Gene Schmidt has led the National Association of Conservation Districts the last two years and for those efforts and the accomplishments back on his LaPorte County soybean, seed corn, tomato and Christmas tree farm he was bestowed with the Indiana Master Farmer designation this summer.
When HAT spoke with him at the banquet in July the farm bill was a major agriculture issue right next to the drought.
“We think for the most part anytime you work on legislation there’s always a concern. It’s really, really hard to come up with a national program and our concern is anytime you legislate something you have to implement it, and we’re looking at a program that expands clear across the country with the diverseness that we have in production and conservation. We’re so proud that working with Senate Ag chairman Stabenow and ranking member Roberts, and even working with the House folks has given us a program that’s got flexibility, and that’s the key.”
Now with less than two weeks remaining in the year we still wait for action in Washington. As for the honor back in the summer, the Hanna, Indiana farmer was humbled.
“We go about doing what we do because we enjoy doing it and it’s putting food on the table trying to feed America. I can think of a lot of folks that I would think are probably more qualified for this position than I am, but very honored, very humbled, and what a great honor to have bestowed.”
Schmidt had plenty of family joining him for the celebration in Plymouth, including “my wife and 5 of my 12 grandchildren. For most of us folks, myself especially, part of the reason why we do it is for the generation to come.”
State Conservationist Jane Hardisty was also one of Schmidt’s guests. The annual awards are sponsored by Indiana Prairie Farmer, Purdue Extension and Purdue College of Agriculture.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/12/Schmidt-humbled.mp3|titles=Schmidt humbled]
Listen to the full July HAT interview:[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/12/Gene-Schmidt-2012-Master-Farmer.mp3|titles=Gene Schmidt 2012 Master Farmer]