Farmers are taking notice of the work Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly does on their behalf. In February he was presented with the first Friend of Farmers award by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Growers Association. This week National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling presented Donnelly with the NCGA President’s Award.
Bowling said common sense is one thing that sets Donnelly apart.
“If every elected official were as easy to get along with and had as much common sense as Senator Donnelly, my job as president of the National Corn Growers would be much easier,” he said. “I had the opportunity to meet Senator Donnelly a couple of years ago when I became an officer. I live in Maryland so a lot of my elected officials don’t really think like I do because I’m a farmer, but Senator Donnelly has always been open. He’s been easy to get along with, and most importantly he’s a good person. And that means a lot.”
NCGA’s annual award goes to a leader who has worked to advance issues important to corn farmers and agriculture, and Bowling told HAT beyond just talking the talk, Senator Donnelly has gone to bat for Indiana and U.S. farmers.
“Not only does he help all of the nation’s farmers, he helps Indiana farmers especially. He was very instrumental when it came to Waters of the U.S. and making sure that we came up with a common sense type of deal when it came to that regulation. Senator Donnelly is always working for us when it comes to ethanol and the renewable volume obligations. He and his office are the first to be there and help. And when it came to the farm bill he was very instrumental in helping us get the last farm bill done, especially the ARC program which benefits most farmers across the Midwest.”
On ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard, Bowling added that Donnelly is one of the “biggest champions in Congress. He understands the importance of ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard, which has made America more energy independent, strengthened the rural economy, and given consumers more choices, lower prices, and cleaner air. He has consistently defended the RFS and has spearheaded meetings with the Administration in support of this policy. He is also a lead sponsor of a bill that would give consumers access to higher blends of ethanol year-round.”
Donnelly himself was honored by the award.
“Indiana and America’s corn farmers are providing the feed, food, and fuel that help to feed our families and power our economy,” said Senator Donnelly. “It is an honor to be recognized by the National Corn Growers Association, and I look forward to continuing to work hard every day to bring the wisdom of America’s farmers to Washington to advance the interests of our farming and rural communities.”
He previously represented the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Donnelly is Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodities, Markets, Trade and Risk Management. Prior to serving in Congress, Donnelly helped run a small business and practiced law.