• Tom Bechman

    10 reasons for not talking to your legislator

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on February 23, 2015

    Many times you read a story about property taxes or ag education reform or some other ag-related topic, and it closes asking you to contact your legislator to tell them how you feel. You may even see those kinds of articles here. I got to thinking – is that a good use of your time? I came up with 10 reasons NOT to bother talking to my state representative or senator, and why you shouldn't talk to them either. 1. They will do what they want to do anyway. Politics is cut and dried, at…

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  • Tom Bechman

    High hopes for new Indiana legislative session

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on January 5, 2015

    The legislature goes back to work this week in some states and for sure in Washington, D.C. That might bring a sigh from those who live there. Some might even remark: "The sausage factory is back in session again," or "the best things happen when they're not meeting, or when they do nothing at all." Some might make those statements about the Indiana legislature, but for the most part, especially over the past couple of years, many in the ag community have been pleased…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Property Tax Relief for Farmers Won't Be Easy Hill To Climb

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on June 2, 2014

    Indiana Farm Bureau's latest Policy Dispatch issued weekly during the legislative session and as needed otherwise urges farmers to let their Farm Bureau representative know how much they are paying in property taxes, and how much they are going up. They're trying to build the case that farmers are paying an unfair share since the circuit breaker system began. Homeowners got more relief, plus the base tax value on farm property keeps rising due to a formula worked out several years ago…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Farmers Like the New Farm Bill; Activists Cry Foul

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on February 10, 2014

    Anyone who pretends they're an expert on the 2014 Farm Bill that just passed just might be pulling your leg. The bill is full of details, and Purdue University ag economists say that how the rules are fleshed out will go a long way toward determining the impact of the bill. Direct payments were eliminated, but crop insurance was "strengthened," or at least that's what the buzz on the Internet says. The 800-pound gorilla that the House wanted to take out, food stamps, is still…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Tell Legislators to Stand Firm In Support of Agriculture

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on January 27, 2014

    Indiana has a Right to Farm law. For various reasons and because of rumblings about opposition to animal confinement units around the state, Senate Bill 186 was introduced to further clarify the importance of agriculture and animal production. This language would be added to existing law. The House companion bill is Bill 1200. Senate Bill 186 passed out of the Senate Committee hearing the bill unanimously in mid-January. Indiana Farm Bureau is on record applauding the efforts of the lawmakers…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Who Wants Your Property Rights as a Landowner?

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on November 4, 2013

    My office walls are adorned with various versions of the Prairie Farmer No Trespassing Sign, some dating back decades. One tin sign also talks about Prairie Farmer's Protective Union. The Protective Union was an effort to follow up on problems farmers were having, from disputes with neighbors to companies that didn't deliver a quality product through the mail. In these days of complicated legal jargon, it takes a bank of attorneys to solve some of those issues, and the Protective Union…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Thoughts About Conservation and the Farm Bill Debate

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on April 22, 2013

    Some Indiana conservation farmers would like to see conservation compliance added as a requirement to get federally subsidized crop insurance. They've met with U.S. Senator Joe Donnelley and expressed their opinions. Their idea is that if a farmer is going to get full benefits from subsidized crop insurance, he or she should have to qualify at some level of conservation compliance. If he or she doesn't comply, their costs for insurance should be higher. Savings could be used to fund…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Saving 'Private Sow?'

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on July 2, 2009

    Many of you have no doubt seen the movie 'Saving Private Ryan,' where a small band of soldiers are detailed to find and bring back Private Ryan, the last remaining family member after his brothers, unbeknownst to him, have already been killed in battle fighting in World War II. The mission was to send Ryan home to safety so that his parents wouldn't lose all their sons to war. Along the way, the search party encountered incredible obstacles, and suffered casualties of their own.   So what's…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Radio Commercial Strikes a Scary Note

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on March 25, 2009

    Lighter subjects tend to find their way into this Blog because it's more enjoyable to write about things that make you smile, especially if there's a point to it at the same time. Today's subject, however, isn't funny, but it is scary, at least to me. If you haven't got a whiff of what's going on behind the scenes yet in the name of animal welfare, it's high time you did. If you already have, then you should have some excellent insights to add to my comments.   Anyone who still thinks the…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Grandma’s Sugar Crème Pie

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on January 26, 2009

    Just in case the legislature needs an official recipe for the ‘official’ Indiana pie, here is a sure-fire recipe worth consideration. My late mother-in-law made a mouth watering pie using this recipe.   Old Fashion Crème Pie (From Virginia German, Huntertown)   Start with one cup white sugar, one-half cup brown sugar, one-half cup flour, and  one teaspoon of salt. Mix these dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add one cup boiling water, one cup of light crème (Half and Half), and…

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