Farmers and Rep. Brooks and Lt. Governor Ellspermann Speak Directly at Shop Talk

GREENTOWN, Ind. (August 28, 2015) — Congresswoman Susan Brooks and Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann spoke directly with farmers Wednesday at a Shop Talk hosted by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Growers Association. 

Local farmer Dennis Maple hosted the elected officials at the Howard County Fairgrounds in Greentown. The ICGA and ISA Shop Talk was one in a series with farmers and members of the Indiana Congressional delegation during the August Congressional recess. 

During the meeting with farmers, Brooks discussed issues facing farmers in Washington, like EPA regulations, trade, and the fight for renewable fuels. 

“Agribusiness and family farmers are the lifeblood of our communities, providing food, new energy sources, and research and development opportunities,” Brooks said. “I will always support those working to feed our growing population, and appreciate hearing today from farmers about how I can best serve them in Congress.”

Lt. Governor Ellspermann, who also serves as the state’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, said, “Having direct conversation with Hoosier farmers and agriculture industry representatives is the best way to learn about the issues currently impacting this important part of Indiana’s economy. We can also learn what we are doing well to support agriculture and what other concerns need attention.” 

Farmers said having a direct conversation with their elected officials is of great value. 

“The numbers are not in our favor when it comes to demographics,” said Maple, who raises corn and soybeans on his family farm. “So the need to make sure our members of Congress, and our state officials, are up to date on the issues affecting our operations grows more important every year.”

At each shop talk around the state, Farm Credit Mid-America hosted panel discussions on the financial squeezes facing farmers and their profitability. 

“While global events and governmental fiscal policy is out of the realm of what a farmer can control, they can take control of their own financial risk. We encourage farmers to understand the magnitude of every buying decision, whether its discretionary spending, fixed operations cost or spending on variable input cost,” said Natasha Cox, Regional Vice President of Farm Credit Mid-America. 

Cox said that starting conversations now with their banker and lenders will help farmers in the long-term.

“We also encourage producers to be open to discussions with their financial partners that include discussing strategies for managing risk during potential profit declines and volatility in the marketplace,” she said. “Crop insurance is an excellent example of risk management, fitting the policy to the risk bearing ability of the operation, while understating the importance of accurate, complete and timely communication and records.” 

2015 is the second year ISA and ICGA have sponsored shop talks during the Congressional August district work period. The events encourage farmers to be involved in the political process, as they are the best advocates for agriculture. 

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Megan Kuhn, Indiana Soybean Alliance & Indiana Corn Growers Association, 317-614-0377 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Indiana Soybean Alliance works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the effective and efficient investment of soybean checkoff funds and the development of sound policies that protect and promote the interest of Indiana soybean farmers. The ISA is working to build new markets for soybeans through the promotion of biodiesel, livestock, international marketing, new soybean uses, aquaculture, and research. ISA is led by an elected farmer board that directs investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 28,000 Indiana soybean farmers and promotes policies on behalf of the ISA’s 950 dues-paying members. 

The ICGA board, which works with the state and federal governments to develop and promote sound policies that benefit Indiana corn farmers, consists of 15 farmer-directors who provide leadership to the organization on behalf of the nearly 600 ICGA members statewide.

This communications was NOT funded with Indiana soybean or corn checkoff dollars.