[r20] Rep. Dermody calls for mint distilleries to be recognized as farm operations (2/8/2011)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Start Date: 2/8/2011 All Day
End Date: 2/8/2011

Rep. Dermody calls for mint distilleries to be recognized as farm operations

STATEHOUSE - State Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) authored House Bill 1451 that would specify that a mint distilling operation would be considered a farming operation. HB 1451 would also regulate mint distilleries to follow Air Pollution Control Board rules, just as any other farming operation.

Under current law, mint distilleries, which make peppermint and spearmint oils, are not considered farming operations and therefore are not subject to certain regulations reserved for farms.

Rep. Dermody drafted the bill in response to an incident in Starke County last year after a dog jumped into the water near a mint distillery and was killed. The incident led to farmers being forcefully questioned by the FBI.

"Mint farmers harvest a valuable crop and should be recognized as being as important as any other farm," said Rep. Dermody. "Agriculture is a great resource for the Indiana economy, not to mention mint distilleries create jobs in Indiana and $16 million to $20 million in revenue a year."

"These farms should have the same regulations as any other.  I am concerned with the astringent federal regulations that are encroaching on our Hoosier farmers," said Rep. Dermody.

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