Agribusiness Council of Indiana Newsletter
January 15, 2018
Statement of NCFC and NGFA on Section 199A Tax Provisions
"We are aware of questions and concerns raised about the potential marketplace effects of the new section 199A of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as it relates to producers and agribusinesses.   Congress's intent in including this provision was to replicate the tax treatment previously available to co-op farmer-members, consistent with the bill's overarching goal of creating jobs and economic growth including in rural America.

"We are working intensively with stakeholders, including cooperatives, non-cooperative-owned agribusinesses and Senate offices, including Senators Hoeven, Thune and Roberts. The goal of these discussions is to arrive at an equitable solution that preserves the benefits that cooperatives and their farmer patrons previously enjoyed under Section 199 of the tax code, while addressing any unforeseen impacts on producers' marketing decisions. NCFC, NGFA and our stakeholders are committed to reaching a solution in a thoughtful and expeditious manner, and to working with Congress to address this issue promptly."

For more information,  click here .
Statement of Under Secretary Greg Ibach on Section 199A Tax Code Fix
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach issued the following statement regarding efforts to address concerns with recent changes to Section 199A of the federal tax code. Some agriculture stakeholders have raised questions about potential market effects on cooperatives and independent grain-related businesses:
 
"The aim of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was to spur economic growth across the entire American economy, including in the agricultural sector. While the goal was to preserve benefits in Section 199A for cooperatives and their patrons, the unintended consequences of the current language disadvantage the independent operators in the same industry. The federal tax code should not pick winners and losers in the marketplace. We applaud Congress for acknowledging and moving to correct the disparity, and our expectation is that a solution is forthcoming. USDA stands ready to assist in any way necessary."
Jan. 17 Webinar to Connect 
Grain Quality and Safety
Registration now is available for a special webinar presentation on how the proper handling and storage of grain intersects with improved safety practices, including engulfment prevention. A benefit of the alliance entered into in September between the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the "How Grain Quality and Safety Intersect" webinar will air Jan. 17, 2018, at 3 p.m. EST/2 p.m. CDT. 
News from the Statehouse
The second week of the 2018 General Assembly has come to an end, and the deadlines for filing bills in both chambers have passed. A list of all bills that have been filed and assigned to committees so far this session is available here.    Governor Eric Holcomb gave his State of the State Address on Tuesday. In his speech, Governor Holcomb focused on workforce development, calling the lack of adequate education and skills for workers the "defining issue of the decade". Other highlighted issues were the Department of Child Services, for which a transparent review will be conducted and the opioid crisis. The full text of his address can be found here .   Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush gave the State of the Judiciary on Wednesday. Rush's speech, titled " A Hope-Filled Future ," focused on the state's drug crisis as well as improving the judicial branch through more rigorous training programs and effective use of technology.  
On Monday, the Senate Republican Caucus outlined its 2018 legislative agenda. Senate President Pro Tempore David Long emphasized Sunday alcohol sales, workforce development, regulation of property seizure and school funding. In addition, the Senate Republicans hope to implement mandated prescription monitoring to prevent opioid abuse. The Senate GOP news release can be found here.  
Key Bills to Review
The ACI Government Affairs Team will be monitoring session for bills impacting ACI members including items related to food safety regulations, certification programs, transportation and environmental issues, rulemaking from the seed board and more. Frequent updates will be sent to members along with action alerts as needed. Here are several bills of interest:
SB 330 : Seed Commissioner Rulemaking. This bill provides that the state seed commissioner may not adopt rules banning all varieties of Amaranthus.

SB 331: Implementation of Federal Food Safety Regulations. ACI lobbyist Mark Shublak has been invited to work with industry leaders and legislators to make this bill more limiting in its scope and able to be applied more consistently and to create the safest and least regulatory burdens possible for producers and consumers.

SB 384: Liens for Agricultural Supply Dealers. This bill creates an agricultural supply dealer lien and establishes conditions concerning the creation of, prioritization of, and enforcement of the lien.

HB 1012: Neonicotinoid Pesticides. Requires the pesticide review board to adopt rules prohibiting the use of neonicotinoids (certain insecticides having a chemical structure similar to the chemical structure of nicotine).

HB 1098: Seed Commissioner and State Chemist. This bill provides that the state seed commissioner or state chemist may adopt emergency rules for a purpose for which the seed commissioner or state chemist is currently authorized to adopt rules under certain horticulture product and control laws.

HB1227: Noxious Weeds. Specifies that waterhemp, marestail, and Palmer amaranth are noxious weeds for purposes of the weed control board law, which requires the weed control board to take all necessary and proper steps to control noxious weeds affecting agricultural production in Indiana.

PLEASE NOTE: ACI is looking for feedback on the question of whether all varieties of amaranth should be placed on the restricted weed seed list. To provide input please contact Amy Cornell at acornell@inagribiz.org or 317-416-7465 and/or Mark Shublak at mark.shublak@icemiller.com .
2018 Legislative Session Calendar - 
IMPORTANT DATES
Jan. 3 -  House and Senate Convene
Jan. 9 -  State of the State Address
Feb. 5 -  Deadline for bills to clear House
Feb. 6 -  Deadline for bills to clear Senate
Mar. 5 -  Deadline for Senate bills to clear House
Mar. 6 -  Deadline for House bills to clear Senate
Mar. 14 - Last day for Sine Die of 2018 short session

