As a general farm organization, the American Farm Bureau Federation must keep current on a broad variety of topics, and one of the ways it does so is through its issue advisory committees.
The committees – which met last month as part of the Farm Bureau Advocacy Conference – focus on issues such as agricultural labor, environmental regulations, food safety, direct marketing, and trade and tax and fiscal policy.
Several of the committees have representation from Indiana, and INFB recently asked two of those representatives to assess their experiences on the committees.
“It has been a very positive experience overall. I am proud to represent Indiana Farm Bureau,” said David Hardin of Hendricks County, who serves on the trade policy issue advocacy committee. “We have both pork and corn from our farm that enters the export market. We and other producers around the state rely on those foreign markets.
“Most of the world’s consumers are outside our borders. The current environment has put the brakes on foreign trade, but it is important to continue to protect our current export markets and grow new ones,” he added.
“I feel privileged to serve on the farm policy issue advocacy committee,” said Jon Sparks of Hancock County. “It is exciting to discuss the future of farm policy and how we can maintain an adequate safety net for agriculture. I also enjoy hearing the perspective of those from other regions that may grow different commodities.”
Some of INFB’s representatives on AFBF’s issue advisory committees pose with members of the INFB board of directors as they visit U.S. senators and representatives during a February-March trip to Washington, DC. From left: District 10 director Robert Schickel; District 2 director Kevin Ousley; District 3 director Kevin Underwood; District 2 state young farmer committee representative Jeremy Barron; advisory committee member David Hardin, Hendricks County; INFB livestock development specialist Greg Slipher; district 9 director Philip Springstun; District 5 director Dave Wyeth; advisory committee member Brian Furrer, White County; and advisory committee member Shawna Humphery, Washington County.