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Indiana farmland values still rising says Ag Economist

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Purdue agricultural economist expects Indiana farmland values to keep rising this year, continuing a trend that has seen them increase by 270 percent since 1985.

Farmland increased in value by 12 percent last year. In June 2010, the average price for an acre of land in Indiana was $4,419. With the strong prices in place since last fall, Craig Dobbins expects values to increase significantly.

“When you buy a capital asset, you are buying future income,” said Dobbins, who explained that the three main factors driving farmland values are income, interest rates and the growth rate of annual income.

Income has a positive relationship to farmland value. Farm income – what is left after subtracting all costs except land from the overall revenue – has increased greatly with strong commodity prices.

While commodity prices have increased with ethanol production, rising farm input costs need to be watched and have cut into farms’ total income, Dobbins said.

“In 2009, petroleum costs went way up and fertilizer costs hit $1,000 per ton, which was higher than we ever imagined,” he said. “This squeezed crop production margins. Farmland values didn’t increase as much and, in some cases, small declines occurred.”

Interest rates also drive farmland value because low interest rates make it easier to pay for a capital asset like land and make alternative investments less attractive.

“This is one area that a lot of people are talking about, as interest rates peaked in the 1980s and have been coming down ever since,” Dobbins said. “That’s helped increase farmland value, but zero is the bottom on interest rates, so it’s likely that they will at least flatten out.”

Dobbins said that with a growing world population and increased demand, many expect the growth rate of annual incomes to continue to be strong. Better crop genetics, tillage systems and weed control have led to increased yields and increased income.

Many other factors influence farmland prices, such as location and potential development. But, with the greatly decreased housing market of recent years, Dobbins said the movement of farmland into residential developments has slowed dramatically.

Far more people are interested in buying farmland than selling it, Dobbins said. Although it appears likely that farmland values will continue to increase, he advised farmers to be cautious with all purchase and sales decisions.

“Current farmland values are not excessive, but this is all based on the idea that expectations of strong farmland income, low interest rates and a continued growth in farmland income will be realized,” Dobbins said. “Sometimes expectations, even widely held expectations, are not realized. When this happens, there can be significant downward adjustments in farmland values. Farmers need to carefully budget through any decision to buy land.”

For additional information on farmland values, view the paper and video materials developed by the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture at

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Boilermaker Special V

Boilermaker Special in the shop at Wabash National for overhaul

Boilermaker SpecialWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — If the Purdue campus has seemed quiet the last several weeks, it could be because the Boilermaker Special has not been around. Since early February, the university’s official mascot has been in Lafayette for a major renovation.

“It’s getting a new chassis, new engine and a new transmission,” said Patrick Hart, president of the Purdue Reamer Club, which keeps custody of the train. “Basically, all the internal workings are being updated. The outside of it should look pretty much exactly the same.”

Once the work at Wabash National is finished, which is scheduled to be late this month, it will be the fifth version of the train. It will have a VII on the front of it.

The first Boilermaker Special was presented on Sept. 11, 1940. Since then, the Special has appeared at football games and all around campus for various events. Hart said it also is often rented out for weddings, birthday parties and parades, particularly during the summer.

A second version of the train appeared in the 1953, and the third one was used from 1960 until 1993. The fourth version, which was used until earlier this year, was dedicated in September 1993.

While the Boilermaker Special should return to campus late this month, the first major event at which it is scheduled to appear is July 15-16 at the College Football Hall of Fame’s enshrinement ceremony in South Bend. Former Purdue star quarterback Mark Herrmann will be inducted at that time.

Hart is looking forward to the Boilermaker Special’s return, noting that it has missed such big events as spring commencement ceremonies and the Indianapolis 500 parade. He said a dedication ceremony for the latest version of the train will be sometime this fall.

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Two vehicle crash near West Point sends 6 to area hospitals

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Shortly after 7:00am on Friday, June 10th, deputies from the Tippecanoe County Sheriffs Department responded to a personal injury vehicle crash on Co. Rd. 700 W at Co. Rd. 200 S. First Responders from the West Point Volunteer Fire Department and Paramedics/EMT’s from the Tippecanoe Emergency Ambulance Service (TEAS) also responded to the scene.

One of the vehicles was a 2003 Pontiac Vibe driven by Jose Eduardo Talancon (age 23) of Lafayette, Indiana, and the other vehicle was a GMC full-size pickup truck driven by Matthew A. Hughes (age 20) of Kentland.

Authorities believe Talancon was traveling westbound on Co. Rd. 200 S. at Co. Rd. 700 W. and Hughes was driving southbound on Co. Rd. 700 W. at Co. Rd. 200 S. Talancon allegedly disregarded the stop sign at the intersection and proceeded into the path of Hughes’ truck. The left front of Hughes’ vehicle collided with the right front of Talancon’s car.

