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Click Public Policy Dispatch - Volume 13, Issue 34 to see as a webpage.

November 15, 2013
Volume 13
Issue 34


HARVEST SAFETY REMINDER FOR FARMERS   Putting farm equipment on the road is all about safety. Many members of the public are not accustomed to dealing with slow-moving, oversized vehicles in their path. It is important that farmers follow the regulations in place to protect themselves and the public.
It is illegal for implements of agriculture and farm vehicles loaded with farm products to unreasonably interfere with highway traffic (IC 9-21-8-47). Further, the driver of a tractor or implement of agriculture, such as a combine, being driven at a slow speed so that three or more vehicles are blocked and cannot pass on the left around the vehicle shall give right-of-way to the other vehicles by pulling off to the right of the right lane at the earliest reasonable opportunity and allowing the blocked vehicles to pass (IC 9-21-5-7). A citation can be issued for not pulling over (IC 9-21-5-13). For more information, see the Purdue publication Transporting Farm Equipment - What Growers Need to Know.


VILLWOCK SPEAKS AT ICAW MEETING   On Oct. 25, Farm Bureau President Don Villwock spoke at the Indiana Council for Animal Welfare meeting and discussed the importance of cooperation among all groups that have been targeted by animal rights activist organizations. The ICAW organization was established by Indiana dog breeders following the 2009 legislative effort led by HSUS to attach the derogatory label “puppy mill” to their businesses and subject them to unnecessary and costly government oversight and regulation. During the meeting ICAW recognized Sen. Brent Steele with a “Bulldog” award for his tenacious opposition to the proposed legislation. Former IFB lobbyist Bob Kraft also received a special citation for his efforts on behalf of Farm Bureau members, which also benefitted the state’s dog breeders.


GOVERNOR: IDOL, DOW ANNOUNCE SAFETY INITIATIVE   On Nov. 7, the Indiana Department of Labor and Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, announced a strategic alliance to exchange best practices and jointly work to advance worker health and safety, as well as transportation safety, in the agriculture industry. Under this two-year occupational safety and health alliance, Dow and IDOL will combine their knowledge of safety technology and innovations to inform and engage key stakeholders in agriculture regarding worker and transportation safety.  The alliance goals are to:

  • Eliminate agriculture worker fatalities.
  • Reduce the number and severity of agriculture worker injuries and illnesses.
  • Reduce work-related transportation incidents and worker fatalities.
  • Increase communication with industry stakeholders.
  • Share technological knowledge and best practices to improve workplace safety and health performance.

For more information visit the IDOL website.

LIVESTOCK POLICY ADVISORY GROUP MEETS   The livestock and animal care policy advisory group met on Nov. 14 to offer and examine issues relevant to the livestock industry. The group discussed issues that might result in Farm Bureau policy positions, educational initiatives or simply need to be studied further before any action is taken. Please contact Greg Slipher at or 317-692-7886 with any questions.

INVITATION-ONLY EVENTS FOR COUNTY FARM BUREAU POLICY COMMITTEES   Check your email for an invitation to “Making Policy Work for Hoosier Farmers.” These training sessions are for members of the local, state and national policy action and policy development committees. Members of these committees are encouraged to attend one of the events. For more information, please contact your regional manager or county president. 

PURDUE WORKSHOP SERIES ON LEGAL, TAX AND ESTATE ISSUES   Purdue Extension will offer a farm law and taxes workshop at five Indiana locations in December to help individuals, farmers, landowners and family business operators understand legal and tax issues, and estate and business transfers. Gerry Harrison, Purdue Extension farm management and agricultural law specialist, will discuss a series of topics, including the drainage law, right-to-farm law, real estate transfer taxes, land trusts and conservation easements. See more information about each session and registration forms.

All workshop sessions will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. Dates, locations, registration deadlines and contact information are as follows:

  • Dec. 9. Jackson County Community Foundation Building, 107 Community Drive, Seymour.
    Register by Dec. 6 to the Purdue Extension Jackson County office at 812-358-6101.
  • Dec. 10. Johnson County Fairgrounds, 484 North Morton St., Franklin.
    Register by Dec. 9 to the Purdue Extension Johnson County office at 317-736-3724.
  • Dec. 11. Purdue Extension Allen County office, 401 Crescent Ave., Fort Wayne.
    Register to the office by Dec. 9 at 260-481-6826.
  • Dec. 12. Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds, 17746 County Road 34, Goshen.
    Register by Dec. 6 to the Purdue Extension Elkhart County office at 574-533-0554.
  • Dec. 13. Grant County 4-H Fairgrounds, 1403 E. state Route 18, Marion.
    Register by Dec. 6 to the Purdue Extension Grant County office at 765-651-2413.

