Life Goes On In Hoosier Farm Country

Hoosier Perspectives

The election is over and the challenges still remain.

Published on: November 19, 2012

Our item that ran right around election day said that no matter how the election turned out, the sun would come up the next morning – somewhere.

"Maybe it did. But it was certainly mighty cloudy," one reader told us tongue-in-cheek.

The Wednesday after election day was cloudy in Indiana. But the reader was referring to the political races, especially the Presidential election. Obviously, he was a Romney supporter.

Actually, it looks like we're back where we were before on the national scene. President Obama stays in the White House, the Senate is still controlled by Democrats, and the House is still controlled by Republicans. That make-up has produced a two-year stalemate, no budget and no Farm Bill. Let's hope the leaders we elected have enough sense to realize we can't endure gridlock four more years, and enough guts to do something about it.

The landscape in Indiana politics isn't all that different than it was before, except that a new face and personality will be at the helm in the Governor's chair. Mike Pence held off John Gregg to capture that position. Along with Pence, newcomer Sue Ellspermann becomes lt. governor, let's hope she also remembers that she is secretary of agriculture and how important agriculture is.

Let's hope they both do. Before the election in exclusive interviews with Indiana Prairie Farmer, both gave glowing praise to agriculture in how important it was in Indiana's economic recovery these past four years. Yet when Governor-elect Pence named his transition team, only Becky Skillman, the outgoing Secretary of Agriculture, was connected to agriculture in some way. We have nothing against businessmen and others joining his team, but it would have been nice to see him tap one of the talented leaders of the ag industry to provide guidance in setting up his administration.

Let's hope that when the time comes, the Governor and Lt. Governor will be supportive of the ag industry, including commodity groups, vocational education, the FFA and soil conservation. They said they were during the campaign. Now is the time when the window dressing comes off and we get to see if they were serious or not.

We'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now. We'll see soon enough just how serious they are about keeping agriculture at the table in major state issues. It was one of the positive legacies of the Daniels-Skillman years. Let's hope in four or eight years we can look back and say it's part of the Pence-Ellspermann legacy too.

Here's a look at our pre-election interviews with the new Governor and Lt. Gov.:

Mike Pence Shares Views On Agriculture

Vocational Education A Priority For Pence

Pence Understands Property Tax Issue

Sue Ellspermann Talks About Agriculture

Ellspermann Wants More Vocational Training in Indiana

GOP Lt. Gov Candidate Envisions Improved IDSA