Indiana House Ag Chair Mike Aylesworth Discusses Soil Conservation Legislation, Rural Broadband Expansion

by | Jan 23, 2023 | Indiana Agriculture News, News Feed, Policy

Increased soil and water conservation is the goal of one of your state lawmakers who is guiding legislation that directly impacts Indiana farmers and the ag industry.

“I farmed for 33 years in south Porter County, so I have a pretty good idea what the business is all about,” says State Rep. Mike Aylesworth from Hebron (shown above), who represents the 11th House District in northwestern Indiana. He’s also the new Chair of the Indiana House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

Aylesworth says one of his top priorities is improving soil tilth and water conservation across the state.

“I just see around in my own area and when I farmed, that farmers weren’t very careful about doing tillage in the fall,” according to Aylesworth. “That exposed the raw soil to winter rains and run off. As a result of that, the soil gets away from the farms and we’re losing topsoil and alarming rate. After all, we’re interested in food security in this country. and it’s very important to keep the top soil where it’s at.”

That’s why Aylesworth says he has introduced House Bill 1639 into the 2023 Session of the Indiana General Assembly.

“I’ve got a water development commission bill that allows other areas of the state by watershed area to form their watershed commission,” Aylesworth says. “One of the goals is to look at topsoil erosion with watershed protection. One of our biggest problems is ag runoff, and we need to do a better job with that and keeping soil out of our streams.”

Among the other policies impacting rural development is increased accessibility to broadband. Although Rep. Aylesworth says he wants to see broadband readily available in all parts of the state, he adds that it is going to take some time.

“It’s just a very expensive process and I liken it to the late 1930s when electricity was brought to rural America through the Rural Electrification Act in 1935,” according to Aylesworth. “Our farm, for instance, didn’t get electricity until the early 1940s. It takes a good number of years because it is so expensive, but the long-term goal is to get everybody on broadband.”

Click HERE to read more about House Bill 1639, written and introduced by Rep. Mike Aylesworth.

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s news report and interview with State Rep. Mike Aylesworth, Chair of the Indiana House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, as he discusses soil conservation legislation and rural broadband expansion across Indiana.

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