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COLUMBIA CITY â€” Indiana has 47,000 farms that are 220 acres or less. More than 75 percent of the stateâ€™s farms fall into the â€śsmall farmâ€ť category, according to a 2007 Census of Agriculture. With such a high percentage of small farms in the state, agriculture legislation should be a hot topic among voters.
However, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reportedly appeared at a forum where he said rural America is â€śbecoming less and less relevant.â€ť He encouraged voters with a stake in agriculture to speak up so rural America can still have a voice.
â€śWe need a proactive message, not a reactive message,â€ť Vilsack said. â€śHow are you going to encourage young people to want to be involved in rural America or farming if you donâ€™t have a proactive message? Because you are competing against the world now.â€ť
Indiana State Sen. Jim Banks said he understands the needs of rural areas.
â€śI work with a mind set that I am representing rural areas,â€ť Banks said. â€śItâ€™s different than representing metropolitan areas. We have to be mindful of small towns and rural areas in Indiana. We canâ€™t afford to discount these smaller areas.â€ť
For a more in-depth look at this story, see the Jan. 2 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.