Click here for the Full House Session Calendar

Click here for the  Full Senate Session Calendar

Please contact Mark Shublak at mark.shublak@icemiller.com or Lesa Dietrick at lesa.dietrick@icemiller.com if you have any questions.
Indiana Department of Workforce Development Next Level Jobs Webinar, An Inside Look at Agriculture, Scheduled for January 30
Join staff leaders from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to take a look inside the new Next Level Jobs initiative recently launched by Governor Eric Holcomb. This webinar, to be held on  Tuesday, January 30, at 2 p.m. EST , is being offered exclusively for members of Farm Bureau, the Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana Dairy Producers, the Indiana State Poultry Association, the Indiana Pork Producers Association, the Illiana Watermelon Association and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Bose McKinney & Evans and Ice Miller will also participate. The program will break down the various components and requirements of the Employer Training Grants and touch on Workforce Ready Grants. Among the highlights will be information on how employers can be reimbursed up to $2,500 per employee (and up to $25,000 total) for training programs. We will look at agriculture-specific occupations eligible for the grants.
IMPORTANT: If the date and time does not work for your schedule, we encourage everyone interested to still register. All who register will receive a link to a recording of the program.  To register, click here .
First Farmers Bank & Trust 2018 Ag Summit Scheduled for January 23
The 2018 Ag Summit is a day of nationally recognized speakers and peer networking at Ross-Ade Stadium Pavilion & Event Center. The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 23. The event is free to attend, but registration is required. To learn more and to reserve your spot, click here.
Registration Now Open for the 2018 Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference
Women who work in the agricultural industry can network and learn about topics ranging from risk management to herb gardening at the  2018 Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference.

The conference will be held February 21-22 at the Horizon Convention Center in Muncie, Indiana. There will also be an optional pre-conference session on February 20 and a special program available for young ladies in grades 8-12. For more information or to register, click here.
NRCS Announces Deadline for Conservation Innovation Grants
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering grants for innovative ideas for conservation strategies and technologies. NRCS plans to invest $10 million in the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program, funding innovative conservation projects in three focus areas: grazing lands, organic systems and soil health. Grant proposals are due Feb. 26, 2018.

This year, NRCS is focusing funding on three areas:  
  • Grazing Lands: Helping livestock producers make grazing management decisions, encouraging prescribed burning as a grazing management practice, and improving access to conservation planning tools used for developing grazing management plans.
  • Organic Agriculture Systems: Helping organic producers develop innovative cropping and tillage systems, edge-of-field monitoring, crop rotations, and intercropping systems.
  • Soil Health: Supporting both cropping and grazing systems, in a variety of climatic zones, that incorporate soil health management systems for addressing specific resource concerns like nutrients and availability. Evaluating multiple soil health assessment methods to assist in the development of new soil health indicators and thresholds.
  • Potential applicants should review the announcement of program funding available at www.grants.gov , which includes application materials and submission procedures. Projects can last up to three years. The maximum award amount for any project this year is $2 million.
NRCS is hosting a webinar for potential CIG applicants on Jan. 11, 2018, at 4 p.m. Eastern. Information on how to join the webinar can be found on the NRCS CIG webpage.   To learn more about CIG in Indiana, visit: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/in/programs/financial/cig/ .

The Next Round of Rural Energy for America Grants are Due March 31, 2018
The United States Department of Agriculture offers the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants for the purchase, installation and construction of a renewable energy system or energy efficiency upgrades. REAP creates opportunities for economic development for rural small businesses, farmers and ranchers by supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. REAP grants provide a 25% cash reimbursement of the total system costs, with a maximum grant of $500,000 for renewable energy systems and $250,000 for energy efficiency systems.

To get started on your application, contact Prosperity Ag & Energy Resources.
Weekly Washington Report - 1-15-18
(by Steve Kopperud)
Click  HERE  to access the full Washington Report featuring these important stories:
  • Senate Ag Committee Gets Two New Members 
  • Trump Tells Farm Bureau Convention What It Wants to Hear 
  • No White House Decision on NAFTA Until Post Mexican Election in July 
  • "Technical Corrections" to New Tax Law Coming; First Up, Fix to Co-Op Pass-Through Deduction
  • IRS, Treasury Release Guidance on Tax Withholding
  • DACA Deal or No Deal?
  • Perdue Releases Task Force Report on "Rural Prosperity," Says Farm Bill "Principles" Coming Soon
  • Senators Want More Money for Aging Waterways System 
  • Senate RFS Talks at Impasse: Grassley 
  • CFTC, K-State to Hold First-Ever Commodity Futures Conference 
  • USDA's 94 th
    Annual Outlook Conference Opens Registration 
2018
ACI Board of Directors
  
ACI Chair
Rod Miller
Crop Fertility Specialist
  
Vice Chair
Drew Garretson
Winfield/Land O'Lakes

ACI Secretary
Marv Ulmet
Bane-Welker Equipment
  
ACI Treasurer
 Jim Engelberth
Dow AgroSciences
  
ACI BOARD MEMBERS

Justin Daugherty
GROWMAR

Ben Green
Purple Ribbon Seeds

George Greenwood
ADM Grain 

Jason Helms
AgReliant

John Larimer
Lords Seed
  
Alan Lowe
Lowe's Pellets & Grain

Brad McCord
Co-Alliance
  
Mike Schweickert
J. P. Morgan Securities, LLC

 ACI   Ex-Officio
Dave Reichhart
AgPlus
  
ISTA Ex-Officio
Rodney Busick
Syngenta

Ex-Officio
Allen Galbraith
ICIA

Ex-Officio
Dr. Jayson Lusk
Purdue
Dept of Ag Economics

Ex-Officio
Don Robison
OISC

Ex-Officio
Dr. Ron Turco
Purdue
Dept of Agronomy

Our Vision:  
The Agribusiness Council of Indiana will be the premier advocate serving members' business interests.
  
Our Mission: 
 The Agribusiness Council of Indiana supports members with legislative representation, industry insight and regulatory guidance.


Follow us! 

Follow us on Twitter