Resolutions committee continues 2017-18 policy process

Indiana Farm Bureau’s resolutions committee meetings took place Aug. 1 and 2 at INFB headquarters. The foundation for this important gathering was laid earlier this year at the county level.

Each year, INFB members in each county submit local, state and federal policy recommendations. INFB’s policy action groups may also submit policy suggestions. Those state and federal recommendations are brought in front of the resolutions committee in August and discussed in subcommittees. Then, those subcommittees share what they’ve discussed with the full resolutions committee to determine if the recommendation is a priority for INFB.

According to INFB Vice President Kendell Culp, who chairs the resolutions committee, the annual committee meeting is one of the most essential processes for the organization. Culp said this meeting is vital to establish the priorities that are important to members.

“It [resolutions committee] defines who we are and what we believe in,” Culp said. “If we didn’t go through this process, we would not be effective at the Statehouse lobbying for our priorities.”

The resolutions committee is made up of representatives from across the state to ensure each region’s concerns are considered. This year’s committee included one county president from each district. Also on the committee were members from most of the policy advisory groups, which serve as policy experts on issues such as livestock, property rights, transportation and more.

“By including someone from those policy advisory groups, you diversify your knowledge base on the committee, which is important when you have some of those specific issues,” Culp said.

Culp added that he was pleased with the performance of the committee this year. He said they handled the discussion and debate very well, and he expects them to continue the great work as the next stages of the process unfold.

Matt Walsh, INFB county president from Newton County, was one of the members who served on the resolutions committee this year. It was his first year participating, as county presidents are selected to serve on a rotating cycle. Walsh said he enjoyed the opportunity to partake in INFB’s grassroots policy development and took his role seriously.

“I spent time looking at the subcommittees I was assigned to and the resolutions submitted by the counties for those subcommittees,” Walsh said. “I wanted to understand what they were asking for, and I wanted to have enough time to reach out to those county presidents for clarification if something didn’t make sense to me.”

The resolutions committee made it through all 504 recommendations submitted, which covered 430 state and 74 national policy suggestions. Now, their recommendations will be presented to the delegate session.

The delegate session brings INFB representatives from all counties to vote on the new policy put forward by the resolutions committee. The delegate session will take place Aug. 26 at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds.