On February 21st, the 2017 EPLP class visited the Indiana Statehouse for their first session of this year’s program. The day kicked off with introductions and a welcome from ACI President, Amy Cornell. The ACI Government Affairs Team of Mark Shublak and Lesa Dietrick gave the group an in depth overview of ACI’s legislative agenda and the political process of lobbying and advocacy. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch then joined our group to explain her new duties. She oversees a portfolio that includes the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) among other departments. Her outlook for the State of Indiana is promising and she urged our young professionals to be involved and stay involved.
We were then joined by two (2) state legislators; Representative Don Lehe (House 25) – Chair, House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and Member Environmental Affairs Committee and Senator Jean Leising (Senate 42) – Chair, Senate Agriculture Committee. They gave us insight into current bills being discussed, the process that goes into the passing of a bill and how these issues would affect agriculture in the state. We then heard from a panel of association representatives who advocate for agriculture on our behalf. They included: Elisha Kemp, Manager, US Government and Corporate Affairs, Dow AgroSciences; Josh Trenary, Executive Director, Indiana Pork; and Katrina Hall, Director of Policy, Indiana Farm Bureau. The group concluded the day with a tour of the Statehouse including a birds-eye-view of the General Assembly in action.
The 2017 EPLP class will meet for Session #2 on May 10th in Milford as they visit Maple Leaf Farms and CT, Inc.
For more information about the program, the application process and to see agendas for each session over the past two years, see the links below.