Agriculture

agriculture

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.

Latest

  • Donnelly Expresses Farmers Frustrations Over WOTUS

    As the debate over the Waters of the US continues, Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly expressed frustration over burdensome regulations during a hearing earlier today. Donnelly questions where the regulations will end. "Our farmers feel they work non-stop every single day to voluntarily to make our waters cleaner and to make things better," he says.  “All we hear is more government regulation.  I think what's happened is those actions have lost the confidence of our ag community.” During the hearing, Donnelly told Natural Resources Conservation Services Chief Jason Weller that farmers are frustrated.  “It’s the feeling our farmers have when they look up and go 'my government is supposed to be my partner, not my adversary’,” he says. Weller says he hears the frustration, too, in his home state of California.  “Farmers there, more than anywhere, are actually very heavily regulated,” he says.  “Whether it is for air, for wildlife, or for water.  I understand both the palpable frustration and the bottom line business costs that regulation creates.  It’s also the perception elsewhere in the country.” Donnelly says the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the NRCS need to work more effectively with the agricultural community to fix WOTUS without burdensome regulations. Read More


  • Sen. Donnelly Meets with HU Officials to Discuss New Ag Program

    U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) visited Huntington University's campus Thursday, Oct. 9, to meet with university officials about the institution's new Institute for Agricultural Studies. Donnelly serves on the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee in the senate. He met with Dr. Sherilyn Emb Read More


  • Sen. Donnelly Visits Farbest on Farm Bill Tour

    (Vincennes, IN)- Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly came to Farbest Foods yesterday to discuss the Congressional Farm Bill. A group of Senators and Congressmen– including Donnelly– are talking to farmers and food producers to help them apply the law passed earlier this year. Donnelly says far Read More


  • Donnelly Voices Continued Support of Biofuels

    Yesterday, Senator Joe Donnelly joined Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Maria Cantwell of Washington, and Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken of Minnesota at a press conference to voice his support for restoring the lapsed Biodiesel Tax Credit and to call on the Obama Administration to revise its proposal for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2014. Read More


  • Democrat Senators push for new RFS and tax credits for biodiesel

    Biodiesel producers joined a group of Democrat senators at a press conference Wednesday, calling for Congress to restore the biodiesel tax incentive and for the EPA and the Obama administration to rethink its plan to reduce mandated biofuel use under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). Read More


  • Soy growers praise biodiesel support from farm state senators

    American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser, a farmer from Corning, Iowa, praised Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), for speaking up in support for biodiesel. Read More