An update on the upcoming 2017 General Assembly legislative priorities and strategies for Indiana Farm Bureau will be on the agenda at this month’s INFB State Convention in Fort Wayne, December 8-10. Farm Bureau president Randy Kron says the lobbying team will cover infrastructure issues during their breakout session.
“How do we pay for a lot of this infrastructure, and how do we maintain it? That’s going to be one of the topics,” Kron told HAT. “Another one that comes up in the Farm Bureau circle quite often is broadband. How do we get broadband out to these rural areas? With our farms and all the technology, we need high speed broadband, so it’s going to be important to determine how you do it and how you fund it.”
Also at the state convention Mary Kay Thatcher, Sr. Director of Congressional Relations at American Farm Bureau will update members on what lies ahead in farm bill talks.
“Mary Kay when it comes to farm bill or agriculture policy is probably one of the best around,” Kron said. “I know it seems early to be having a discussion about farm bill, but we’re hearing a lot of chatter from DC that they might be writing it early or this one might be cut a little short with a new farm bill. So, what we want to do is make sure our Indiana farmers start thinking about what’s important to them. We talk about safety nets, but what’s really a safety net? Is it crop insurance? We talk about that and the ARC program and whether it’s the county. There are just a lot of variables there.”
Matt Erickson, Chief Economist for the Senate Ag Committee will provide more of the Washington DC perspective on the farm bill, and there is a session on big data.
Indiana Farm Bureau invites its membership to Find Your Voice with other members from around the state during the state convention. Find Your Voice is the theme this year, and Kron says it’s important.
“We as farmers sometimes forget that our world doesn’t end at the farm gate. We have to tell our story and that’s what Find Your Voice is about. Whether it’s at your local courthouse, the statehouse or in our nation’s capital, it’s about talking about your farm, telling your story, what we do, and making sure legislators understand what issues are important to each of us.”
Convention pre-registration is closed although you can register on-site. Here’s the full convention agenda: http://www.cvent.com/events/2016-infb-state-convention/agenda-45c15d2d0fdb4d02b3b79e76430c4579.aspx
Find Your Voice with Indiana Farm Bureau membership. You can become an Indiana Farm Bureau member by joining online at www.infb.org/findyourvoice.