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—By BoB Kraft PuBlic Policy team

The weather caused work at the Statehouse to come to a screeching halt during the first few days of February. Bills that were scheduled for a hearing during those days are now being resched- uled. Here are updates on some of the bills that Farm Bureau is following: The Senate Pensions & La- bor Committee will consider SB 590 (Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel), which addresses issues relating to the pres- ence and employment of immigrants in Indiana. As of

The Hoosier Farmer’s Feb. 4 deadline, that bill was scheduled to be heard on Feb. 9. Farm Bureau plans to oppose SB 590 because IFB’s policy specifically states that immigration is- sues should be addressed by the federal government and because of concerns that the proposed bill will make it difficult for growers to find sufficient temporary work- ers. The Senate Energy & En- vironment Committee has approved SB 202, which would authorize the Indiana Department of Environmen- tal Management to regulate

arOund IndIana action on many bills delayed by weather

satellite manure storage facilities in the same way it now regulates manure storage at confined feeding operations. Committee Chair Beverly Gard, R-Greenfield, is the author. A similar but less comprehensive bill has been filed by Rep. Bill Davis, R-Portland. Farm Bu- reau’s Justin Schneider, who worked closely with Gard and IDEM in developing SB 202, testified in its support. By a vote of 5-2, the

House Judiciary Committee approved HB 1133, a bill introduced by Rep. Randy Frye, R-Decatur, that will provide protection from tort liability to individuals who are engaged in agritourism. The Senate Agriculture

& Natural Resources Com- mittee took testimony on SB 579, a bill authored by

Committee Chairman Ryan Mishler, R-Bremen, that would eliminate farm truck plates for semitrailers and tractors. Mishler explained that he did not intend to ask the committee to vote but added that he felt farm plates were being misused in some circumstances. Farm Bureau District 5 Director David Wyeth testified as a farmer who would be nega- tively affected if the farm plates were eliminated. Kent Yeager testified on behalf of Farm Bureau. Mishler indi- cated that he was willing to meet with farm interests af- ter the session to work out a way to address his concerns. A resolution that would

guarantee a constitutional right to raise animals has been passed by the Senate Agriculture & Natural Re-

sources Committee. SJR 9 would amend the Indiana Constitution to provide that the people of the state have a “right to hunt, fish, har- vest game, or engage in the agricultural or commercial production of meat, fish or poultry.” The resolution was authored by Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford. Kent Yea- ger voiced Farm Bureau’s support for the resolution. The process to amend the Constitution requires that this resolution and one with identical language be passed by the current General As- sembly and the one elected in 2012. Once two succes- sively elected legislatures approve the constitutional amendment, it must then be ratified by the voters of the state at the next general election.

disaster assistance available for livestock,

Chad Hymas, a motivational speaker and farmer from Utah who was in a serious accident leaving him a quadriplegic, was the key- note speaker at the 2011 IFB Young Farmer Leadership Conference, Jan. 28-29 at the Indianapolis Marriott East. His keynote presenta- tion was titled “Who Needs Legs When You Have Wings.” Photo by Andy Dietrick


poultry producers affected by harsh winter; click on “Newsroom,” then “Fact Sheets.” Wickard also encouraged producers to use Hay Net on the FSA website (www.fsa., an online service that allows produc- ers with hay and those who need hay to make connec- tions. Individual ads can be posted free of charge by producers who complete a simple online registration form the first time they use the site. “We encourage all who

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Agency in Indiana reminded livestock and poultry pro- ducers on Feb. 7 that FSA programs may be available to assist them. Many are dealing with harsh winter weather, which is causing serious harm to livestock and forage due to heavy snow, ice and ex- tremely cold temperatures, noted Julia A. Wickard, executive director of FSA in Indiana. “This is turning out to be a tough winter for many farmers in Indiana, and learning about our FSA pro- grams is an important step for producers to take,” said Wickard. “We need produc- ers to document the number and kind of livestock that have died as a direct result

of these winter storms and timely notify their local FSA office of these losses.” FSA administers several

programs that help produc- ers recover from livestock deaths that are beyond nor- mal mortality rates, losses of purchased and/or harvested forage, and with the addi- tional costs of providing or transporting feed. Among the key programs are the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and Emergency As- sistance for Livestock, Hon- eybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP).” To be eligible for assistance for livestock death loss or feed losses, producers must file a notice of loss with their local FSA office within 30 calen- dar days from when the loss is apparent to the producer. Fact sheets for these two programs can be found at

have suffered a disaster due to the recent cold weather and blizzards to read the fact sheets and visit with their local FSA county office staff so they get a quick start in the recovery process,” added Wickard.

Calendar of events

February 15 15

Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapter meeting, Purdue. IFB board meeting.

20-26 Food Checkout Week. 21

March 4-6 8

New member blitz – runs through March 12.

18-20 Indiana Young Farmer Association (coordinated by the Indiana Department of Education) annual meeting, Indianapolis.

Districts 1 and 3 Young Farmer trip. Collegiate FB Chapter meeting, Purdue.

8-10 New leader trip to Washington, D.C. 11

11, 12 Spring Conference, Indianapolis.

The deadline for calendar items for the next edition of The Hoosier Farmer is Feb. 16. Members should receive this edition by around March 7. The deadline for the subse- quent edition, which is scheduled to mail on or before April 4, is March 16. For more information, call or write Kathleen Dutro at 317-692-7824, State commodity advisory committee meetings, Indianapolis.

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