Indiana Agriculture Insider

September 2016 Issue

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14 livestock farms recognized as Certified Livestock Producers

ISDA honored 14 farms that completed the Certified Livestock Program between August 2015 and August 2016 at the annual awards luncheon at the Indiana State Fair.

“This is a huge honor for these producers,” said Kimmi Devaney, manager of the Certified Livestock Program. “Several producers mentioned how the emergency planning component was the most beneficial, especially developing contingency plans for all those situations like fires and tornados that we would all rather not think about, and meeting with their local fire departments to improve farm safety.”


Besides emergency planning, these producers worked with their veterinarians to create biosecurity plans, participated in their industry’s quality assurance program, and completed self-assessments for environmental stewardship, biosecurity, emergency planning and public relations.

Congratulations to the following farms:

  • Jim Michalke, Lebanon
  • Steve Schwieterman (2 farms), Portland
  • Darryl & Karlanea Brown, Fowler
  • Mel Egolf, Churubusco
  • Lukus Hively, Kimmell
  • Tina Dirksen, Berne
  • Thomas Burgett, Trafalgar
  • Trent Bowman, Hagerstown
  • Monty Moss, Burnettsville
  • Ashton Metzger, Kimmell
  • Joe Mills, Crawfordsville
  • Bill Louck, Wabash
  • Jan Willem Vandelaar, Geneva

Several trainings will be held this winter for livestock producers interested in joining the program. Those interested in attending a training should contact Kimmi Devaney at


Indiana receives produce rule grant

In June, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), in partnership with Purdue University and ISDA, submitted an application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to receive funding for implementation of the Produce Safety Rule. The rule, which is one of seven, was promulgated by FDA under the Food Safety Modernization Act and must now be implemented by the states. Indiana’s total award from the FDA is $500,000 (2016-2017) and is the full amount for which the state was eligible. The dollars will be used for education, outreach, training, strategic planning, and statutory self-assessment.

ISDH will distribute a portion of the funds to Purdue to conduct technical training for producers and regulators based upon an FDA approved curriculum. ISDA will receive a portion of the funding to conduct outreach to producers which will be designed to promote learning and compliance with the law. The department is now in the process of developing an outreach plan that will account for the size of an operation, diverse commodity groups and different farming practices.  

By applying for the grant and developing a state program for implementation, Indiana is currently ahead of the curve. Furthermore, Indiana will be allowed to conduct the regulatory components of the rule rather than the federal government. This award for first year dollars does not include funding for inspection or enforcement programs. Those dollars will come in second year funding once a program is adequately developed.

Funding eligibility for the Produce Rule is divided into five tiers based on an estimated number of farms covered by the rule in each state. FDA used data gathered by USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service to make this estimation. Additional funding for the rule will be available for states in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. A full account of which states applied and how much they were awarded can be found here.

National FFA Convention rapidly approaching

The 89th National FFA Convention & Expo is rapidly approaching and that means blue jackets from across the country will soon be descending on Indianapolis. This year, the convention takes place Oct. 19-22 and is a valuable, educational and enriching experience for our more than 60,000 FFA attendees! While in Indianapolis, FFA members and other supporters from around the country will learn about careers in agriculture, compete for scholarships and awards, meet with industry leaders, volunteer in the Indianapolis community and learn skills they can take back to their home FFA chapter.

Housed at the Indiana Convention Center, the Expo portion of convention will span more than 230,000 square feet and showcase more than 400 exhibitors from business, industry, colleges and universities.

National FFA 1

While at convention, FFA members will attend general sessions complete with elaborate sets, lighting and music. Sessions will include keynote speakers delivering messages on premier leadership, personal growth and career success.

On stage throughout sessions, select FFA members will receive national awards and recognitions. The National FFA Band, Chorus and Talent groups will perform throughout convention, and the National FFA officers will deliver motivational speeches.

National FFA

During most of the week, FFA members will compete in career development events and participate in hands-on activities that they can apply later in life.

To follow all of the excitement, please visit:

INfield Advantage: Improving soil health and the bottom line

Harvest season is a busy time of the year for ISDA's Division of Soil Conservation, as many resource specialists and staff members are out in the field taking cornstalk nitrate samples for the nutrient management program, INfield Advantage.

This program is a proactive, collaborative opportunity for farmers to collect and understand personalized, on-farm data to optimize their management practices to, ultimately, improve their bottom line and benefit the environment. Cornstalk nitrate testing is a critical component of the program and allows growers to better determine their nitrogen use efficiency at the end of the growing period.

So, what do cornstalk nitrate samples tell growers about their nitrogen usage? How can this information help growers improve soil health as well as their bottom-line? These questions and many more were answered during an INfield Advantage Workshop, organized by ISDA and hosted by Mike and Adam McCain. 

INfield Advantage Workshop


Congressional staff members, farmers, partners of the program, and ISDA staff all attended the workshop and were able to learn about some of the benefits of INfield Advantage, as well as see firsthand how cornstalk nitrate samples are taken. It was also a great opportunity to learn about the success and recent growth of the program.

