As lawmakers are considering budgets and policies for next year’s federal farm bill, a group of women from Indiana Farm Bureau are in Washington this week to advocate and inspire action on behalf of Indiana’s farmers.
“If we’re not at the table, then we’re on the table,” says Isabella Chism, 2nd vice president of Indiana Farm Bureau and chair of the Women’s Leadership Committee.
Chism and members of the committee are meeting with lawmakers and administration officials to help guide the direction of next year’s farm bill.
“We want to make sure that we’re not changing things too drastically,” according to Chism. “If something is working, why would you change it? There are other things being discussed including conservation issues. We’re fully supportive of conservation issues, but not at the elimination of a safety net for farmers. I think it’s become even more evident that that’s a need for farmers.”
Chism says the Women’s Leadership Committee is working to represent Indiana’s farmers as they met with Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Mike Braun (R-IN), as well as House members and legislative assistants serving Indiana’s congressional districts on Tuesday.
“I think sometimes we take for granted what we do. The farmers are doing an excellent job out there in the fields and somebody needs to tell that story, and nobody is as believable as the farmer. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we’re asking farmers to tell their story in all different ways,” says Chism.
She says that another reason for the trip is to develop and empower women to be a voice for the ag industry.
“The women’s leadership committee exists to engage more women to develop them as leaders and to send them out as advocates supporting the mission and policy of our farm bureau members,” says Chism.
She adds that anyone can inspire action and be an effective advocate for Hoosier farmers.
“We want to show that this is something that anyone can do,” says Chism. “It’s not just for professional lobbyists. We are the everyday farmers from Indiana coming here to tell our story and to make sure that we can make a difference.”
Hoosier Ag Today’s C.J. Miller is in Washington D.C. all week long covering the Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee as they share the stories of Indiana farmers with the lawmakers representing them in our nation’s capital.
Click HERE to listen to C.J. Miller’s report from Washington D.C. as the Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee shares stories from Indiana farmers with Indiana’s legislators to inspire action for the 2023 federal farm bill.