Molly Zentz, APR
(Indianapolis) – December 16, 2019 – Each year at the Indiana Farm Bureau convention, the organization’s president discusses his vision for the future of the organization with members from across the state. This year being INFB’s 100th anniversary, President Randy Kron took the time to reflect on the history of the organization as well.
This year’s convention in French Lick took place Dec. 12-14 with the President’s Q&A on Dec. 13. The discussion was moderated by Max Armstrong, director of broadcasting for Farm Progress.
Kron, who is entering his fifth year as INFB president, started by revisiting the founding of INFB, in 1919, and the significant accomplishments of the organization in those early years. He referenced member marches to the Statehouse in support of initiatives such as rural electrification, the push for income and property tax reform, and INFB’s involvement in shaping each farm bill since 1938.
When asked about the future of INFB, Kron began by acknowledging the challenges that Indiana farmers are facing today and expressing his belief that the industry needs further unification.
“The face of agriculture is changing,” said Kron. “Thirty years ago, in a room like this, nearly every farmer would have had the same type of farming operation. But today, if we have 200 people in a room, we could have 200 different kinds of farming operations. We need to be the voice that supports all of agriculture.”
One of the challenges Kron mentioned is the lack of affordable health care for members of the agriculture community who are self-employed. Kron said that INFB members have repeatedly asked for help in navigating this complex issue.
“Because of the high cost of health insurance, many of our members go without coverage,” said Kron.
Kron says INFB is exploring a potential solution for its members.
“We believe the only option for us is to create our own individual health plan, which would require a change in state statute,” Kron said. “This is a heavy lift, but it’s probably the most important mission Indiana Farm Bureau will tackle in the next several decades.”
Kron closed by sharing that he is optimistic about the agriculture industry, despite a tough planting season and challenging economic forces at play. He expressed that INFB’s membership is essential for future progress.
“I am often energized by our members and the passion they have for their farms or ag business,” Kron said.
The 2019 convention also included opportunities for INFB members to celebrate the 100th anniversary, including a celebration dinner at West Baden Springs Hotel. At dinner, county leaders had the opportunity to contribute an item to a 50-year time capsule, to be opened in 2069, and a special 100th anniversary mosaic was unveiled. Additionally, this year’s convention included an Innovation Showcase, which featured cutting-edge agricultural business ideas for members looking to improve or expand their businesses in the future.
The 2020 INFB convention will be held at the Fort Wayne Convention Center, Dec. 11-13.
About Indiana Farm Bureau: 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of Indiana Farm Bureau (INFB). Since 1919, it has protected the livelihood, land, equipment, animals and crops of Hoosier farmers and is the state’s largest general farm organization. As a farmer’s strongest advocate, INFB works diligently to ensure a farmer’s right to farm, because agriculture is so vital to Indiana’s economy. Learn more at INFB.org