IN Family Farmers Join New Agriculture Council with HSUS

May 2, 2014
By
James Benham joined the new Indiana Agricultural Council with HSUS. Photo Courtesy of James Benham.

James Benham joined the new Indiana Agricultural Council with HSUS. Photo Courtesy of James Benham.

Indiana is the seventh state to join forces with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to form an agricultural council, designed to bring local farmers together with the Society to provide guidance and help foster better practices.

James Benham, president of the Indiana Farmers Union, has been a farmer in Versailles for the past 40 years.

He joined the newly formed council because he says rural family farmers have very little representation at the state level – and a lot of people who are making the rules don’t have agricultural experience.

He says education is key to bridging the gaps.

“Trying to convey what goes on on a farm and actually what goes on in an urban setting to both sides,” he adds. “And you know, without that communication nothing ever gets done and at the end of the day, nobody wins.

“So my job, I think, is to basically just be a voice for both sides.”

According to the society, its mission with the state agricultural councils is to receive assistance from local farmers and provide a place where family farmers can gain assistance with marketing opportunities – so the society can highlight farmers who are good stewards for the animals as well as the environment.

Other states include Colorado, North Carolina, Iowa, Ohio, Nebraska and Missouri.

Benham says there have been many changes in farming over the last few decades.

With a push for cheap food, many family farmers are being priced out of business with large commercial operations taking their place.

He says the general public has a very different perception of what is really going on with food in this country.

He cites many commercials for big companies that show small family farmers.

“Then when reality hits and they go down the interstate and you see a feed lot that’s three miles long,” he says. “What the heck’s happened to us?

“So, those kind of things need to be discussed and talked about and why we’ve gotten where we’ve gotten.”

The environmental impacts from feedlots have been well documented and vary from state to state.

Joe Maxwell, a hog farmer and vice president of outreach for the Humane Society of the United States, says between 1997 and 2002, Indiana lost almost 10 percent of its family farmers and since 1978, the U.S. lost 1 million family farmers.

He says his group hopes to expand the state councils to include ranchers and farmers in about 20 to 25 states.

Indiana News Service

Listen Live

Upcoming Events

May
27
Wed
8:00 am Canoefest Monthly Raffle @ Canoefest
Canoefest Monthly Raffle @ Canoefest
May 27 @ 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Next drawing is April 17 Drawing Brookville Tire Mart: 2 Reds Tickets.  The grand prizes at the June 27th drawing will be $2500, $500 (3), $200 (5), $100 (10) and $50 (20). Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. The winning monthly ticket goes back in the jar for future drawings and the grand prizes. Purchase tickets at local businesses in Brookville. Direct any questions to Tara Keys. Canoefest is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization striving to bring appreciation to the sport of canoeing and kayaking as well as knowledge of the sport.
7:00 pm Battle of the Bands at Liberty P... @ Liberty Park
Battle of the Bands at Liberty P... @ Liberty Park
May 27 @ 7:00 pm
DEADLINE JUNE 1st ! Batesville Music & Arts Festival presents: Don’t miss local “Garage” bands battling for prizes and top honors! Sponsored by the Batesville High School Music Boosters. Food & refreshments provided by Batesville Kiwanis. FREE Admission Contact: Taaron Meyers, 513.484.5153 to enter your band! Bring Lawn Chairs, open  to the public! 1st, 2nd & 3rd place & winners on Class x Radio FM Registration forms & contest rules available in your high school office / music dept. or at www.facebook.com/batesvillebands
May
28
Thu
11:00 am All Veterans Career Fair @ Paul Brown Stadium/Two Paul Brown Stadium
All Veterans Career Fair @ Paul Brown Stadium/Two Paul Brown Stadium
May 28 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
RecruitMilitary, a national military recruiting firm established in 1998, and DAV, a major veteran service organization established in 1920 and serving veterans of all eras, have partnered and are delivering a career fair for military veterans in the Cincinnati area. Anyone who has served on active duty, in the National Guard, or in the Reserves and their spouses is invited to attend this event to find a new career. 40+ local, regional and national companies will attend to recruit for open positions. Companies include: New York City Police Department, City of New York Fire Department, PSE & G, The Home Depot, Bank of America, The Home Depot, Mars Chocolate and many more. This event is proudly sponsored by AdvancePierre Foods. For a full company list and all details of the event, please visit, RecruitMilitary.com/Cincinnati. There is no cost for veterans or their spouses to attend. Employers interested in attending the event to recruit talented military veterans are invited to learn more here.

View Calendar