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Farmers With Old Cemeteries On Their Land Should Know About This LawFarmers With Old Cemeteries On Their Land Should Know About This Law

More little-talked about regulations worth talking about.

Tom Bechman 1

April 2, 2012

2 Min Read

Here's a piece of trivia you probably didn't know. The tornadoes of March 2 in southern Indiana didn't just affect the living, they also affected the dead. Where the strongest storms hit, they rifled through small, rural cemeteries, knocking over tombstones, some which had been there for decades or longer. In fact, some funeral homes in southeast Indiana actually volunteered crew and time to go out and right the stones and clean up the damage, especially on small, rural cemeteries where there isn't a dedicated staff.


Cemeteries found their way into legislation during the Indiana General Assembly as well. If you farm land where an older, nearly forgotten cemetery exists on some part of your property, you may want to know about the changes made in the law this past session. Primarily, the law limits your liability if you're the property owner on the land visitors must cross to get to the old cemetery. This liability exemption, as spelled out in the statute, formerly known as HB1075, applies even if you allow the visits to the cemetery.

The bill also limits the amount of times you must be inconvenienced by such visits if it becomes an issue. The language talks about someone being allowed to visit the cemetery three times per year per agreement with the landowner.

Bob Kraft, Indiana Farm Bureau, says it was good legislation because it protects property rights, and because it limits liability if you're the landowner. The bill takes effect July 1 of this year.

House Bill 1198 doesn't affect you directly, but may affect those who handle products you produce. Called 'Transportation of Food Products,' it focuses on the problem of frozen food carriers not maintaining sufficiently low enough temperatures to protect the food.

Apparently, the practice that prompted the bill was reported instances of truck drivers shutting off the refrigeration while loaded during a part of the trip to save on fuel. It's a loophole that's now closed, and should help protect your image. When someone obtains a food product that is not up to the quality that it should be, or that they expect, not just the company that packaged it, but sometimes farmers in general, suffer because of the less-than-ideal image created in the consumer's mind who must deal with the product.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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