One of traditions at the opening day of the Indiana State Fair is the Ham Breakfast hosted by the Indiana Pork Producers. The keynote speaker at this year’s event was, you guessed it, none other than the top ham himself, Governor Mitch Daniels, who said he remains committed to expansion of the pork industry in the state.
In an interview with Hoosier Ag Today, Daniels said the state is on track to reach his goal of doubling pork production in the next 10 years, “We said we wanted to double pork production, and to do that you have to grow about 7% a year, and that is about where we are at.” Daniels said more importantly is progress is also being made educating Hoosier consumers about the pork industry. “Slowly but surely we are changing some of those misconceptions,” he said.
The Governor reaffirmed his support for agriculture and for the pork industry. As he begins the campaign for re-election, he said his stand on agriculture has not changed, “It is right there written down in our strategy along with biofuels, food processing, and the hardwood sector.”
The Governor was joined at the Ham breakfast by Lt. Governor Becky Skillman who also voiced strong support for agriculture and the pork industry.
Here is an “accomplishment” the administration brags about having accomplished in the area of pork production since the release of its “Possibilities Unbound” strategic plan in 2005.
ISDA staff attended and provided testimony at local zoning and other county meetings to express the economic importance of expanded agricultural production – especially of pork and other livestock operations.
This accomplishment should concern and frighten all Hoosiers. The State is making sure that counties “understand” the importance of appropriate zoning (or even worse, the lack thereof) which will encourage and support the explosive growth in the number of CAFOs which has occurred since Daniels and Skillman unleashed the Possibilities Unbound plan in 2005.
Here are a couple of future “accomplishments” anticipated by the Guv and his buddies who want to turn Indiana into one big CAFO:
1. Advance legislation in order to qualify producers for economic incentives currently afforded to business owners who invest and create jobs. This will include a full review of Indiana Economic Development Corporation programs for changes required to support livestock production investments. (Meaning: Don’t let any anti-CAFO legislation through.)
2. Review the Informa Economics commissioned report on the market forces and business/regulatory climate affecting the pork industry to determine appropriate next steps for responsible growth. (Meaning: Get rid of those pesky administrative regulations which hinder or thwart efforts to increase the number of CAFOs.)
3. Develop an Indiana Food and Agricultural Venture Fund to provide non-debt capital in support of new agricultural businesses and those looking to expand. Livestock operations of all types and sizes would be eligible for this support. (Meaning: Wow. Let’s fund the very operations that are environmental hazards to the state.)
Folks, ever hear of the old saying, “A chicken in every pot?” It isn’t chickens anymore, it’s pork, and Daniels and Skillman are making sure that as many piggies go to market as possible – even if it is as the expense of our state’s environment and health.