Soy, corn policy groups honor Sen. Jean Leising with Friend of Farmer Award - Indiana Corn and Soy

Soy, corn policy groups honor Sen. Jean Leising with Friend of Farmer Award

The Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and the Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership & Policy Committee (M&P) presented its Friend of Farmer Award to State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg, Ind.) during the Indiana Ag Policy Summit on July 27 at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds in Danville, Ind.

Sen. Leising was honored, in part, for her efforts in helping farm-friendly bills through the Indiana Senate during her time in office, said ICGA President Mike Beard.

Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership & Policy Committee Chair Mike Koehne, left, and Indiana Corn Growers Association President Mike Beard presented the Friend of Farmer Award to State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg, Ind.) during the Indiana Ag Policy Summit on July 27 at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds in Danville, Ind.

Beard added that this honor is not an annual award. The Friend of Farmer Award is only given at the recommendation of a director or staff members of M&P and ICGA. The award is a recognition of the winner’s commitment to the advancement of Hoosier agriculture and tireless advocacy for farmers.

Leising is a farmer, travel agent and retired nurse. She is a member of M&P and ICGA, and is a former ICGA president. Leising represents the farms and families of Indiana Senate District 42. She has served all or portions of Henry, Rush, Fayette, Shelby, Decatur, Franklin and Ripley Counties for more than 20 years in the Indiana General Assembly. During all of her years of service, Beard said, Leising has made clear her strong commitment to farmers and the agricultural community.

She serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and is the Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources. She is also a committee member on Commerce and Technology; Education and Career Development; Health and Providers Services; and Utilities. “Last year was a unique year because of the way the legislature had to operate. There were a lot of challenges, and there were several bills that affected agriculture,” Beard said. “Sen. Leising was always there for us, willing to listen, willing to take up the cause. For that reason, we thought that she more than deserves this recognition today.”

In part, Leising received the award for her work on House Bill 1483, which made adjustments to the Indiana Grain Indemnity Fund that will positively impact Hoosier farmers. Leising said this past year was the most difficult legislative session she’s experienced.

“This year, of all years, we had some tough issues to deal with, but I was not anticipating getting an award or recognition from this group for that effort,” she said. “I guess I looked upon the trials and tribulations of the session is being part of my job.

But truthfully it was very, very nice. The actual award is nice. All the kind things that were said were very nice.”

During the 2021 Session of the Indiana General Assembly, HB 1483 was introduced by State Rep. Craig Snow of Winona Lake, Ind. The legislation, supported by M&P and ICGA, contained many improvements to Indiana’s Grain Indemnity Fund. Although HB 1483 received unanimous support in the House, the bill faced a difficult path through the Senate. Sen. Leising helped to develop a compromise bill then guided the legislation through to its final passage.

“Because of Sen. Leising’s leadership and tenacity, Indiana’s corn and soybean farmers will continue to have a sound Grain Indemnity Program to provide needed protection for farmers against potential elevator failures,” Beard said. “This past legislative session was yet another example of Sen. Leising’s unwavering support for Indiana corn and soybean farmers.”

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