Governor makes stop in Putnam County

Friday, March 27, 2009
Gov. Mitch Daniels speaks with some residents of Res-Care Friday during his stop in Putnam County. Daniels was at the Walden Inn hosted by Greencastle Kiwanis.

Education. Jobs. The environment.

These were just a few of the issues Gov. Mitch Daniels discussed with Putnam County residents when he stopped in Putnam County Friday afternoon.

"I travel a lot in this state," Daniels said. "That's the way I learn things. It's been the single most reasonable way for me to be an effective steward in this job."

Daniels appeared at the Walden Inn in Greencastle, hosted by the Greencastle Kiwanis Club. A crowd of residents from all corners of the county packed a meeting room for a chance to hear Daniels speak and ask him questions.

Daniels told the crowd that most of Indiana's $4.3 billion in stimulus money would be spent on education. Some would also go to repair local roads, he said.

Daniels called education his "hot button issue." He said he considered Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett the most important member of his administration.

"Tony wants education to be student-centered, and I believe in that," Daniels said. "We have very high standards for our students, but our students have trouble attaining them. I don't think the question we need to ask is if our standards are too hard; it's how we're going to make sure our students can attain them. I think we need to ask if our standards are tough enough."

Daniels said although the financial picture for Indiana -- and the entire country -- looks bleak at the moment, he has no doubt better days are ahead.

"The heart and soul of this problem is financial institutions," Daniels said. "I'm rooting for this administration to succeed. The American economy has surprised its detractors over and over again."

Bette Bertram expressed concern about the rise in crime rates connected to the faltering economy. She said she had heard rumblings that because of overcrowding in prisons, the more dangerous and violent offenders may be housed at the Putnamville Correctional Facility in the near future.

"I've not heard that suggestion," Daniels said. "I can't say that it's never been suggested, but I doubt it will ever happen."

Roachdale resident Marian Harvey said she was concerned about Indiana's high nationwide rank as an air and water polluter, and asked if Daniels intended to do anything about "the cruel practices in confinement farming."

"We have to get back to real farming," Harvey said. "Confinement farming is not healthy."

The answer to that problem, Daniels said, was striking a balance between small farms and larger operations. He pointed out that the number of small farms in Indiana grew last year.

"The real concern is protecting and promoting the environment without penalizing the future," he said. "The fact is, we will not feed the world without large scale agriculture."

Greencastle resident Kelsey Kauffman asked Daniels if he had considered putting geothermal energy in place at Indiana schools. Daniels called the theory "am interesting idea," pointing out that Ball State University is moving toward a completely geothermal campus.

"It will give me something to think about on the way back," he said.

Greencastle High School senior Andy Harrison, president of the GHS Key Club, introduced Daniels.

"Anything that Mitch Daniels has been associated with has been a great success," Harrison said. "He has brought respect and success to the state of Indiana."

Daniels had words of praise for Harrison, too, noting that the high schooler had truncated his spring break to be at Daniels' appearance.

"I'm really bowled over that he would cut short his spring break to be here," Daniels said.

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  • I would like to know what Ms. Harvey's background is? Does she have a degree in animal science, did she grow up on a farm, is she in the agriculture industry. I would say no. If she was she would not be asking these types of questions.

    If she knew anything about farming she would know that that a farmers most prized possesion is his livestock. That more money and hours are spent on taking care of this livestock than you can imagine. While many are opposed to confinment hog operations, confinment hogs receive excellent care as do other farm animals.

    If you are reading this and you are not affiliated with livestock of agriculture I urge you to seek out local farmers or speak to your Agriculture Resource representative at your local extension office.

    The Humane Society and PETA are distorting information on livestock farms and agriculture.

    Please do your research and do not believe the media hype.

    Keep up the good work Mitch!

    -- Posted by letmegetbacktoya on Sun, Mar 29, 2009, at 10:47 AM
  • I, Marian Harvey, am a nurse, terminal midwife and health educator. I do not represent PETA. I am deeply concerned about health problems influenced by diet. I hope farmers of Putnam County will prove me wrong for I believe most agree that each one of us, farmed animals ,and the earth, deserve to be treated with compassion and respect. I pray local farmers will unite to heal the intolerable factory farming epidemic that give kind, responsible farmers a bad reputation. We desperately need farmers who have a relationship with the land and her animals to heal our nation. My teachers include Gene Baur (, Food and Water Watch ( ( for statistics, Humane Farming Association (, the PEW Charitable Trusts report (, (A Carnivore Nation's Dilemma (Fall 2008 Trust Magazine) and The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Do a little homework, then call me. I will make a yummy vegan lunch and we can talk. I will be so happy to talk with farmers who CARE.

