Dear Editor,
As seventh-generation farmers from Hamilton County, we know first-hand the foundational role of farmers in Indiana’s workforce. Without the health care and benefits needed, it is challenging to encourage younger generations to continue the family farm tradition.
Throughout its 100 year history, Indiana Farm Bureau has helped farmers by listening and responding to their needs. Today is no different. Farmers have identified the need for affordable health care, and Indiana Farm Bureau is responding by going before Indiana legislators to seek the approval to offer a health benefit option to provide more affordable health care to its members.
We are both farmers, but since we have been married, both of us have had to take off-farm employment to provide health benefits for our family. This is significant because we are serious about farming. We both intended to farm full-time, but the availability of health benefits has pulled us away from farming at different times.
Before the Affordable Care Act became law, we were able to afford health insurance for our family and for the employees that worked on our farm. Because of the high cost of health insurance today, we are unable to offer that benefit now, and still struggle with reliable health coverage for our family.
As young farmers, we support Senate Bill 184 because it will provide a more affordable option to the current health care marketplace. We believe it would help many farmers today and protect future generations of farmers.
Aaron and Lacey Sheller
Hamilton County farmers