Indiana Farm Bureau Political Action Committees endorsed local and state candidates who support agriculture and rural issues in the recent election. Andy Tauer, Director of Public Policy for IFB, said the PAC program had an impact on state and local races.
“Of the 90 candidates that we endorsed, 87 were elected. So I think we are going to be very successful in pushing our members agenda.”
As a result, Tauer says this kind of progress will be important as the upcoming Indiana General Assembly session will have some important ag and rural issues to deal with.
“Rural broadband and rural education will come to the surface. One thing that has really come to the front as part of this pandemic is the importance of broadband service in rural areas to the last acre.”
He also said the needs of rural schools will be an issue on which Farm Bureau will be working with legislators.
Typically, Farm Bureau members are a regular sight in the halls of the Statehouse during a legislative session. Tauer says, this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, that may not be the case.
“We are encouraging our members to establish those relationships with local lawmakers now. Share your story, tell them how these issues impact you personally. It is important we do that now because we may not be able to get our members into the Statehouse this session.”
As for the changes that will be taking place in Washington, Tauer says the new leadership in the Senate and House Ag committee and at USDA will have an impact on ag policy.
“The margins will be much narrower in both the House and Senate and that is going to mean more need for compromise.”
He added that, for the past 4 years, Indiana has had a lot of access to top USDA leaders which may now change.