Registration is $30 per person and $20 for a registered individual's spouse. It includes a continental breakfast, lunch, snacks and workshop materials. Continuing education credits are available for Indiana accountants and lawyers. The workshop is $75 for those who want to earn continuing professional education and an additional $20 for an individual's second certification. Checks should be made payable to the Purdue CES Ed Fund. For more information, contact Harrison at or call the toll-free number, 888-398-4636 ext. 44216.

CERTIFIED CROP ADVISER AWARD NOVEMBER DEADLINE   Indiana Farm Bureau has been a co-sponsor of the Certified Crop Adviser Award since 2006. Certified crop advisers play a very important part in today’s Indiana farming operations. This award was designed to recognize a person who delivers exceptional customer service, is highly innovative, is a leader in their field and contributes substantially to the exchange of ideas in the agriculture industry. See a short, informational video about CCA. 

The county Farm Bureau that submits the winning application receives $250, and the CCA winner will receive $1,500. In addition, the winner is eligible for the national CCA award of $1,000. The winner last year was from Ripley County. Nomination forms must be received by Nov. 22 and sent to:

Bob Cherry
Indiana Farm Bureau Inc.
PO Box 1290
Indianapolis, IN 46206-1290
Phone: 317-692-7809

SAVE THE DATE: INDIANA HORTICULTURAL CONGRESS - JANUARY 21-23, 2014   The three-day congress and trade show will once again be held at the Wyndham Indianapolis West, 2544 Executive Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46241.

The Indiana Horticultural Congress is an educational meeting designed to meet the needs of fruit, vegetable, wine, organics and specialty crop growers and marketers in Indiana and surrounding states. All interested individuals are invited to attend.

“Agritourism is all about bringing the families to the farm for enjoyment, education and the farm experience but how do we know what the visitor wants and once we understand that (if we can) how do we serve that need in a way that provides satisfaction to the extent not only that they return but that they will favorably share the experience with their friends, family and neighbors?” –Roy Ballard

CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT SEMINAR   Each year Indiana Farm Bureau sponsors a campaign seminar (school) as part of our continuing efforts to encourage concerned citizens to become actively involved in government at all levels. This seminar has been praised as a practical, hands-on workshop that focuses on the structure and organization required for a successful political campaign. Particular emphasis is placed on defining the respective roles of the candidate, the candidate’s spouse and the campaign manager.

We have enjoyed a very high success rate for attendees and currently, well over half of Indiana’s counties have at least one graduate of our school holding public office. This school is priced economically to ensure that it is affordable to candidates for all levels of public office and with even the most limited campaign treasuries. The next school will be held Feb. 3-4, 2014, in assembly halls A and B at the home office. View the Campaign Management Seminar brochure for more details.


RENEWABLE FUEL, AG INDUSTRY AWAIT FINAL EPA DECISION ON RFS   According to a leaked EPA draft rule, the Obama administration is considering a plan to reduce the renewable fuels standard mandate for 2014 and 2015 by 6 percent compared to current levels. Congress initially wrote an 18.15 billion gallon mandate as part of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. The proposed plan would reduce this amount to 15.21 of total renewable fuels. This latest proposal indicates a significant reduction for demand of biofuels, due in part to increased vehicle fuel efficiency and a stubborn economy that is slow to rebound.

The newly proposed mandate would reduce the volume of corn-based ethanol to about 800 million gallons less than this year's 13.8 billion gallons. The "blend wall" is considered to be roughly 13.3 billion gallons. The law had required 14.4 billion gallons in 2014.

Friday afternoon a statement from EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said the Obama administration remains firmly committed to furthering the development of all biofuels.

"At this point, EPA is only developing a draft proposal. The agency has made no final decision on the proposed renewable fuel standards for 2014," McCarthy said.

The draft documents indicate that in order to make the changes, EPA would intend to use the inadequate supply justification for the waiver.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also recently re-confirmed his agency’s commitment to the renewable fuel industry and its growth. “I don't know what the EPA is going to do … but we need to be more aggressive on renewable fuels,” Vilsack said. “We need higher blends of ethanol.”
“I will continue to focus on what I can control … continued investment in new opportunities for bio-refineries,” Vilsack said. “And continued support to the industry to work around the oil industry so we can create distribution facilities and availability of this fuel at higher blends so people … can use E85.”


WASHINGTON STATE GMO LABELING MEASURE DEFEATED   Voters defeated a Washington state ballot measure that would have required labeling of foods containing genetically modified crops declared victory on Nov. 5, citing early voting results. The measure died 47.05 percent to 52.95 percent, according to results updated on Nov. 7 by the Washington Secretary of State's office. The loss followed a similar defeat last year in California when a ballot initiative there also failed to pass. The outcome of the Washington vote was being closely watched around the country as more than two dozen U.S. states and the federal government wrestle with whether to require labeling.  



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