(Indianapolis) – Aug. 31, 2020 – Indiana Farm Bureau member delegates met virtually on Saturday, Aug. 29 to determine the policy positions of the organization for 2021.
The delegate body consisted of 233 farmers and agribusiness professionals from across the state. The members discussed several issues including permitting, broadband, transportation and infrastructure, the impact of COVID-19 and the ag economy.
“Agriculture doesn’t stop, even in a pandemic, so it’s important for INFB to come together to create policy positions for issues affecting agriculture and rural communities,” said Randy Kron, INFB president. “Conducting this meeting virtually was new for all of us, but it was important because our grassroots policy process is vital to the advocacy work we do year-round.”
The policy creation process for INFB begins at the local level. Indiana counites have the opportunity to make policy suggestions and recommend changes that are then debated by the resolutions committee in July before being discussed at the delegate session. This process follows the grassroots structure that is important to INFB to ensure that all members have a chance to voice their opinions.
“Our members face a number of issues that impact them every day,” said Kron. “From weather conditions and the overall farm economy to some issues brought to light because of COVID. Establishing policy positions that are clear gives our organization direction when advocating solutions at the local, state and federal level.”
Because of the pandemic, there were many issues brought to the forefront that significantly impacted the agriculture industry.
“As INFB members prepare for the next legislative session, many of the conversations we will have with lawmakers are issues surrounding rural broadband, livestock processing and supply chain,” said Andy Tauer, INFB’s director of public policy. “The pandemic really highlighted those issues and the impact they can have on the success of farmers and rural Indiana as well as Hoosiers’ access to food. We will continue to work with lawmakers and other stakeholders to address these issues.”
Delegates also voted on members who would represent INFB at the 2021 American Farm Bureau Federation Convention. The AFBF Convention will be held in January. The chosen INFB delegates will be discussing policy positions for the national organization with representatives from all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Four county Farm Bureau presidents were elected as delegates for the AFBF Convention:
Over the next few weeks, the INFB board of directors will determine the priority policies for the 2021 state legislative session. Federal priorities are set at the AFBF level based on input from all state Farm Bureaus. Now, the INFB public policy team will work with regional managers, district directors and county Farm Bureau members to set the organization’s top policy priorities for the next year.
More information about INFB’s policy process can be found at www.infb.org/public-policy/policy-development.
About Indiana Farm Bureau: For more than 100 years, Indiana Farm Bureau (INFB) has promoted agriculture in Indiana through public education, member engagement, and by advocating for agricultural and rural needs. As the state’s largest general farm organization, INFB works diligently to ensure a farmer’s right to farm—protecting the livelihood, land, equipment, animals and crops of Hoosier farmers—because agriculture is vital to Indiana’s economy. Learn more at INFB.org