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Villwock Outlines Top Farm Issues for 2013

Don Villwock

The challenges farmers had to deal with in 2012 were mainly weather related; but Don Villwock, President of Indiana Farm Bureau, said 2013 will produce challenges of a different kind. He said the apparent failure of Congress to pass a Farm Bill and to resolve tax issues will have serious consequences in 2013, “Estate tax exemptions falling from $5 million to $1 million, with today’s land values, will mean some farms will have to be broken up and sold to meet the death tax.” In addition, he said the elimination of some deductions and deprecations will likely mean farmers will not invest in new equipment or improvements to livestock facilities, “This will have a negative impact on our agribusiness community.” He feels these tax issues are a bigger issue for farmers than the lack of a new Farm Bill.


While the Knox County farmer is pessimistic on the federal level, he is optimistic that on the state level that the new administration will be one with which Farm Bureau can work, “I have had the opportunity to visit with our new Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann. She has a great passion for agriculture and rural Indiana, and I know she will put together a good team.” He said she has been in contact with Farm Bureau and other state farm organizations seeking counsel on issues that need to be addressed and asking for names of individuals to fill key positions in the new administration.  While it has been announced that Joe Kelsay will not stay on as head of ISDA, a replacement has not yet been named.


For the past 8 years, Indiana has been a strong pro-agriculture state, and Villwock foresees that continuing, “I and Farm Bureau have had a great relationship with Governor-elect Mike Pence, and I have found Sue Ellspermann to be an extremely professional lady who I think will do a great job as Secretary of Agriculture.”  He feels that the Pence administration will be a pro-agriculture administration, “I have heard them says that agriculture is a great economic engine for this state and that rural agriculture is the lifeblood of the state. So I think they will pay a great deal of attention to our ag community, and I look forward to working with them.”  Villwock, like many farmers, is anxious to close the door on 2012 and is looking forward with hope to a better, more productive, and profitable year ahead.

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