August 22, 2014
GROUNDSWELL OF LOCAL ISSUES Staying engaged with local officials remains a critical part of our jobs in agriculture. Too often, county officials are responsive to a small number of outspoken citizens, especially in cases of livestock zoning. Planning and zoning issues demand local Farm Bureau engagement on behalf of all of agriculture in the county. If farmers are not talking to local officials then who is agriculture’s voice?
INTERIM STUDY COMMITTEE HEARS TESTIMONY ON DEER The interim study committee on agriculture and natural resources heard several hours of testimony about diseases in deer and the risks of transmission that exist from movement of farm-raised deer. Presenters from several states, veterinarians (including those from the Indiana Board of Animal Health responsible for deer disease management), conservationists, sportsmen, deer farmers and operators of hunting preserves all provided information. The focus of this hearing was to provide information to legislators going into the 2015 session of the General Assembly, where this issue will likely return. Farm Bureau policy supports those who farm-raise deer and the right of individuals to have ethical captive deer hunts.
AUGUST RECESS CAMPAIGN CONTINUES August recess has officially begun and now is the time to advocate on the issues important to your farm and the agriculture industry. Among the effective ways to do this:
The primary focus for Hoosier farmers during the August recess should be the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed Waters of the United States rule. In addition to talking with members of Congress, farmers should send comments on the proposed rule to the EPA. For more information about the rule and how to take action, visit the Waters of Indiana website. Additional materials and resources can be found by visiting the American Farm Bureau Federation “Ditch the Rule” website. The deadline to submit comments to the EPA is Oct. 20.
Other priority issues during the August recess include GMO labeling and renewable fuels.
Brief summaries and talking points for the three top priority issues during this recess can be found by visiting the public policy team’s website.
If you have questions or require more information about Farm Bureau’s August recess campaign, you may contact Kyle Cline, national policy advisor, 317-692-7845.
IFB COMMENTS ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO EPA WORKER PROTECTION STANDARD Earlier this year EPA released an extensive proposed rule revision to the worker protection standards. Included among the many proposed changes were provisions allowing farm workers to authorize representatives orally or in writing to request designated information from farmers, buffer zones and amended training requirements. The American Farm Bureau Federation and Indiana Farm Bureau submitted comments opposing the proposed rule.
FARM BUREAU HOLDS MEETINGS ON EPA AND CORPS RULE PROPOSAL Indiana Farm Bureau has continued it series of meetings regarding the Waters of the U.S. rule proposal. The purpose for the meetings is to educate farmers and local government officials about the rule proposal and provide guidance in submitting comments to fight the rule. The final two meetings will be on Aug. 28 in Monroe and Tippecanoe counties. To sign up, please visit the Waters of Indiana website and click on the take action tab for meeting details and to register. Individuals can also submit their own comments to EPA through the website link. Comments are needed to clean up this unclear rule and limit its potential overreach of federal authority.