Indiana Farm Bureau held their annual convention over the weekend in Fort Wayne. Director of State Government Relations Justin Schneider outlined some of the legislative priorities for Farm Bureau in Indiana this year.
“Rural revitalization and broadband deployment around the state. That’s an issue that’s been on our list for several years and we continue to see movement, so we’re excited about those opportunities. Assessment uniformity is something that we’ve had discussions about; there’s a strong coalition building around that issue. Restoring the Kankakee and Yellow Rivers; they had the big flood in February of this year, so we’ve been working with our members up there, with county officials, with a group of legislators who are trying to come up with a plan forward to minimize what we saw with the flooding we had this year.”
Schneider also conducted a breakout session at the annual convention showing members how they could help advocate for these, and other, priorities. When it comes to meeting with your legislators, local, state, or federal, he says it takes more than just one time showing up to make a difference.
“It takes a process. It takes relationship building. It’s finding the right candidates. It’s supporting them. It’s helping them get elected. There’s a full cycle here that’s really necessary in order to make this work. Now, just coming off of a campaign season where it was constant ads on TV and in the mail and there’s a lot of fatigue over that, but it’s expensive. There’s a lot of money, there’s a lot of time, and so you have to be engaged in all of that if at the end of the day you really want to be successful in your advocacy efforts.”
Schneider will speak to these priorities and others during his 10:30 seminar at the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo. He’ll be speaking right after former Secretary of Agriculture John Block.
The full seminar and demonstration schedule can be found at www.indianafarmexpo.com.