It was a day for celebrating farmers yesterday at the Indiana State Fair. Beautiful weather greeted those gathered for the traditional Farmers Day kick off event, the annual Indiana Farm Bureau pancake breakfast.
Farmers have had a lot on their plates this year as Farm Bill debate and the drought have made it all the way to front page news. Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Willwock told HAT if ever there was a year where famers need certainty, this is it.
“To not have a Farm Bill is really a disservice, so we are asking our congressional delegation to step up those efforts and pass a Farm Bill as soon as they possibly can,” he said.
Villwock is disappointed for the moment, but hopeful that action will follow the congressional recess.
“We’re thinking, or at least of little bit of the talk is that Congress is getting their ears full on their August recess and some believe that hopefully when they do come back they’ll take action. But you know they’re a funny lot out there. We’re a little disappointed in some of the things they’ve accomplished of late and here agriculture is getting tied up in all the political wrangling, the presidential bidding and some of that bidding that takes place out there. I think our food supply is too important to be caught up in that process.”
He says an extra focus of Indiana Farm Bureau this year is providing important drought resources for the members.
“Crop insurance is going to play a big role in this recovery. About 75 percent of the corn has crop insurance and a little over 65 percent of the beans are insured, so that will moderate the tragedy for some.”
But Villwock wants consumers to understand that crop insurance doesn’t cover livestock production. Those farmers are facing increasing feed costs, “and so we’re working to try to make sure we can find adequate feed supplies for them, try to be a coordinator to some degree of locating feed, whether that’s corn or hay all across the state, and be a conduit of information for that.”[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/08/more-on-plates-than-pancakes.mp3|titles=more on plates than pancakes]
In the HAT interview Villwock opines on the efforts of state fair officials to recover from last year’s stage tragedy. He also pays tribute to Lt. Governor Becky Skillman who is wrapping up her final fair as Indiana Secretary of Agriculture. He said she is one of the state’s best ever in that position:[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/08/Don-Villwock-at-2012-Farmers-Day.mp3|titles=Don Villwock at 2012 Farmers Day]