Indiana Agriculture Insider

New header

Indiana comes together to celebrate food and agriculture

Members of Indiana’s Family of Farmers (IFoF), a coalition of more than a dozen ag-related organizations, came together at the Statehouse on March 21 to celebrate National Agriculture Day and recognize the significant economic and cultural contributions agriculture makes to the Hoosier state. 

Ag Day

The celebration included a special ceremony, which featured Indiana's Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. She remarked on Indiana’s long tradition of agriculture and how important the industry is to the state’s economy. She also thanked Indiana’s farmers and producers for everything they have done, and continue to do, for families across the state.


Winners of the first ever IFoF Ag Day Video Contest were recognized during the event as well. The contest was designed to challenge Hoosier students to think critically and creatively about the future of agriculture. Below is a list of the 2017 contest winners:

Grades 6-8:

  • 1st Place Winner: Nathan Tuholski, from Mill Creek, Ind.
  • 2nd Place Winner: John Jackson, from Jamestown, Ind.
  • 3rd Place Winner: Shenandoah Middle School, from Middletown, Ind.

Grades 9-12:

  • 1st Place Winner: Katelyn Smith, from Logansport, Ind.
  • 2nd Place Winner: John Schuler, from Roann, Ind.
  • 3rd Place Winner: Anna Taylor, from Corunna, Ind.


To learn more about National Agriculture Day, visit


Improving soil health and the bottom line

"Meeting with other farmers in small groups allowed us to consider management techniques that we aren't currently using and see how those might work in our own operation." This comment came from David Beard, a participant in INfield Advantage (INFA) from Clinton County.

Comments like David's are not uncommon when you talk to those who participate in INfield Advantage, a nutrient management program designed to help growers improve soil health and their bottom line. In fact, based on a survey that was sent out to 200+ participants, roughly 75 percent said the program helped them manage their nutrients more effectively.

So, how does the program work?

INFA focuses on regional groups that range anywhere between 10 to 20 growers. The groups are led by a local leader, which can consist of an ISDA, Purdue Extension or Soil and Water Conservation District staff member, who assist the participants and help them enroll their fields into the program. On average, most growers sign up anywhere from 2 to 6 fields.



Once in the program, there are many tools available to the participants at no cost to them that can provide insight into their nitrogen management practices including:

  • Corn stalk nitrate testing: This will allow participants to determine nitrogen use efficiency at the end of the growing period.
  • Aerial imagery: This will allow participants to discover possible issues, including soil compaction and equipment malfunctions.
  • Replicated strip trials: This will allow participants to compare different rates, forms, timing and placement of crop nutrients within a single field to evaluate nutrient efficiency and associated yield.

By gathering this personalized, field-specific data (e.g., field history, crop rotations and nutrient management), an agronomist is able to analyze it and present their findings to growers during local winter grower meetings  one of the biggest advantages of being in the program.



These meetings bring together local participants, who are able to review their personalized data, collaborate with other growers and share best practices moving forward. It’s important to note that the individual field reports are kept anonymous and the locations are generalized to protect the grower’s information during the meeting. 

This year, 33 meetings were held and attended by approximately 400 people. Over 90 percent of participants reported that they benefited from the conversations, and while each discussion focused on local results and concerns, many of the discussions were about the unusually high nitrate levels identified across the state. The 2016 values were significantly higher than seen the previous five years of the program.  

There are many possible causes for high nitrate levels, but one strong possibility, which came out during the grower meetings, was the presence of a fungal infection in the crop, particularly Southern Rust. Although this information is not conclusive, the group leaders are reaching out to the participants to see if they had any issues, and if they applied a fungicide, to better determine the underlying cause behind the results. As an extra step, the program plans to work with Purdue University to further evaluate the results, as a way to ensure the growers have the best information possible  a key element of the program. 

Visit to learn more about INfield Advantage.

INfield Advantage is brought to you by: Indiana Soybean AllianceIndiana Corn Marketing CouncilIndiana Pork FarmersIndiana State Department of AgricultureIndiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation DistrictsPurdue ExtensionIndiana Conservation Partnership and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.


April 7
Hoosier Homestead Award - Indianapolis

April 15
Good Friday - Offices closed

April 20
State Fair Commission meeting - Indiana State Fairgrounds


Ag Tourism Effort Aims to Push State's 'Calling Cards'

Grown In the Hoosier State

Certification allows farmers to send positive message

Ag groups team up to celebrate ‘Ag Day’

Minnesota-based ag company planning Terre Haute turkey hatchery

Students showcase FFA, ag knowledge

State Director Touts Economic Growth of Agriculture

Indiana State Department of Agriculture fills key positions

Indiana Ag Day Honors Work of Farmers and all Driving the Ag Engine

Indiana State Dept. of Agriculture accepting Specialty Crop Block Grant applications

Ag Day Feted at Indiana Statehouse

Shoppers line up for Fresh Thyme grand opening


Stream Cliff Herb Farm


At Stream Cliff Farm you will find beautiful display gardens arranged in the design of quilt patterns. Twigs & Sprigs Tearoom serving delicious gourmet meals. A winery serving handcrafted wines ranging from bold, dry reds to sweet fruit wines. 

There are also three gift shops, as well as the Keeping Room where classes are taught on gardening, crafting and cooking with herbs and wine.


Hot bacon and cheese dip



1/2 C, plain Giant Eagle Greek yogurt
8 oz, cream cheese, soft
1 C, Fair Oaks Farms sharp cheddar, shredded
1/2 C, monterrey jack, shredded
1 - 4 oz can, chopped green chilies, drained
2 tb, Best Boy & Co Redhead Hot Sauce
6-8 slices, cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 C, panko bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl combine all ingredients except bread crumbs.
3. Add contents of bowl to a pie dish or small baking dish.
4.Top with bread/cracker crumbs.
5. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
6. Serve with veggies or fresh Market District pretzel buckeyes.


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