• Tom Bechman

    County Fair Fever Shifts Into High Gear

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on June 30, 2014

    I've been to a pretty good number of county fairs in Indiana over the years. A few have already taken place this year. Well over half are still to go. Find one near you and plan to attend. There's something about a county fair that brings a community together. It's a feeling you don't get the rest of the year. For example, how can you beat the down-home atmosphere of the Jackson County Fair in Brownstown? Throngs of people, mostly older folks, bring lawn chairs and sit on the…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Indiana Agriculture is in Good Hands

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on June 23, 2014

    Last week took me from Chrisney in Spencer County to Ireland in Dubois County to Purdue University and the Indiana FFA State Convention. Earlier I had driven from Posey County, with a stop in Hendricks County and to Jasper County to meet the Master Farmers who were honored last week. In between I squeezed in judging county fairs in Wayne and Rush County. Through my travels, I witnessed farmers learning from other farmers on Denis Whitsitt's farm, one of the Indiana Farm Tour hosts, to…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Tragedy Can Strike When You Least Expect It

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on June 16, 2014

    Five Franklin teenagers reminded all of us this past week that no one is invincible. No matter how big your tractor is or how many precautions you normally take, if you cut corners that one time, it may be a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, two of the five teens died, one is in critical condition, and the other two were rescued and are physically unharmed. The event played out on the Blue River near the small town of Edinburgh. It's the same Blue River some of you may remember form the…

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  • Tom Bechman

    USDA's Major Announcement on PEDV Swine Disease Will Affect Indiana

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on June 9, 2014

    Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last week announced more than $26 million in aid to help combat PEDV, the swine disease affecting most of the country. Part of the funding will help develop new vaccines, while some of it will help affected producers adopt biosecurity measures to help prevent re-infection. Unfortunately, re-infection has already been reported in some herds. The situation is serious enough that swine going to market could be down 10% this year by USDA estimates. One…

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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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