The Indiana Corn Growers Association and the Indiana Soybean Alliance Policy Committee continue the series of Shop Talk meetings in one week after starting the series with meetings in Frankfort and LaPorte County last week. Public Affairs Manager Patrick Pfingsten said the organizations hope Hoosier farmers will attend and share their thoughts on farm issues with Indiana corn and soybean and their guest speakers.
“The sad aspect of demographics is that the number of farmers is shrinking, our legislative districts are becoming more urban centered and ag has a possibility of losing influence in the political process. So one of our priorities at the Indiana Corn Growers Association and the Indiana Soybean Alliance is to make sure that farmers are engaged in public policy and in the political process.”
Shop Talk gives farmers access to the political process, a chance to speak one on one with their congressman.
“And vice versa. It’s giving a congressman an opportunity to talk directly to farmers and hear directly from farmers about issues that are important to them. Less than 30 of the 535 members of congress are farmers and ranchers, and in Indiana it’s one who is a farmer.”
There is more on each event’s agenda, including sponsor presentations. Area Vice President Tom Sloma leads a Farm Credit Mid-America team talk on important issues right now, specifically crop insurance. He told HAT his company’s goal at Shop Talk is “to work with Indiana growers as to what they need to look at going into the fall months. So crop insurance is going to be that safety net that’s going to be really important just like it was back in 2012 when we had that drought. The safety net won’t be as robust this year potentially as it was back in 2012. People weren’t able to probably lock in those profit margins so we’re closer to a breakeven point or maybe less in many cases, but it still provided that safety net for growers.”
Sloma also warned of the likelihood of rising interest rates coming. Hear more in the HAT interview:Tom Sloma
Pfingsten offered Shop Talk attendees a 2 for 1 membership deal while explaining that the state corn and soybean policy and lobbying organizations rely on memberships and do not use checkoff dollars. Learn more in that interview:Patrick Pfingsten
Rep. Susan Brooks, Rep. Jackie Walorski and Rep. Larry Bucshon are confirmed for upcoming events which are free and include a meal. The current schedule is:
August 24, 6-8 p.m. at Howell Family Farms, 12261 S County Rd. 600 W, Middletown
August 26, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Greentown: Howard County Fairgrounds, Round Barn, 610 E Payton Street, Greentown
August 26, 6-8 p.m., Terre Haute: BE-N-Ag, 12475 Louisville Rd., Terre Haute