Just hours after Indiana Farm Bureau Public Policy Director Megan Ritter confidently predicted to HAT that the House would pass a Farm Bill, came word the House had done just the opposite. In a prepared statement released Thursday afternoon IFB said, “We are grateful to those members of the Indiana delegation – Reps. Jackie Walorski, Todd Rokita, Susan Brooks, Luke Messer, Larry Bucshon and Todd Young – who supported the measure and the much-needed risk management tools the bill contained. We are disappointed that Reps. Andre Carson, Pete Visclosky and Marlin Stutzman chose not to support a bill that is critical to the continued success of Indiana farmers.”
Indiana Farm Bureau admitted that the House bill was not perfect but still served the best interests of Indiana farm families, “Farm Bureau believes securing a strong safety net is critical for the future of Indiana’s farmers and will continue to work for reforms that reduce spending and protect farmers when they need it most.” IFB stated that more than 14,000 farmers in Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District rely on the safety net provided by risk management programs contained in the proposed legislation. The provisions for the conservation, energy, and rural development titles of the proposed Farm Bill benefit citizens and communities throughout Indiana, including many in the mostly urban 1st and 7th Congressional Districts.
In an interview with Hoosier Ag Today, Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock told HAT the lack of a Farm Bill leaves Indiana farmers in limbo, “Without a new Farm Bill, we will go into the wheat planting season with no crop insurance on the table. This kind of uncertainty does not bode well for the future.” He said the drought of 2012 showed just how well the crop insurance system works, “You did not see farmers lined up in Washington this spring begging for a handout of disaster relief.”
The usually optimistic Villwock was doubtful that Congressional leaders will be able to pull together a consensus and pass new farm legislation, “We have not seen a lot of leadership from either the House of Senate; they don’t seem to like agriculture.” He said that, without strong efforts by Congressional leaders of both parties working together, a new Farm Bill is not going to happen.
The complete interview with IFB President Don Villwock can be heard on the Farm Bureau page of this web site and in the audio section of the HAT app for Smartphones and tablets.