Decision-makers need to see farming firsthand

As agriculture changes, farming operations adapt and grow.  Farming techniques are progressing rapidly.  That can also be said for the opportunities in agriculture, such as expansion of animal agriculture. 

Farmers must keep in mind that most people, even in Indiana, are two or more generations off the farm – and that includes local, state and national elected officials.  It’s agriculture’s responsibility to give decision makers the background and context they need.

Some things you have to experience to understand. That can be said about agriculture – especially animal agriculture. If you’ve never been exposed to an operating farm, you form your opinions based on the stories you hear, which often results in a skewed perception of reality.

As INFB members know, everything a farmer does is for a reason. Like any business, each decision is made after weighing many opinions and considering the implications. When Indiana Farm Bureau members and staff work with elected officials on the issues that matter most to the Indiana agriculture community, they often have a lot of educating to do.

“Nothing is as powerful as a firsthand experience on a farm,” said Justin Schneider, INFB director of state government relations. “We can lobby for the needs of our members, but elected officials see the quality and care Indiana farmers put into their work.

Is there anything you’re doing on your farm this year that a legislator or local official could benefit from seeing first hand? Contact your county president to discuss the opportunity. That experience can go a long way the next time a legislator is voting on an issue that affects your farm.