    -- Posted by on Mon, Mar 30, 2009, at 8:43 AM
  • PS from Marian Patience Harvey....farming experience. My grandparents were farmers. The next generation could not profit by farming. As a child my father raised two beef cattle for meat. We also had chickens which we killed to eat. I helped. I also had a pet chicken who thought she was a dog. While raising my daughter we lived for a few years on a communal farm in Kansas. We raised cattle, goats, poultry for food. I cared for, birthed and milked, 4-5 cows for a number of years, processing the milk, and making butter for about 30 of us. I raised a pig for slaughter. One hot afternoon after plucking about 20 chickens, I began to lose my taste for killing and for meat. I raised another pig as a friend and companion but, bred to live only a short time, she got too fat and my neighbors kindly butchered, and ate, her. We now live with two rescued roosters, Hank n'Dan. I no longer see animals as commodities. They are my teachers and friends.

    -- Posted by on Mon, Mar 30, 2009, at 12:26 PM
  • If only the animals could run PETA....

    Newkirk and PETA have been criticized for providing financial support to Animal Liberation Front (ALF) activists when they were faced with legal action against them. The Observer noted what it calls a "network of relationships between seemly unconnected animal rights groups on both sides of the Atlantic," writing that, with assets of $6.5 million, and with the PETA Foundation holding further assets of $15 million, PETA funds individual activists and activist groups, some with "links to extremists." This includes links to the ALF and Earth Liberation Front (ELF), which the Counterterrorism department of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation have named as "special interest extremism organizations" and "as a serious terrorist threat.

    -- Posted by reeltime on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 5:46 AM
  • What I wonder is why, when I say we, for our own well being, need to reconnect with the earth and animals that sustain us, be kinder to the earth and animals who feed us, and a meat-based diet costs more than it provides, and is proving to be no longer healthy or appropriate considering global hunger and drought, I arouse fears of terrorism? Marian Patience Harvey

    -- Posted by on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 9:55 AM
  • Some of us never lost our connection to our environment and the animals within. The suggestion that some over the top organization like PETA has a better idea about how we should deal with such things is insulting.

    The real PETA.....

    An Animal welfare charity has been accused of slaughtering thousands of pets placed in its care.

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which boasts Paul McCartney and Pamela Anderson among its supporters, are accused of only finding homes for seven pets last year.

    Since 1998 more than 20,000 pets handed to PETA have been put down.

    In 2008 official figures show that the charity put down 2,124 animals that had been given to them.

    Figures obtained from the Virginia Department of Agriculture reveal that last year PETA killed five pets a day.

    The charity, which collects over 25m in donations, does not run an adoption shelter.

    But as the most high profile animal welfare agency in the U.S. many people take unwanted cats and dogs to their main offices in Norfolk, Virginia.

    The Centre for Consumer Freedom obtained figures about PETA's slaughter from public records kept at the Department of Agriculture and Consumer services.

    CCF Research director David Martosko said: 'PETA hasn't slowed down its hypocritical killing machine one bit, but it keeps browbeating the rest of society with a phony 'animal rights' message.

    'What about the rights of the thousands of dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens that die in PETA's headquarters building?'

    -- Posted by reeltime on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 1:09 PM
  • If we weren't supposed to eat meat, God would not have made cows taste like steak.

    -- Posted by cloverfan on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 2:55 PM
  • I do not belong to PETA. There are ways to help our current global, and economic, crisis and still eat meat. And, no one is answering my question.... I asked: Why does my saying that, for our own well being, we need to reconnect with the earth and animals that sustain us, be kinder to the animals who feed us, and recognize that a meat-based diet costs more than it provides arouse fear, suspicion of terrorism, and arguments instead of mutual concern? Don't we all want to leave a better world and life for our children? The next generation is expected to die younger than we are, because they are not as healthy as we are. I should have fed my daughter differently! I even smoked around her! We need to make some changes. Some of us are learning we are what we eat. Our food is not healthy. The way we grow it is destroying the earth, and unkind to the animals. Agribusiness isn't working anymore. It simply is not efficient, kindness to animals aside. I am a nurse. I want to do everything I can to leave a better world before I die. I am not against anyone. That is PETA's illusion. I am honestly concerned. Where is all this bitterness coming from? Who cares about PETA? Help me understand. Marian Patience Harvey

    -- Posted by on Fri, Apr 3, 2009, at 12:31 PM
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