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[r25] Cow-tipping, the bigger picture
Start Date: 2/6/2013Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Date: 2/6/2013End Time: 8:00 AM
Entry Description

Cow-tipping, the bigger picture

Cow-tipping, driving through a crop field and stealing farm equipment are just some of the crimes we associate with agriculture.  Even though cow tipping is considered to be an urban legend, many of the crimes House Bill (HB) 1562 addresses are real issues for our community.

HB 1562 enhances the crimes of theft, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, burglary and criminal conversion in regard to agricultural issues, classifying them as a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum of one year imprisonment or a fine of $5,000.  

Hoosiers across Indiana will also see an increase in punishment dealing with obstructing the lawful use of an agricultural operation through coercion, fear or intimidation to a Class B misdemeanor with 180 days imprisonment or a $1,000 fine.  

Our focus is to prevent certain groups from trespassing onto farmers’ properties illegally.  We also hope to discourage the theft of chemicals used to make illegal drugs and homemade explosives along with copper wire and other metals that are pawned for profit.

Indiana is not the only state hampered with agricultural crimes. In 2010, California had a rash of theft, vandalism and trespassing on farms. Ohio, Texas and Oklahoma also reported an increase of agriculture-related crimes, leading farmers to take action. 

The issues that arise with agriculture-related crimes affect our community on a personal level.  Since many of us rely on agriculture to support our families, it becomes more difficult to carry out our every day jobs if we are dealing with crimes against our livelihood.  It is more than a ‘simple crime’ against farms, it is against our community.  

As a farmer, I have seen first-hand the damage caused by acts of theft, vandalism and trespassing. My farm provides for my family – should it have less protection under the law than an office building, school, hospital or any other workplace? 

My goal for HB 1562 is that it will prevent the crimes directly affecting our district.  With harsher punishments fitting the crimes, we can deter individuals who insist on disrupting the agriculture community we are proud to be a part of.  

HB 1562 has been referred to the Committee on Courts and Criminal Code and is co-authored by Reps. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) and Alan Morrison (R-Terre Haute).  Guidance from our communities led us to creating this bill, and we hope to see it through the entire legislative process.

As always, I encourage you to contact me with any questions or comments you may have. I can be reached by phone at 317-234-2993 or email at h25@in.gov

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State Rep. Don Lehe serves as Chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. He also serves on the Environmental Affairs Committee and the Public Health Committee.  Rep. Lehe represents portions of White, Cass, Carroll, Clinton and Tippecanoe Counties.

Contact Information:
Name: Maggie Johnson
Phone: 317-232-9693
Email: majohnso@iga.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • About Indiana
  • Agriculture & Environment
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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