INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Farm Bureau recently approved the organization’s policy priorities for the upcoming 2021 legislative session.
“As INFB members met this summer to set the organization’s policy positions for 2021, several of the issues discussed were highlighted by the pandemic and its impact on agriculture and rural Indiana,” said Randy Kron, INFB president. “Issues pertaining to rural broadband, livestock processing facilities and supply chain were the focus of many of the policy discussions. INFB’s policy priorities for the coming year, even in the midst of a pandemic, demonstrate our farmers and ag professionals’ ability to identify the most pressing issues facing agriculture.”
INFB’s policy priorities for 2021 are as follows:
- Expand broadband to the unserved and underserved to support education, telehealth, remote work and ag technology.
- Fund local meat inspection and kindergarten-12 education.
- Increase flexibility for HBV (Home Based Vendors) local food processing and marketing of value-added products.
- Improve transparency and functionality of the Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency and the Indiana Grain Indemnity Fund.
- Regulate uniformity of agricultural and renewable assessments.
“Over the years, INFB has advocated for the expansion of rural broadband, and this year the organization is focusing on it again,” said Andy Tauer, INFB director of public policy. “Indiana has made significant steps toward getting broadband to rural Hoosiers, but the pandemic demonstrated that there are still many areas of the state that don’t have access to adequate and reliable broadband. With e-learning, telehealth and everyday connectivity, expanding rural broadband to the unserved and underserved is INFB’s number one priority for 2021.”
INFB’s policy priorities are a direct result of its grassroots focus on developing the organization’s policy positions. The policy creation process begins with each county Farm Bureau, with counties making policy suggestions for the upcoming year. Those recommendations are then brought before a resolutions committee to be considered before they are discussed by the INFB delegate session, which was held on Aug. 29 and consisted of 230 members.
After the delegate session, the INFB board of directors identified the key issues INFB members and staff will focus on at the Statehouse when the General Assembly reconvenes.
“Even though the upcoming session will be a lot different due to health protocols, INFB members are still looking forward to interacting with state lawmakers to address these and other issues impacting the agriculture industry,” added Kron.
— Indiana Farm Bureau
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