In his State of the State message this week, Governor Mike Pence outlined his priorities for the state budget. Education is the cornerstone of the budget, increasing funding for grades K-12 by 2 percent, or $134 million, in fiscal year 2016 and 1 percent, or $67 million, for fiscal year 2017. But Katrina Hall with Indiana Farm Bureau says where the funding for education goes is of interest to them, “We want to make sure that schools in rural communities get the funding they need to provide a quality education.”
Another issue important to Farm Bureau is funding for the Board of Animal Health. Hall pointed out that the BOH has seen its budget cut sharply in recent years and that has impaired its ability to serve the agricultural industry, “They have had to make cutbacks that impacted local meat processing plants at a time when there has been a high demand for locally produced and processed meat.”
In addition, funding for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s Locally Grown program and funding for a new animal science building at Purdue are also budget issues the ag community is watching closely. More details on the Governor’s ag budget priorities may be disclosed at the Governor’s Conference on Agriculture which gets underway on Friday in Indianapolis.