Join the policy organizations to help protect agriculture’s future
Greetings from Decatur County, I hope everyone is gearing up for a safe and productive harvest season. I’d say we’re within a few days from getting the combine rolling. Weather permitting, we’d like to get as much done as early as possible.
With everything going on in the world, sometimes it’s nice just to get into the fields and do what we love to do. It’s nice to concentrate on farming and the bountiful harvest that we are blessed with, instead of taxes, trade policies and government regulations. I know we have no control over the weather but we do have some control over some political issues.
As Chair of the ISA’s Membership and Policy Committee, I believe that we have the power to influence political issues – especially if we work together. And what better way to do this than being a member of ISA’s policy organization.
We are living in a time in which many political issues have long lasting effects. In the past few months, ISA and its national partner, American Soybean Association (ASA), have been a part of many important discussions. Here are just a few to consider:
• At the Ag Policy Summit, we had a lengthy discussion about carbon credit programs and how farmers could earn extra revenue by adopting farming practices that sequester carbon into the soil, which is also good for our soil. There’s a lot to learn about carbon credit programs, and each one is different, so make sure you do your homework to see which one best fits your farm before signing up.
•During the Indiana State Fair, Rep. Jim Baird (R-Dist. 4) hosted a farm bill listening session along with Rep. Greg Pence (R-Dist. 6) and Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Dist. 5). ISA along with several other farm groups from across Indiana shared that crop insurance and trade promotion programs are essential for Hoosier farmers. It’s hard to believe that the deadline for the next federal farm bill is two years away.
ISA and ASA are fighting the good fight in Washington, D.C., to make sure that good policies remain and bad policies go away. Congress is considering the elimination of a tax tool called “stepped-up basis” that, among other things, helps farmers to pass down their farm from generation to generation. Congress may eliminate this tax policy to help pay for its $3.5 trillion, green-energy-based infrastructure bill. Similarly, the EPA is looking to revive language from the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) policy from the Obama Administration, and that could hinder how we manage water on our farms.
ISA’s Membership and Policy Committee is also bringing lawmakers to the farm. On Sept. 2, we hosted two Shop Talk events on the same day. On the Elkhart, Ind., farm of Lynn Loucks, Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Dist. 2) talked to a large group of farmers about efforts to protect stepped-up basis and the importance of rural broadband internet expansion to farmers. On The family farm of Don Wyss near Fort Wayne, Ind., hosted a the Fort Wayne, Ind., farm shop talk featuring Sen. Todd Young on Sept. 2. of Don Wyss, Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) told more than 80 attendees and media that efforts to open new export markets for Hoosier-grown farm goods is a priority. We thank these farm families for taking the time and effort to open their farms up and host these great events.
We are making a difference, and our state and federal lawmakers know who we are and what we need. However, we always need more players on our team. If you’re not a member of our policy organizations, I urge you to contact Macy Mead at email@example.com and join our efforts. We want more voices to help amplify our messages.
I pray that we all have a safe and bountiful harvest season. This is what all the hard work on and off the farm is all about.