Talancon had four passengers in his vehicle. One of the passengers was ejected from the vehicle. The ejected passenger was identified as Juan Rodriguez (age 24) of Lafayette, IN. The other three passengers were identified as: Pedro Ramirez (age 66), Jose Fabian Talancon (age 22), and Ricardo Murillo Tinoco (age 25), all from Lafayette.

All six of the people involved in this crash were transported by four ambulances to two different area hospitals for medical treatment (St. Elizabeth Medical Center (East Campus) & IU/Arnett Health.

Alcohol/drugs were not a factor in this crash. Hughes was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash which helped to prevent serious injury. The three passengers in the rear of Talancon’s vehicle (Ramirez, Tinoco and Rodriguez) were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. It is believed that safety belts would have greatly reduced their risk of injury, especially for Rodriguez, who was ejected from the vehicle.

Jose Eduardo Talancon was arrested for Operating a Vehicle without ever receiving a License (with a previous conviction) – A misdemeanor. He was also cited for Failure to Yield and Driving While Suspended / Infraction.

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Indiana cuts funding for immunizations

State cuts funding for immunizations; families with insurance affected

Indiana cuts funding for immunizationsLAFAYETTE, Ind. — Due to recent cost-saving measures from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), a change in state law will cut county health departments vaccination funding. Effective July 1, 2011, county health departments (including the Tippecanoe County Health Department) will no longer be able to provide immunizations given to most adults and children whose insurance covers vaccination costs.

This does not mean that families and children who do not have insurance at all will no longer be able to get vaccinations. This may affect families and children who do have insurance that does cover vaccinations, but who had been electing to get vaccinations from the county health department. Parents who have questions about this new change are advised to contact their insurance company to see if immunizations are covered and how they are affected.

“The Indiana State Department of Health requires specific vaccinations for children entering kindergarten and sixth grade. Visit the ISDH website for a complete list of immunization requirements,” said Dr. Chet Ho, IU Health Arnett Pediatrician and Primary Care Division Director.

If a child is not insured, their insurance does not cover certain vaccines, or they have reached the cap that insurance will pay towards immunizations, they may still be eligible to receive these services at the local Health Department.

“Be sure to know what immunizations your insurance covers prior to your child’s appointment. This will allow your provider to give immunizations from a private supply if insurance covers them or refer you to the Health Department appropriately,” Ho adds.

For more information regarding immunization requirements, please visit the ISDH website at

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Reps from the Indiana charitable orgs who received SIA Foundation Grants

11 Indiana charitable orgs receive SIA Foundation grants

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The SIA Foundation awarded $37,756.36 in grants to 11 Indiana charitable organizations during the June 2011 Grant Awards Ceremony at SIA’s Training & Reception Center on Wednesday, June 8.  The grants represent not-for-profit organizations in: Tippecanoe, Clinton, Cass, Marion, St. Joseph, Hamilton and Howard Counties.  This was the largest number of grants and highest dollar amount the SIA Foundation has ever awarded at one time.  Representatives from the charitable organizations along with the SIA Foundation Board of Directors and members of the Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. Operations Committee attended the Foundation’s grant celebration.

Reps from the Indiana charitable orgs who received SIA Foundation Grants

Representatives from the 11 Indiana charitable organizations who were presented with grants from the SIA Foundation.

Indiana not-for-profit organizations which seek funding for capital projects in one of three areas – arts and culture, health and welfare, or education – are eligible to apply for SIA Foundation Grants which are awarded in June and December each year. Information on the SIA Foundation Grants may be found at

SIA Foundation Grant recipient organizations for the June 2011 grant cycle are:

Clinton County Boys & Girls Club, Clinton County – $2500.00
This grant will be used to purchase an interactive whiteboard to help the club better coordinate their after-school homework assistance program.

The Hutson School – Marion County – $2500.00
This grant will be used to purchase Safeco AlphaBetter desks to be used with students who have ADHD.

Center for the Homeless – St. Joseph County – $3,000.00
This grant will help purchase a sturdy greenhouse to extend the Center Community Garden’s growing season.  The garden is cultivated by 215 guests of the Center. Over 10,000 meals have been supplemented at the Center with fresh vegetables from the Center garden.

Franciscan St. Elizabeth Auxiliary – Tippecanoe County – $1500.00
The grant will be used to purchase an additional computer and UPC scanner to complete their new point-of-sale system in their gift shops at Franciscan St. Elizabeth East and Central.  Proceeds from the gift shops fund: halo sacks for every newborn, clothing for patients at dismissal who have their clothing cut off during emergencies and car seats for families in need to leave the hospital.

