Agriculture is vitally important both to Indiana and the United States, and Indiana in particular is blessed with an abundance of farmland.  From corn, soybeans, and tomatoes to pork and cattle, Hoosier farmers are growing the resources that drive our economy, strengthen our local communities, and provide the food we eat.  Each day, thousands of Hoosier family farmers carry on Indiana’s rich agricultural heritage.

Joe is honored to be a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, where he serves as the chairman of the Commodities, Markets, Trade and Risk Management Subcommittee. He also serves on the Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation Subcommittee and the Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Marketing and Agriculture Security Subcommittee.

As a member of the Ag Committee, Joe has continuously voted for and supported agriculture policies that benefit farmers, promote rural economic development, and help produce a safe and reliable food supply. 

Today, Hoosier farmers face an incredible amount of uncertainty, from weather to energy prices.  Joe thinks it is important to let farmers reap the rewards of their hard work, while also putting in place a safety net in the event of natural disasters, sharp market downturns, and other events outside of a farmer’s control.  

Joe had long-advocated for the certainty and support of a five-year farm bill for our ag community, which is why he was pleased when the House and Senate finally passed a bipartisan, five-year bill in February 2014.  He worked to include in the final bill many provisions that are important to Indiana, such as:

  • Expanding crop insurance coverage for crops grown for feedstocks to produce biofuels, electricity, or biobased products;
  • Improving the process of setting conservation technical assistance funding levels by giving USDA, not OMB, the authority to set the levels;
  • Establishing a pilot program to allow canned or frozen fruits and vegetables to participate in school snack programs; and 
  • Protecting full planting flexibility by eliminating any permanent base reduction for planting fruits or vegetables.