(INDIANAPOLIS) – Dec. 13, 2021 – Each year at the Indiana Farm Bureau State Convention, the organization’s president discusses his vision for the future with members from across the state. INFB President Randy Kron took the time to reflect on the past year and look to the future in his annual address last week.
This year’s convention in French Lick took place Dec. 9-10 with the President’s Q&A on Dec. 9. The discussion was moderated by veteran farm broadcaster Dave Russell.
Kron, who is entering his seventh year as INFB president, provided insights into how farmers adjusted during the pandemic but also praised Farm Bureau members for their ability to adapt.
“I have been pleased with how INFB and our county Farm Bureaus have been able to pivot and adapt these past 20 months or so.” Kron noted that many meetings and programs went virtual the last two years, breaking attendance records in the process. “Our members participated in county meetings from their tractors, combines and planters, and they attended a record number of virtual Statehouse visits,” he added.
Kron also noted some major achievements from the past year, including the success of Indiana Farm Bureau Health Plans, with more than 1,700 applications to-date, resulting in more than 4,800 covered lives.
“Our members are excited about the savings, which for an individual can range up to 50% versus the Affordable Care Act, and family savings can top 70% versus an unsubsidized ACA plan,” said Kron. “We also are proud of how INFB Health Plans have helped us drive membership for this year. This is the sixth year in a row we have seen growth in total membership.”
Kron also noted success in the general assembly this past year, specifically regarding broadband issues. To help bring reliable broadband to the most unserved and underserved communities across the state, INFB partnered with several groups across Indiana to form the Indiana Broadband Strategic Partnership (IBSP) and promote the Indiana Speed Test, a crowd-sourced internet speed test available on the INFB website – www.infb.org/speedtest.
Kron was cautious in his outlook for 2022. “Spring may bring some challenges with fertilizer shortages and price increases for inputs next year, but we need to continue to be optimistic and flexible because that’s what we do.”
When asked about national issues in 2022, Kron stated that stepped-up basis, climate issues and the next farm bill are all top of mind and will require targeted advocacy efforts into the new year.
Kron closed by thanking staff, volunteers, members and family for their support through this unprecedented year.
“I couldn’t be prouder of how we have responded to this upheaval, now going on two years,” said Kron. “But that’s what farmers do all the time – adjust.”
The 2022 INFB State Convention will be held at the Indianapolis Convention Center, Dec. 15-17.
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