ICGA, M&P wrap up August Shop Talk series throughout Indiana  - Indiana Corn and Soy

ICGA, M&P wrap up August Shop Talk series throughout Indiana 

By Emily McNiff 

The Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership and Policy Committee (M&P) and the Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) hosted six Shop Talks throughout Indiana in August. The policy organizations had approximately 225 attendees and worked with Purdue Extension educators to provide almost 90 Pesticide Application Recertification Program (PARP) credits to farmers. 

Shop Talks are hosted on local farms and attended by farmers and agribusiness professionals. M&P and ICGA are grateful to the farmers who opened their shops to engage fellow Hoosier farmers in ag policy discussions. These farmers hosted Shop Talk meetings: 

  • Jim Douglas – Shelby County 
  • Scott and Terri Smith – Tipton County 
  • Eric Strater and Steve Phares – Noble County 
  • Mike Koehne – Decatur County 
  • Carey McKibben – LaGrange County 
  • Denise and Mark Scarborough – LaPorte County 

State Rep. Heath VanNatter (R-Kokomo) talks about ag issues in the Indiana Statehouse at a Shop Talk on Scott Smith’s farm in Windfall, Ind. 

“ICGA is always at work advancing issues important to farmers,” said ICGA President Scott Smith, a farmer from Windfall, Ind. “Shop Talks are a great opportunity to bring together our neighbors and local industry partners to learn more about the state and federal policies that impact our operations and rural communities. As ICGA President, it was good to host the Tipton County Shop Talk at my farm and was happy to network with around 30 farmers and industry peers at the event.” 

Shop Talks are organized to bring together state and federal lawmakers with farmers to discuss agriculture policy issues. Congressional representatives who engaged in policy discussions with farmers at these events this year included U.S. Rep. Greg Pence (R-Dist. 7) and U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Dist. 3). Federal issues discussed included the 2023 Farm Bill, Mexico’s ban of biotech corn, year-round E-15 and EPA’S Endangered Species Act. 

“We were fortunate to have Congressman Greg Pence make the trip to my farm for the Shelby County Shop Talk and engage with my guests on the farm bill and other important ag topics,” said M&P Committee member Jim Douglas, a farmer from Flat Rock, Ind. “It was a chance for us to ask questions, share our priorities and hear updates he may have from the Hill.” 

M&P and ICGA directors and staff address ag policy issues at all levels of government – often making trips to Washington, D.C. to meet with federal lawmakers to raise awareness of farmer priorities. Shop Talks are an opportunity for the legislators to meet the farmers in their districts and communities. 

“We had a great discussion on priorities for the upcoming farm bill and some of the issues facing Hoosier farmers,” said Rep. Banks. “It is important to hear from producers on the ground about what Congress can do to help cut through burdensome federal regulations.” 

Other Congressional staff also attended including Melissa Acton and Erin Dove of U.S. Sen. Todd Young’s office, and Steve Carter and Mary Martin of U.S. Sen. Mike Braun’s office. 

Several state lawmakers met with farmers including State Representatives Kendell Culp, Heath VanNatter, Lindsay Patterson and Jim Pressel. The state legislators engaged in conversations about Indiana’s Biofuels Tax Credits, Carbon Sequestration Bill and Inventory of Lost Farmland Bill. 

Steve Phares, an Albion, Ind., farmer and an Indiana Soybean Alliance board director, talks about the checkoff’s goals and objectives during a Shop Talk at Eric Strater’s farm. 

The 2023 Shop Talks were sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, Pioneer Seeds, Co-Alliance, Premier Ag and First Farmers Bank and Trust. 

ICGA and M&P are membership organizations that serve as the policy voice of Indiana’s farmers. Both M&P and ICGA are led by a board of directors committed to continuing the conversations of farm bill, biofuels, trade and other ag policy priorities with federal and state legislators. 

Policy work is not funded by checkoff dollars. Membership dollars empowers M&P and ICGA to positively influence policy and regulatory matters impacting the U.S. soybean and corn industry. ICGA and M&P are at the table with lawmakers while you work at your farm. Follow this link to learn more about becoming a member. 

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