ICGA, M&P partner with Indiana livestock to tout policy issues at annual Bacon Bar
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 26, 2022) — The Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and the Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership and Policy Committee (M&P) touted several bills that would benefit Indiana farmers to state lawmakers on Wednesday morning during the annual Bacon Bar and Brunch legislative breakfast at the Indiana Statehouse.
Potential legislation that would regulate the carbon sequestration industry create opportunities for Hoosier farmers led many of the discussions. The corn and soybean policy groups also advocated for Indiana’s livestock producers and supported bills that would make changes to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) and the state seed administrator’s office. With the aroma of fresh-cooked bacon wafting through the halls of the Indiana Statehouse, the Brunch enticed several House and Senate lawmakers, staff and farm stakeholders to join the discussion.
“Bacon not only smells good and tastes good, but it is also a great example of how Indiana farmers work together,” said Greensburg, Ind., farmer Mike Koehne, a member of M&P. “Livestock farmers are very important customers for Indiana corn and soybean growers. A lot of the state’s soybean and corn crops go to feed livestock in Indiana.”
ICGA and ISA M&P served many breakfast foods – all with ties to Indiana agriculture. The Indiana Beef Cattle Association provided the beef bacon; Indiana Kitchen offered the pork bacon in its many flavors; Maple Leaf Farms brought the duck sausage; the eggs and turkey bacon were from the Indiana State Poultry Association; and the Indiana Dairy Producers included the milk and yogurt. Other Brunch sponsors include Corteva Agriscience, Farm Credit MidAmerica and Indiana Packers Corporation.
The Bacon Bar and Brunch connected more than 200 farmers, stakeholders, representatives and senators to have one-on-one discussions about ag policy issues. “The event was great. We had great turnout,” said Ferdinand, Ind., farmer and ICGA member J.R. Roesner. “A lot of representatives and senators attended, and we enjoyed good conversation with them about the issues concerning farmers right now. ICGA and M&P need to be the voice for Indiana corn and soybean farmers. Events like this provide us with a great place to start conversations, build relationships and promote the issues that are important to farmers. We also want to show support for the legislators who support us.”
Each year a new set of proposed laws and regulations in the Indiana General Assembly catch the eyes of ICGA and M&P staff. In the 2022 session the following bills are about agriculture and carbon sequestration:
- HB 1249 and SB 265 – Carbon Sequestration Pilot Project: These bills would change the description of the carbon sequestration pilot project that is authorized under current law. They eliminate the requirement that the operator of a carbon sequestration pilot project must be designated by the director of the department of natural resources. The proposals define a “carbon sequestration claim” as a civil action alleging actual or potential infringement of, or damage to real or personal property rights. M&P and ICGA oppose these bills due to concerns about private property rights.
- HB 1209 – Carbon Sequestration Projects: This proposal provides for the mechanism of underground storage of carbon dioxide in Indiana, and it makes additional conforming changes. ICGA and M&P support this bill.
Here are a few more of the proposed legislation drawing attention from M&P and ICGA:
- SB 388 – Foreign Business Ownership of Agricultural Land: Beginning July 1, this bill says a foreign business entity may not acquire farmland located in Indiana, unless the land will be used for non-farming business purposes. The bill prohibits a foreign business entity that owns Indiana farmland from transferring that land to another foreign business entity after June 30. The proposal would require a foreign business entity to report the acquisition, sale or transfer of Indiana farmland to the secretary of state. The bill says that farmland acquired, sold or transferred in violation of law is subject to forfeiture to the state. M&P and ICGA are monitoring this bill.
- SB 85 – Drainage Taskforce: This bill establishes a drainage task force consisting of six members of the Senate, six members of the House of Representatives, and six more individuals. It requires the task force to review the responsibilities of landowners and state and local authorities under current laws relating to the drainage of land, and to determine if the balance between state and local authority on the drainage of farmland favors the state more in Indiana than in neighboring states. The task force to must make recommendations and issue a report by Dec. 1, 2023. ICGA and M&P support the bill.
- HB 1147 and SB 129 – Seed Tests: This bill requires the state seed commissioner to charge fees for testing seed for purity and germination that are in line with standard fees in the seed-testing industry. It repeals some rules for agricultural seed in packages that are not more than one pound. A $25 minimum fee would be required to register pure or mixed cultures of microorganisms and materials with the state chemist. ICGA and M&P support this bill.
- HB 1148 – Veterinary Medicine: This proposal changes the name of the Indiana Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to the Indiana Board of Veterinary Medicine. The bill states that the state veterinarian would serve as the chief administrative officer of the new board and provide technical advice and assistance. The bill establishes the Indiana Center for Animal Policy to facilitate the coordination of regulatory duties of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH). The bill says the state veterinarian is the chief administrative officer of the Center and BOAH. M&P and ICGA support this bill.
Rep. Don Lehe (R-Brookston) attended the Brunch and discussed the bills he proposed with the farmers in attendance. Rep. Lehe is the author of HB 1148 and said Indiana State Veterinarian Dr. Bret Marsh has been a proponent of the bill. “There are more animals in Indiana right now than in our history,” Lehe said. “So, you can see the importance of the state veterinarian and the state’s livestock issues.”
ICGA and M&P rely on sponsorship and membership dollars to advocate on behalf of Hoosier corn and soybean farmers. Visit www.iga.in.gov to follow all pieces of legislation during this session.
About Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership and Policy Committee: The ISA Membership and Policy Committee works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the advocacy and promotion of state and federal policies. ISA Membership and Policy Committee is led by members of the Indiana Soybean Alliance farmer board who are charged with directing advocacy efforts on behalf of more than 600 dues-paying members. Learn more at www.indianasoybean.com
About Indiana Corn Growers Association: The Indiana Corn Growers Association works with state and federal governments to develop and promote sound policies that benefit Indiana corn farmers. The ICGA consists of nine farmer-directors who provide leadership to the organization on behalf of more than 800 members statewide. Learn more at www.incorn.org/icga
This communication was NOT funded with Indiana corn checkoff dollars.