Farmers and legislators gathered together at the breakfast table Wednesday morning at the Statehouse for the Indiana Corn and Soybean legislative breakfast. Bacon was the featured item, and not just because it drew legislators in with the smell.
“It’s a user of our corn, and so our grains are what supports the pork industry, the cattle industry and livestock in general,” said Scott Smith of Tipton County, the newest member of the Indiana Corn Growers Association board of directors
Smith says the Indiana Farm Bureau led healthcare legislation is a top policy priority that Indiana Corn and Soy is backing this session.
“Probably the biggest expense that we have that has increased overtime and is not regulated to the point we’re faced with an almost 100 percent increase on our farm and we cannot sustain that, and we have to shop around and get another insurance,” he said. “It’s been repetitious and this keeps going on.”
There are also a number of rural broadband bills they are following this session.
“As technology grows and it lets us connect to our machinery, the computers back home, it keeps us all connected, and it’s important as technology keeps progressing in the farming industry,” said Mike Koehne of Decatur County.
Indiana Senate Ag Committee Chair Jean Leising says she understands why farmers need that access because she struggles with it on her farm.
“Personally, I’m really delighted that my Verizon cell works at my farm and I can do email from it,” said Leising. “It’s hard for people here in the statehouse to understand when I tell them that there’s no Netflix at my house.”
The problem, Leising says, is that she’s the only Senator of the 50 that still lives on a farm. She’s afraid it might be a long time before rural broadband gets deployed statewide and it will likely take more funding from the federal level.