Last week USDA Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Ag Services visited Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana to see first-hand the damage done by Mother Nature this year. One of his stops was at Kelsay Farms in Whiteland, Ind. Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Joe Kelsay farms there with his family.
He says having experience in production agriculture has been beneficial this year. “It offers a level of understanding of the through process and kind of the emotional tolls the farmer is going through,” he says. “It also means an opportunity for solutions and understanding policy impacts and what that means on the farm.”
Kelsay tells Brownfield farmers began the year with the best of expectations but says watching the crop’s potential deteriorate week after week has been incredibly painful for farmers.
“Being able to related to that personally as I come back home on the weekends and help here on the family farm,” he says. “We work to try to figure out how we are going to maintain and how we are going to cope with the kinds of issues we’re dealing with here.”
Kelsay says he hopes he’s able to bring some of that knowledge back to the Department of Agriculture as well.