Tippecanoe County Childcare – Tippecanoe County – $4018.00
This grant will be used to renovate the kitchen at the Dennis Burton Early Care and Education Center facility located in Lafayette.  The renovation is necessary in order to bring the kitchen back to full functionality. Since its inception, the Dennis Burton Early Care and Education Center has served over 21,000 meals to children who utilize their facility.

Children’s TherAplay Foundation, Inc. – Hamilton County – $3750.00
This grant will be used to purchase a variety of horse-related equipment for use within therapy sessions and the barn. With a full caseload of approximately 170 therapy hours per week, the current equipment experiences heavy use. TherAplay treats special needs children from throughout Central Indiana including children diagnosed with autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, developmental delays, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and more

Tree Lafayette – Tippecanoe County – $1,500.00
This grant will be used to purchase essential pruning equipment, watering tanks and tree safety works signage. Tree Lafayette plants street trees and prunes trees on a volunteer basis for the City of Lafayette. Their work accounts for virtually all the new street trees and pruning in Lafayette.

Camptown, Inc. – Marion County – $5,853.00
This grant will be used to add and replace outdoor gear and equipment.  Camptown has grown from serving 174 youth in 2004 to over 2,900 in 2010.  Most of their backpacks, sleeping bags and tents are over 15 years old.  Safe, reliable equipment is an essential element in outdoor experiential programs such as Camptown, Inc.

Historic Prophetstown – Tippecanoe County – $5,300.00
Historic Prophetstown’s mission is to farm productively and efficiently using an alternative source of power.  Their requested grant project is to purchase a ground-driven power take off (or pto) cart which allows a mower, rake or bailer to run on horsepower only. This will further enhance the student farming options and may reduce their need to purchase or use gasoline-powered equipment to produce their own feed.

Emmaus Mission Center – Cass County – $2,835.36
The mission of Emmaus is to provide food, clothing and shelter, training and guidance for those in need in Cass County.  Emmaus also has a food pantry as part of the Center.  It is the largest food pantry within a 30-mile radius and distributed food to 11,616 individuals in 2010. Five of our eight chest freezers are over 10 years old, are not energy efficient and have numerous issues, causing food product loss.  We are requesting grant funds to purchase one 47 cubic foot, Turbo Air, two-door freezer.  This quality unit should provide maintenance-free refrigeration for many years to come.

Angel Food Ministry/Main Street United Methodist Church – Howard County – $5,000.00
The mission of Emmaus is to provide food, clothing and shelter, training and guidance for those in need in Cass County.  Emmaus also has a food pantry as part of the Center.  It is the largest food pantry within a 30-mile radius and distributed food to 11,616 individuals in 2010.  One-third of the food requires refrigeration.  Five of our eight chest freezers are over 10 years old, are not energy efficient and have numerous issues, causing food product loss.  We are requesting grant funds to purchase one 47 cubic foot, Turbo Air, two-door freezer.  This quality unit should provide maintenance-free refrigeration for many years to come.

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Tippecanoe Arts Federation logo

TAF extends deadline for capital and capacity grants to Aug 15

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Tippecanoe Arts Federation has extended the application deadline for the Capital and Capacity Grants to August 15, 2011.

The Capital and Capacity Grants, made available through a $200,000 grant from North Central Health Services (NCHS), are open to the arts and cultural communities in Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Warren, and White Counties.  These funds mark $1.4 million that NCHS has granted to directly impact arts and culture in North Central Indiana.  The Tippecanoe Arts Federation established the grants program in 2004 with funding from NCHS to assist TAF member organizations in their ability to deliver programs and services.

Since 2004, the grant program has helped fund major arts initiatives throughout North Central Indiana. Capital and capacity building projects have broadened the reach for organizations such as Frankfort Public Library, Long Center for Performing Arts, Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal, Lafayette Flute Choir, and the Delphi Opera House and Preservation Society. These grant funds have translated to direct impact of over 250,000 citizens.

“We have seen the tremendous effect these dollars have had. With arts funding and accessibility being limited or eliminated, these dollars become increasingly important to ensure the arts remain a vital piece of all of our communities,” said TAF Executive Director Tetia Lee.

The 2011 NCHS Capital and Capacity Grants are focused on rural constituencies. Funds may be used for (1) capital projects in Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Warren or White County or (2) capacity building for organizations to enhance their programs and services to the region. Such activities must advance the mission of the applicant group and have the potential for significant or long-term impact.  Each applicant must be a member in good standing with the Tippecanoe Arts Federation and have 501(c)(3) status.

Those interested in applying or for more information should contact Paige Sharp, Arts Education and Regional Services Director, at or 765-423-2787/800-721-2787.

Applications and all required attachments must be delivered by 5:00pm, August 15, 2011 to:

Tippecanoe Arts Federation
638 North St
Lafayette, IN 47901

Applications sent via e-mail or fax will not be accepted.

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Greater Lafayette Community Calendar

 July 2011