Cornstalk Example

In 2010, the program had one group, with 15 producers, who enrolled 39 fields. Today, there are more than 400 producers, involved in 34 groups, who have enrolled 1,000+ fields. Right now, over 70,000 acres in Indiana are enrolled in the program, and growers are realizing the benefits.

Based on a survey of those who attended the winter grower meetings in February, an incredible 95 percent of attendees considered the winter grower meeting discussion satisfactory to highly satisfactory. Additionally, Purdue University conducted a survey of participants in 2014 and discovered:

  • 64% Changed nitrogen management
  • 59% Changed nitrogen rates
  • 44% believe they increased their profitability

Ultimately, INfield Advantage is a great way for growers to assess numerous farm variables and inputs, including crop nutrients, and the program is expected to continue to grow. To read success stories, please visit:

INfield Advantage is funded by Indiana corn and soybean, as well as Indiana Pork, checkoff dollars and is brought to you by: Indiana Soybean AllianceIndiana Corn Marketing CouncilIndiana PorkIndiana State Department of AgricultureIndiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation DistrictsPurdue ExtensionIndiana Conservation Partnership and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Featured in this Newsletter:

14 livestock farms recognized as Certified Livestock Producers

Indiana receives produce rule grant

National FFA Convention rapidly approaching

INfield Advantage: Improving soil health and the bottom line

Key Dates:

October 4
Northern Indiana Dairy Trail with the Indiana Torch Relay
Mybrook Farms, Middlebury IN

October 6-7
RACC Ag American Fall National Conference
Lexington, KY

October 10 
Columbus Day-Office Closed

October 18-21 
National FFA Convention Indianapolis

October 20 
TED TALK- Sertoma Group Meeting

Important Updates:

Indiana State Department of Agriculture Rulemaking
On Monday, October 3, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm in Government Center South Conference Room 130, ISDA will conduct rulemaking hearings concerning changes to the administrative codes of the Indiana Grain Buyers Warehouse Licensing Agency and the Indiana Grain Indemnity Corporation.

The changes are largely technical in nature but the public is invited to attend and submit comments on the rules to ISDA in writing. More information on the status of rulemaking can be found here.

Harvest Safety
With harvest season officially underway, motorists should expect to see more slow-moving farm equipment from Indiana’s 57,700 farming operations on Hoosier roadways! We are encouraging all motorists to Be Alert, Slow-down, and Share the Road with farm equipment this season! For a list of safety tips, click here.

Voting is open for the best
of Indiana's wineries
The Indiana Office of Tourism Development is featuring the Best of Indiana Fall “people’s choice” online voting to determine Indiana’s Best Winery Destination, Best Waterfalls and Best Music Festivals. Voting is open to the public and ends on October 28. Winners will be announced in early November. Click here to cast your vote.

ISDA in the News:

INfield Advantage testing program emphasizes stalk nitrate tests

Indiana Grown initiative turns 1

Indiana Farm Bureau Helps Pay It Forward By Donating $25,000 To Indiana FFA Foundation

State director loves agriculture

Harvest time brings push for increased awareness on rural roadway safety

WATCH: Indiana Bicentennial Minute: Indiana Agriculture

Canadian Company Opens $90M Warehouse in Hammond

Global food producer relocates to Indiana

State Conservation Awards presented to Indiana farmers

Several agriculture leaders honored

WATCH: Lease Targets Rural Broadband

State Ag Leaders United in Support of TPP

ISDA Photos:

Andres Meyer, ISDA Field Auditor, being honored on his 40 years of service to the state!
Ted and HCoC
Director McKinney meeting with a representative from the Hungarian Agriculture Chamber of Commerce
Ted meeting with the Grain Quality Team from Taiwan.
Director McKinney meeting with a Grain Quality Team from Taiwan.
Connie Neininger, ISDA Economic Development Director, attending a ribbon cutting ceremony at Egg Innovations.

Indiana Agritourism Destination of the Month: Beasley’s Orchard in Danville, IN

Beasley Orchard

Beasley's Orchard features the "Heartland Apple Festival," held the first two weekends in October, and a U-pick pumpkin patch accessible by hayrides every weekend in October. Also, check out their apple orchard and corn maze. 

Indiana Grown Recipe of the Month: Apple Crisp Tart

Apple Crisp

Pastry for a single crust pie
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 medium baking apples, peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
½ cup flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup butter
1/3 cup caramel apple topping or dip

Roll pastry to fit in a 12 inch pie pan.  Combine granulated sugar, 3 Tbsp flour, and 1 tsp cinnamon in a large bowl.  Add apples and toss to coat.  Arrange apples in a single layer to completely cover pastry.  Combine remaining flower, brown sugar, oats, and remaining cinnamon.  Cut in butter using two knives or a pastry cutter.  Sprinkle over apples.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until apples are tender.  Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle with caramel topping. 

Contact ISDA:

Indiana State Department of Agriculture 
One North Capitol Avenue, Suite 600 
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317.232.1362 FAX