As Hoosier Ag Today continues its profiles of the candidates for Indiana Farm Bureau President, we feature Johnson County dairy farmer Joe Kelsay His is a name you will recognize because Joe Kelsay served as director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture during the Daniels administration and, for the past several years, has been with Dow AgroSciences connecting with farmers around the state and around the world. But, he is also still a farmer, “I farm with my dad and my brother. We milk about 500 cows, and raise corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and wheat on about 2,300 acres.”
Kelsay says agriculture is changing and those changes will present challenges for Farm Bureau, “We have some aging demographics; we have some consolidation in the business; and we have the rise of specialist crops. We have some real stratification taking place in agriculture, and this will present a challenge to Farm Bureau to continue to deliver value to its members.” He added his experience in government and in business have given him the kind of perspective and experience that will allow him to lead Farm Bureau, both on the public policy front and on the business side of the organization.
Kelsay says the election of the next Farm Bureau President is not about a person but about a vision for the future of the organization, “The delegates will be making a choice on how they want to see their organization run, how they envision the future, and where we take this organization in the next generation or two.” Kelsay says his vision for Farm Bureau is one that is forward looking, “What sets me apart from some of my opponents in this race is the vision, the look to the future, the big picture thinking that will usher in the new era of Farm Bureau. I think we are ready for it. The past has been great but it is time for tomorrow.”