INDIANAPOLIS – State Senator Richard D. Young, Jr. (D-Milltown) is the co-author of a number bills that aim to protect the rights of farmers and the agricultural community. Sen. Young said Senate Bill (SB) 179 and SB 186 are designed to extend a helping hand to an industry that is very important to the state’s economy.

“Indiana’s agriculture sector has long been the backbone of the Hoosier economy, generating nearly 38 billion dollars in economic output and supporting hundreds of thousands of Hoosier jobs,” said Sen. Young. “We need to make sure we do everything we can to encourage, and not hinder, Indiana’s agricultural and farming sectors.”

SB 179 would decrease the extent of oversight and regulation required for agricultural operations if they meet certain requirements, such as the size of the operation. SB 186 would establish the state policy on agriculture and farmers’ rights, declaring the state will conserve, protect and encourage the development and improvement of the state’s farming and agricultural sectors. Both initiatives unanimously passed the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Monday.

Two additional initiatives authored by Sen. Young are scheduled to receive committee hearings. They include SB 300, a bill that would provide for a veteran’s employment preference when applying for state employment, as well as SB 357, a bill that would allow the Indiana Department of Agriculture to license the cultivation and production of industrial hemp.

SB 300 will be heard next week in the Senate Homeland Security, Transportation and Veterans Affairs Committee and SB 357 will be heard next week in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Sen. Young represents Senate District 47 which encompasses portions of Crawford, Dubois, Harrison, Orange, Perry and Washington counties. For more information on Sen. Young, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business, call 1-800-382-9467 or visit