(Indianapolis) – November 21, 2017 – Indiana Farm Bureau leaders and staff met with legislators at the Statehouse today to discuss INFB’s legislative priorities for 2018. The legislators were invited to attend INFB’s annual Organization Day Breakfast in the North Atrium of the Statehouse. Members of the INFB board of directors, including President Randy Kron and Vice President Kendell Culp, along with the organization’s public policy team were able to speak with legislators during the event.
“This event provides a great opportunity for us to connect with legislators on issues important to farmers before session begins,” said Randy Kron. “Since our 2018 legislative priorities have been identified, INFB members and staff now move toward communicating those key messages to the legislators.”
INFB’s policy creation process begins at the county Farm Bureaus. All counties have the opportunity to make policy suggestions or edits. Then, the recommendations are brought before a resolutions committee to be considered before they reach the INFB delegate session, which was held on Aug. 26 and consisted of 260 member representatives. After the delegate session adjourns, the INFB board of directors hones in on the key issues INFB members and staff will focus on at the Statehouse when the General Assembly reconvenes.
INFB’s policy priorities for 2018 are as follows:
Protect livestock farmers and their operations
- Maintain local control and flexibility
- Enhance Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) oversight
Strengthen rural quality of life
- Eliminate food deserts
- Extend rural broadband to the last mile
- Consistently limit waivers
- Eliminate economic development loopholes
Ensure assessment uniformity
- Apply assessment definitions and rules consistently to real and personal property
- Provide strictly confidential tax audits
“Property taxes and annexation are issues that are always top of mind in the agricultural community,” said Katrina Hall, INFB director of public policy. “We also are still focused on improving the quality of life for our members in rural areas of the state. That means finding a financing framework to bring broadband internet access at a reasonable price to rural communities and working to eliminate food deserts.”
Several of INFB’s priorities were discussed in interim study committees this fall at the Statehouse. Some of the committee hearings held covered animal livestock operations, food deserts and rural broadband. INFB staff participated in several of the hearings.
About Indiana Farm Bureau: Since 1919, Indiana Farm Bureau (INFB) has protected the livelihood, land, equipment, animals and crops of Hoosier farmers. It is the state’s largest general farm organization and 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.