INDIANAPOLIS — Senatorial Candidates Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) and Republican Mike Braun addressed corn and soybean farmers, as well as leaders across Indian agriculture, at the annual Ag Policy Summit in Indianapolis on Monday, July 23. Organized by the Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and the Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership & Policy Committee (ISA M&P), the Summit provided a forum for the candidates to convey their views on agriculture as well as answer audience questions about important issues facing farmers such as trade and the Farm Bill.
“ISA and ICMC were honored to host the candidates for this hotly contested Senate race,” said ICGA President Sarah Delbecq. “The outcome of the race will impact Indiana agriculture for years to come, and could very well make the difference in the balance of power in Washington, D.C. I encourage producers to take every opportunity between now and November to learn about the candidates and how their views will impact Hoosier farmers between now and November.”
Statistically tied in the polls for the race, both candidates worked to convince attendees that their experience and positions would best represent agriculture.
Senator Joe Donnelly has served in the U.S. Senate since 2012. A member of the Senate Agriculture, Armed Services and Banking and Finance committees, Sen. Donnelly highlighted his experience, knowledge of agriculture and record of supporting Hoosier farmers. “I’ll be with you every step of the way,” he said, “just like I was with WOTUS and RVP.”
Republican challenger, Mike Braun, greeted the crowd with messages focused on his Indiana roots, pragmatic business background and Harvard Business School MBA. As a member of the Indiana House of Representatives from 2014-2017, Braun has served on the Roads and Transportation as well as Ways and Means committees.
Braun spoke about health care costs, infrastructure and managing the federal budget. “When I get there [Washington D.C.] I want to make sure our federal government does what all of our families do — live within our means.”
“Bringing attention to the issues that impact Hoosier farmers – and getting policymakers to make good decisions about those issues – is what the corn and soybean associations are all about,” said Phil Ramsey, chairman of the ISA Membership and Policy Committee. “We hope the candidates learned as much from us about what we expect from them in D.C., as we did from them about their positions.”
Former Chief Ag Negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative Darci Vetter rounded out the event with an analysis of current trade issues and their ramifications – both realized and yet to come.
The conference also highlighted the impact of recent trade tariffs on non-farm Indiana businesses. Jennifer Pearl of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce shared the comparative impacts of trade. In addition, ISA and ICGA staff provided a policy update addressing issues from renewable fuels, to the Farm Bill to trade issues.
An annual event, the ISA M&P and ICGA Ag Policy Summit brings Hoosier farmers, livestock producers, industry stakeholders and community leaders together to examine and discuss current and impending policy issues. Free to registered attendees, the event is made possible through sponsorship dollars. Monsanto served as this year’s presenting sponsor along with other supporters that included Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, Syngenta, FMC, Corteva, Beck’s Hybrids, the American Soybean Association, the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and the Indiana Soybean Alliance.
— Indiana Corn Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance
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