(Indianapolis) – Aug. 28, 2023 – Indiana Farm Bureau member delegates gathered at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Aug. 26 to determine the policy positions of the organization for 2024.
The delegate body consisted of 235 farmers and agribusiness professionals from across the state. The members discussed several issues including local government notices, renewable energy, research and more.
“The policy our members discuss during the annual delegate session is the foundation of this organization,” said Randy Kron, INFB president. “The reason INFB is able to be impactful at the local, state and national level is because legislators know how involved our grassroots are at creating these policy priorities every year.”
INFB’s policy development process begins at the local level. Each year, all counties can make policy suggestions or edits. Then, those suggestions are debated by a resolutions committee before being brought to the full delegate session. The grassroots structure is vital to ensuring that INFB members can voice their opinions.
During this year’s event, there was a lot of discussion among delegates to update the way local government sends notices to landowners instead of solely via local newspapers. The delegates proposed that all local government annual reports, taxpayer notices and announcements be published in both local newspapers with a circulation more frequent than weekly and on county/city government websites.
“We heard many comments from the delegate floor about the importance of local government notices,” said Andy Tauer, INFB executive director of public policy. “There was concern that notices on things like zoning ordinances or taxing changes would be missed by landowners. This ties back to the importance of land use. Members want to get reliable, timely information about what is going on in their community and want to be able to get that information in a variety of ways.”
There also was discussion about the funding stream for the Indiana Animal Disease and Diagnostic Lab. Members stressed the importance of having high-quality diagnostic labs in Indiana’s livestock and poultry industry.
Other positions supported by delegates included the development of a state energy policy and plan, added nuclear energy research and a call for more involvement at the county level when large development districts are proposed.
During the session, delegates also voted on members who would represent INFB at the 2024 American Farm Bureau Federation Convention. The AFBF Convention will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah in January. The INFB delegates chosen will discuss 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:
Additionally, INFB 2nd Vice President Isabella Chism announced she won’t be running for reelection during the upcoming state convention in December.
Over the next few weeks, the INFB board of directors will determine the priorities for the 2024 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 decide which priorities will set the stage for the organization’s efforts at the Statehouse and in Washington, D.C.
About Indiana Farm Bureau: For more than 100 years, Indiana Farm Bureau (INFB) has protected and enhanced the future of agriculture and our communities. As the state’s largest general farm organization, INFB works diligently to cultivate a thriving agricultural ecosystem to strengthen the viability of Indiana agriculture. Learn more at INFB.org.