Congresswoman Speaks with Farmers
GREENTOWN, Ind. — Republican U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, who represents Indiana’s 5th district, and Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann talked with farmers and addressed their concerns at a Shop Talk hosted by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Growers Association.
Howard County farmer Dennis Maple hosted the talk at the county fairgrounds. There have been a series of talks around the state with farmers and members of the Indiana congressional delegation.
“We think it’s important that farmers know the issues, and the only way to get answers is by talking to the people who make those decisions and those are our congress people,” Maple said.
During the meeting with farmers, Brooks discussed issues facing farmers in Washington, including water regulations, transportation, trade, GMO labeling and the fight for renewable fuels.
“Highway funding is of serious concern for farmers and for other industry, and we have to come up with a long-term highway trust fund mechanism,” Brooks said. “RFS and trying to make sure that we don’t lower the amount that has been proposed by the EPA and because producers want to make sure that ethanol is still used and used at a level that is good for Indiana corn growers.”
Issues specific to Howard County included the weather. Farmers were impacted by heavy rainfall in June, and the rest of the industry likely will experience a trickle effect with input costs, Maple said.
“It’s important to go across the state so all districts can be informed and talk to our congress people so they know the issues and so Indiana farmers are a unified voice in what we want to happen,” he said.
Brooks said she appreciates hearing how laws and regulations affect farmers and how she can best serve them. It’s important to hear directly from farmers because fewer and fewer members of Congress and state legislatures grow up on farms or live in rural areas, she said.
“Farmers in our state in particular help feed the world and feed the state, and we need to make sure that we don’t put forth rules and regulations that hinder their success,” she said. “They want to produce as much as they can of the safest food they can and produce not only here but also certainly for markets across the globe.”
These talks encourage farmers to be involved in the political process and advocate for agriculture. For more information, visit www.indianasoybean.com/membership or www.incorn.org/icga.