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Former USDA secretary Johanns to speak at ag policy summit

Former USDA secretary Johanns to speak at ag policy summit

By Andi Anderson

Indiana farmers face many challenges during the growing season, from weather to regulatory changes.

The Indiana Ag Policy Summit, an annual event presented by the Indiana Soybean Alliance’s Membership and Policy Committee (M&P) and the Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA), aims to address these issues.

This year's event is set for Wednesday, July 31, at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Noblesville, Ind.

Registration opens at 7:30 a.m., with the program starting at 8:30 a.m. Lunch is included, and the event concludes with opportunities for farmers to interact with lawmakers and stakeholders from noon to 3 p.m. To register, visit

Former USDA Secretary Mike Johanns, who served under President George W. Bush, will be the keynote speaker. Johanns will discuss the 2024 Farm Bill's status, potential outcomes, and alternatives as its September expiration approaches.

He will highlight key political dynamics and explore solutions to secure future funding. Additionally, Johanns will explain the importance of the Research and Development Tax credit for U.S. farmers. The session, moderated by Greg Knarr from alliantgroup, includes a 20-minute Q&A.

"The Ag Policy Summit is a great event to discuss what’s important on farms and to engage with policy decision-makers," said ICGA President Chris Cherry. "With former USDA Secretary Johanns, we will cover federal policy and the farm bill, as well as state issues like expanding infrastructure for container shipping of ag products."

Expanding container shipping capacity has been identified as crucial for Indiana’s growth by the Ports of Indiana and the state’s corn and soybean checkoff programs. A panel will discuss these plans at the Summit.

Kyle Kunkler from the American Soybean Association will lead a discussion on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s herbicide strategy to comply with the Endangered Species Act, affecting pesticide use in certain state areas.

The Technology Showcase will feature ag tech companies presenting solutions to make farming more efficient. Equipment dealer Bane-Welker will demonstrate Raven and Trimble equipment and offer savings on select displays and steering units.

Approximately 10 companies will participate in the Showcase, with more announcements to come on ISA and ICGA’s social media pages.

The Summit will also see the announcement of the 2024 Friend of Farmer award winner. Last year’s recipient was Ted McKinney, CEO of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

This award honors those who promote Indiana farmers through advocacy on age policy.

The event is made possible by sponsors, including Premier sponsor alliant group, Gold sponsors Pioneer and Farm Credit Mid-America, Silver sponsors Bane-Welker and Insta-Pro, and Bronze sponsor Beck’s Hybrids. Lunch is sponsored by the United Soybean Board.

New this year is the Member Appreciation Night on July 30 at West Fork Whiskey in Westfield, Ind., exclusive for ICGA and M&P members.

This evening of fun, food, and networking serves as a perk for members. For membership details and event participation, contact Khyla Goodman at

Photo Credit: gettyimages-livingimages

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Categories: Indiana, Government & Policy

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