete Hanebutt briefs visiting members on the meetings and issues of the day before turning them loose to advocate on behalf of Indiana agriculture. Photo by Andy Dietrick

new fertilizer applicator certification rule in effect

—By mindy reef PuBlic relations team

Many farmers and anyone hired to apply manure as fertilizer have roughly 10 months to comply with a new certification require- ment for fertilizer applica- tion. “The fertilizer applicator requirement grew out of our policy development pro- cess,” said Justin Schneider, IFB staff attorney. “This cer- tification allows the state

Indiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290

Indianapolis, IN 46206

chemist to ensure nutrients are used properly and can punish those who pollute.” The certification require- ment affects anyone who applies, handles or trans- ports fertilizer for hire or anyone who applies manure in excess of 10 cubic yards or 4,000 gallons per year from a CFO to his/her own property. The new certification

works in conjunction with the private pesticide applica- tor program.

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage

P A I D Huntington, IN

Permit NO. 832

“Farmers will receive one license number for both uses, and if you already have a pesticide applicator’s license, there is no extra charge for the fertilizer certi- fication,” said Schneider. Passing the Category 14 fertilizer certification exam is part of the process. Three options are available for taking the Category 14: day- long training and exam ses- sions to be scheduled later in the year; once a month exam-only sessions on the Purdue campus; and self- scheduled exams at H&R Block Testing Centers. A study manual is available for those taking the exam with- out the training session. Affected individuals must be in full compliance by January 1, 2012. For more specific informa- tion, visit the Indiana State Chemist’s website, www., or call 1-800-893-6637.

Kernan-Shepard report in 2007, the subject of govern- ment reorganization and re- structuring has been a hotly debated topic in Indiana. That report, which is the product of a bipartisan commission co-chaired by former Gov. Joe Kernan and Chief Justice Randall Shepard, offered 27 recom- mendations that the com- mission felt would improve the efficiency of government in the state. Farm Bureau policy an- ticipated some of the report’s recommendations, and even before 2007 Farm Bureau was on record calling for their adoption. Other rec- ommendations were matters of first impression to many Farm Bureau members and have been analyzed in depth since then. The net result is a considered position that neither rejects all of the re- port’s recommendations out- of-hand nor wholeheartedly embraces them across the board.

Among the recommenda- tions that Farm Bureau sup- ports are those calling for changes in the state election laws so that all members of elected school boards and all municipal office holders would be elected in Novem- ber in even numbered years. Farm Bureau has long felt it was somehow inappropri- ate to hold the nonpartisan election of school board members at the May primary where voters are asked to declare their party affiliation. Farm Bureau also supports the recommendation that no one who is employed by a unit of government in a

non-elected position should be eligible to also serve that unit in an elected capacity. Even though such individu- als might bring a significant depth of knowledge and background to their elected position, the organization has felt that it is inherently inappropriate to allow em- ployees to serve in elected positions.

Long before the Kernan- Shepard report, Farm Bu- reau policy stated that the budgets of libraries and other special districts with appointed boards should be reviewed and approved by an elected fiscal body. We were pleased see to the re- port agree with us. At the same time, Farm Bureau does not agree with some of the report’s recom- mendations. For the most part, we are opposed to rec- ommendations that would diminish the voice of rural communities in comparison with that of their more nu- merous neighbors. Established rural residents

tend to know their local township trustee and are not anxious to see his duties as- sumed by a bureaucrat in the county seat. Similarly, replac- ing the three-member county commission with a single elected county chief execu- tive would, in the opinion of Farm Bureau, give too much elective power to the coun- ty’s population centers. There are dozens of bills currently before the General Assembly that deal with implementing the Kernan- Shepard recommendations. Guided by our policy, Farm Bureau’s lobbyists will be involved these discussions throughout the next few months.

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