David Bausman is a lawyer who serves as the director of policy and regulatory affairs for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. He lives in the Indianapolis area with his family and is active in his church and local politics.
How would you describe your work?
Problem-solving is the essence of my work. While handling policy and regulatory affairs for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, issues arise on the local, state, and federal levels. My goal is to find solutions that will support Indiana’s farmers and agribusinesses. New issues arise all the time, which makes each day unique. It could be a land use issue on Monday and a transportation question on Tuesday. There’s never a dull moment.
As an image-bearer of God, how does your work reflect some aspect of God’s work?
Lawyers are often viewed as creating conflict. While there can be some truth to that view, I try to mediate a solution or prevent conflict from occurring altogether. Serving as regulatory liaison, I’m often called to bring together different groups to try and achieve a win-win situation. Sometimes the groups are already at odds with each other, in which case my goal is to restore their relationship—a small picture of how God brings restoration into the lives of his children.
How does your work give you a unique vantage point into the brokenness of the world?
Working in agricultural policy I see firsthand how nasty and divisive issues can be. Arguments become heated and personal very quickly. Instead of focusing on the facts, people become driven by their emotions. A simple online search on any number of agricultural issues can reveal this focus on emotions versus facts/science. As a result, people with differing views become “The Enemy” as misinformation is fed to consumers. It isn’t that everyone has to agree on every issue, but we can disagree with civility and respect––especially as Christians––in order to adorn the gospel.
Jesus commands us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” How does your work function as an opportunity to love and serve others?
My dad grew up on my grandparents’ goat dairy farm that, in the 1980s, they lost. To this day, I know losing the family farm still affects my dad. My goal has been to work to ensure that what happened to my grandparents’ farm doesn’t happen to Hoosier family farms. Therefore, I strive to protect our hard-working family farms by working to back laws and regulations that support agriculture and will allow family farms to continue to be passed down to future generations.