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Interim Study Committee Discusses Farmland Preservation

By Samantha Horton, IPB News | Published on in Agriculture, Business, Economy, Government
St. Joseph County farmer Bob Humbarger shares his concerns about economic development harming farmland in his area at an interim study committee meeting. (Samantha Horton/IPB News)
St. Joseph County farmer Bob Humbarger shares his concerns about economic development harming farmland in his area at an interim study committee meeting. (Samantha Horton/IPB News)

Indiana lawmakers continue to talk about the state’s involvement in farmland preservation. The complex issue comes at a time when farmers are struggling.

The Interim Study Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources is looking at ways to protect Hoosier farmland while also encouraging economic growth. The committee was formed last session through a bill that was introduced on the topic.

Indiana Farm Bureau State Government Relations Director Justin Schnieder says it’s a complex issue balancing farmland preservation and economic development.

“I think when you look at a farm economy that’s been on a downward trajectory for the last few years, there’s definitely an incentive for landowners to look for other revenue streams,” says Schnieder.

He says market incentives could encourage landowners to consider bringing solar and wind installations onto some of their fields.