(Photo/Kim Closson)

The Indiana Farm Bureau will prod legislators to shield rural areas from economic damage from population loss.

49 of Indiana’s 92 counties lost people in the last decade, most of them rural. Indiana’s 12 largest counties gained people, while the 13 smallest shrank. Farm Bureau public policy director Andy Tauer says the Farm Bureau isn’t seeking specific bills in the upcoming session, but wants to make sure legislators start to think about how to offset the potential squeeze created in rural areas by declining population.

Tauer says the growing popularity of electric cars creates potential problems for farmers who profit from ethanol and biodiesel. And he says legislators need to think about fixes to Indiana school funding, which is closely tied to enrollment. Tauer says local schools are often the glue which holds rural communities together, and says declining enrollment as people migrate…

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