Rep. Frye: Keeping the Hoosier farming heritage alive

Posted by: Hannah Carlock  | Friday, July 29, 2016 9:30 am

In the midst of fair season, I wanted to take time to talk about agriculture and how farming has been a way of life since the founding of our state 200 years ago. In fact, our economy thrives off of Indiana’s agriculture industry, bringing in more than $44 billion and employing 190,000 Hoosiers. Indiana is part of the Corn Belt and is one of the leading states for soybean, pork and egg production in the U.S. As a legislator, I know agriculture plays a vital role in our livelihood and I will continue to promote legislation benefiting our farming industry.

This year’s General Assembly passed two noteworthy pieces of legislation positively impacting and supporting our farmers. One of Indiana’s new laws provides immediate farmland property tax relief to Hoosier farmers. This new law requires assessors to maintain annually updated Geographic Information System data on real property parcels, including farm land, in order to arrive at accurate and reliable assessments.

Another new law eliminates the USDA’s new soil productivity factors, changes the formula to limit annual increases in assessed value and uses the most recent data available to determine the base rate for assessing property taxes on farm land. The new statewide agriculture base rate for tax assessment will now be calculated based off of the previous year’s growth quotient. This new law will significantly decrease the property-tax burden on Hoosier farmers.

According to the USDA, one farmer can feed 155 people for a year. The use of soil science, hybridized crops, selective livestock breeding, modern machinery and equipment, modern herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers have made Indiana the 10th most productive agriculture state in the nation.  My hope is these new laws will help keep our farming industry strong for future generations.

Local fairs are important because they help promote community involvement, youth development and Indiana’s agricultural heritage. I enjoy strolling through the exhibition halls to see all of the 4-H projects that the 4-H’ers have devoted so much time and effort to complete. The fairs are a great way to instill leadership in our youth and keep interest in agriculture.

As always, please contact me with questions or input at 317-234-3827 or by email at h67@iga.in.gov. I appreciate hearing from members of the community in order to better represent our district. Stay up-to-date with the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.iga.in.gov/h67.

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Rep. Frye (R-Greensburg) represents Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland counties, as well as portions of Decatur, Jennings, Jefferson and Dearborn counties. 

A high-resolution photo of Frye can be downloaded by clicking here.