Members of Indiana Farm Bureau are in Washington DC this week talking important farm issues with their elected officials. They’re participating in the 18th Annual Leader Trip, led by Bob White with INFB, seasoned in all things Washington as the Director of National Government Relations. White tells HAT the members from Indiana play an important role giving voice to the state’s farmers.
“It’s very important to get the people who actually vote for the congressional folks out here to come in and tell their story about what’s happening to them on the laws that they are passing or attempting to pass,” he said. “It’s important for those principals to know how the people back home feel.”
A couple of issues in focus right now are passing USMCA and improving rural broadband.
“Many of our rural areas in Indiana do not have coverage,” White explains about broadband, “and with today’s technology and the equipment our producers use in the field, you get into a planter today with three computers going all at once and our producers need to transfer that including to crop consultants who aggregate that information. It’s just very important we have that technology out in rural areas.”
Voices from all directions are wanting the new NAFTA, The U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement passed. Indiana members aim to add to the chorus when they meet with their congressional representative and Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun Wednesday.
“It’s time to get this done,” White said. “The steel and aluminum tariffs have been lifted. They were supposedly in the way, so let’s get this thing passed. Without it we’re operating with more uncertainty than we were before. It would be nice to get one of these trade agreements done and put to bed.”
Tuesday, they heard from various American Farm Bureau lobbyists and economists who provided issue updates and background, followed by dinner with guest speaker Ted McKinney from Indiana, now the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.