INFB: state budget is top of mind for Indiana ag in the second half of the session

Photo provided by Indiana Farm Bureau

The executive director of public policy for Indiana Farm Bureau says financial requests continue to be top of mind for lawmakers crafting the state’s next two-year budget.

Andy Tauer says the organization supports investments in the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, State Board of Animal Health, and Purdue University agriculture through the Extension and the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

“In the second half of the session the focus will turn to the state budget. Our legislators do this every two years so this is a big topic and we want to make sure we have the right provisions for friends of Indiana agriculture. We want to make sure that the state’s agriculture industry continues to be poised for future growth and we can continue to combat any challenges it might face as we move forward,” he says. “Just as the members and farmers at home are dealing with inflationary pressures, our agencies are too. So that’s why as you look at some of the budget numbers they’re a little bit higher this year, but again it’s trying to build for the that future so that we make sure we have the right people on the bus.”

Brownfield interviewed Tauer during Indiana Farm Bureau’s Ag Breakfast at the Indiana Statehouse on Thursday.  

“We have a breakfast event with all the agricultural groups supporting us and really we wanted to find an opportunity to speak with legislators again in the second half of the session,” he says. “Our friends at Indiana Corn Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance, for example, have a Bacon Bar and Brunch with legislators early in the session, Indiana Pork has their Taste of Elegance, and Indiana State Poultry Association has their banquet and we wanted to find an opportunity to bring all of agriculture back together in the second half (of the session) and be able to spend some time with our legislators and show the ag coalition pulling together.”

He says INFB members continue to speak with legislators about issues that are important to their operations.  

“Advocacy is so important to Indiana Farm Bureau and all the things we do. Having that personal touch and personal relationships with the legislators at the statehouse is critical,” he says. “We’ve had members at the statehouse throughout the legislative session and about 20 county farm bureaus attended the recent breakfast. Those personal stories on the different issues are so important to get to the results we need for our members.”

Tauer says the organization also supports the budget requests of Senate Bill 4, including recommendations from the Governor’s Public Health Commission.

“For Indiana Farm Bureau, rural viability is so important to our members and where they live. Making sure we have some of those protections and services is going to be really important,” he says.

Legislation on a carbon sequestration pilot project and residential tax incentives are also top of mind for the organization.

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