With a significant portion of our district covering rural communities like Grabill, Harlan and Woodburn, it is incumbent upon me to be a strong advocate for agriculture. Representing these areas, I have an appreciation for the fact that ever year farming is a tremendous gamble for many of my constituents. There is no guarantee of beautiful weather, flawlessly functioning machinery, healthy animals and favorable market prices.
What can be guaranteed, however, is that some excellent pro-ag-bills passed through the General Assembly in 2014, and will take effect July 1. I am proud to highlight two bills in particular: Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 101 and SEA 186.
I was proud to support SEA 101, which deals with trespassing on farm property. The legislation states that an individual is committing criminal trespass if, without the owner’s permission, they enter an agricultural operation and cause property damage. For me, SEA 101 was an easy yes vote because it recognizes the fundamental principle that private property should never be violated or trespassed. This new law will give farmers legal protection against intruders, particularly those with bad intentions.
Another key ag bill I supported this year was SEA 186, which reinforces Indiana’s commitment to being a ‘right to farm’ state. SEA 186 protects the rights of farmers to choose among all generally accepted farming and livestock production practices, including the use of ever-changing technology. Indiana is dedicated to protecting its local farmers, particularly from those who seek to exploit laws to the detriment of the agricultural community.
I was very pleased with everything we accomplished for the agricultural communities across Indiana. This spring, when the tractors are out and about, I encourage you to join me in giving the driver a wave, and thanking him or her for everything they do. These folks are our neighbors, and they deserve our respect for the crucial role they play in feeding not only our community, but our nation.
Rep. Cox serves a portion of Allen County.