US Ag secretary talks to farmers at Indiana State Fair

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Aug. 8, 2017, visited with farmers at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana farmers sent a message to Washington, D.C., after they met with President Donald Trump’s team.

Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and U.S. Sen. Todd Young, both Republicans, had a little fun with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue at the Indiana State Fair on Tuesday — from interacting with creatures, playing mini-golf and talking with kids.

But the state fair trip wasn’t all fun and games. Farmers and Indiana agriculture leaders met with the lawmakers for an hour.

The group discussed a farm bill federal lawmakers are drafting. We weren’t allowed to stay for the discussion, but afterward, farmers Tom Dull and Kendell Culp told us how it went.

“We hear a lot of negative news about what goes on in Washington and about our federal government, but it’s real positive when not only they come to us but they want to hear from us,” Culp said.

“Most everything that somebody brought up he was on top of it already,” Dull said. “He knew what was being referenced. He even had some facts and figures and threw back at some of the other folks.”

A farm bill was signed three years ago. A new one is expected to be voted on next year. Before it does, Hoosier farmers told Perdue they need crop insurance. This way, if weather impacts production, they can recover losses.

The other issue: trade. A problem they say could arise if President Donald Trump throws out old deals.

“While crop insurance is important to farm year to year, the ability to sell our commodity and to know that we have a market for what we produce is really what’s going to keep us in business long term,” Culp said.

A fair outing that could prove vital for Hoosier farmers for years to come.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for us to tell our story,” Dull said.

“It reassures me and gives me a lot of confidence in our government,” Culp said.

Lawmakers are still drafting the legislation. The goal is to debate and vote on a farm bill next year.

Perdue didn’t just visit Indiana. He stopped at four other Midwestern states. However, Indiana was the final part of his tour.

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