Granger, Ind. — On Friday, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, highlighted what he hopes President Trump will focus on at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention in Nashville on Monday.
Donnelly said, “Hoosier farmers and rural communities are a critical part of Indiana, and I hope the President will address their most important concerns and priorities. During my farm bill listening sessions throughout the state last year, the agricultural issues I heard most about included the need to manage and mitigate the risks associated with farming, protecting crop insurance, expanding market and trade opportunities, supporting biofuels, and improving soil health. Farmers also talked to me about the importance of supporting rural communities in their efforts to address the opioid epidemic and supporting rural economies by developing rural broadband. These are all ideas that should be bipartisan and easy to support. I hope to work with President Trump and my colleagues on the Ag Committee to address these priorities in 2018.”
In 2017, Donnelly held 10 Farm Bill Listening Sessions to hear directly from Hoosiers about their priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill.
Donnelly has been a leader in the fight against the opioid abuse epidemic. In 2017, Donnelly introduced three bipartisan bills aimed at strengthening the tools USDA has to help rural communities combat opioid abuse, expand access to treatment through new facilities, and increase the availability of telemedicine. Donnelly was pleased to hear that the American Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union are working together to raise awareness on this devastating issue.
For years Donnelly has worked to rescind and rework the misguided Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and encourages the administration to develop a rule that is more workable for Hoosier stakeholders. In April 2015, Donnelly and Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced bipartisan legislation to require a rewriting of the WOTUS rule. It was voted on in the Senate in November 2015 but fell three votes short of advancing. That legislation had the support of the Indiana Farm Bureau, Simon Property Group, Indiana Corn Growers Association, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Waters Advocacy Coalition, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and many other ag organizations. In June 2017, Donnelly lauded the Trump Administration’s decision to write a revised WOTUS rule.