Indiana Agriculture Insider

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Strategic plan to grow Indiana 
agriculture over next decade

Food and agriculture has been a driving force in Indiana’s economy since it became a state 200 years ago and remains one of the leading industries today. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, there are 57,500 farming operations across the state, and Indiana ranks 11th in the nation in agricultural sales. In order to move the industry forward, many leaders of Indiana's agricultural community joined together over the past 18 months and developed a 10-year Indiana Agriculture Strategic Plan.

Strategic plan

The plan was unveiled to the public at an event on Monday and included presentations, panel discussions and speakers that touched on the plan’s strategic priorities, initiatives and actions to lift up all of Indiana agriculture through 2027. The plan’s vision is for Indiana agriculture to “enrich lives through innovation, education and collaboration.” This can be realized by focusing on the plan’s seven priorities:

  • Economic & Community Development
  • Education & Career Development
  • Food and Agricultural Innovation
  • Infrastructure
  • Leadership Development
  • Natural Resources, Stewardship & Environment
  • Public Relations & Outreach

Each priority includes several key initiatives, which list specific action items. To create a clear path forward, each action item includes a champion(s), designated timeframe and resources required to complete the action.

Strategic Plan

The plan was developed by a diverse committee of leaders and representatives from Indiana’s agricultural organizations encompassing agricultural boards, universities, non-government and governmental organizations. As a way to create additional buy-in from all sectors of agriculture, the strategic planning committee conducted nearly two dozen listening sessions and gathered feedback from more than 100 online surveys, which went to farmers, agribusinesses and other industry organizations.

A copy of the strategic plan and other materials can be found at

Transform Purpose to Action

When thousands of students who all want to make a difference join together, lives are changed for the better. That’s what happened last week as members of Indiana FFA descended on Purdue’s campus for the 88th Indiana FFA State Convention, themed Transform Purpose to Action. Students from all walks of life and every corner of the state – all wearing those iconic blue corduroy jackets – came together for this one-of-a-kind, four day experience, which was chock-full of competitions, tradeshows, service projects, career development events, workshops, and more!

Indiana FFA

All year long Indiana FFA members look forward to state convention, not only because it serves as the culmination of all of their hard work, both inside and outside the classroom, but it’s also a great time to see old friends and make new ones. It also provides a great opportunity to develop their leadership skills while giving back to the community, which is something Indiana FFA members are very passionate about.

To put purpose to action, nearly 300 Indiana FFA members participated in this year’s community service project making blankets for children in need. The blankets were delivered to four locations, including Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital and Riley Hospital, and each blanket included a personalized note from one of the members. This was a great example of how Indiana FFA not only enriches the lives of its members, but also the lives of others in schools and communities across the state.

Indiana FFA

When the students weren’t participating in one of the community service projects, they were competing for different awards, going to a workshop or attending one of the main general sessions, led by the Indiana FFA state officer team.

Attending a general session is a lot like being at a concert. There is a giant stage, lots of excitement, and sometimes even celebrities. This year, Grant Baldwin, Valerie Earley, (National CRVP) and Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch all attended state convention. To add to the excitement, it was announced during the first general session that Indiana FFA set a new record in 2016 reaching 12,506 members! Click here to see an Indiana FFA membership infographic.

The general sessions also provided the opportunity to recognize outstanding FFA members for their efforts in leadership excellence. Below is a list of this year’s honorees:  

  • To see the 2017 Indiana FFA State Stars, click here
  • To see the Hoosier FFA Degree recipients, click here

Overall, the four-day event provided an excellent opportunity to reward Indiana’s finest students for their hard work and dedication to promoting agriculture as well as improving their academic and leadership skills.

Every state officer put in considerable time and effort, preparing months in advance, to make the convention a success. Without their efforts, as well support from all of the sponsors, the Indiana FFA Association, the Indiana FFA Foundation, staff, volunteers, and of course, the FFA members themselves, state convention would not have been possible.

We would also like to congratulate the new Indiana FFA state officer team, and for more information about them, or Indiana FFA in general, please visit

Ethanol: Powering cars, powering the economy

Did you know that Indy 500 cars run on E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline? Ethanol has proven itself a high performing fuel and has become the fuel of choice among all Indy 500 drivers. Even NASCAR runs on ethanol and has raced more than 6 million miles on a blend of E15.


In addition to powering IndyCars, driving over 200 mph for 500 miles, ethanol powers the economy by bringing jobs and growth to rural communities. Growth Energy cites that the ethanol industry created and supported nearly 400,000 jobs across the country in 2015.  Ethanol is also a cleaner and cooler burning fuel and reduces greenhouse gases by 57 percent when compared to unleaded gasoline.

While E85 is only approved for flex-fuel vehicles, E15 has been approved by the EPA to run in cars 2001 and newer – meaning 80 percent of all vehicles on the road today are equipped for E15. 

Do you want to fill your tank with Indiana grown ethanol?  Use this link to find the station nearest you.


July 4
Fourth of July - State offices are closed

July 7
Indiana Grown Monumental Marketplace - Indianapolis

Indiana Grain Indemnity Corporation meeting - Indianapolis

July 20
Indiana State Fair Commission meeting - Indianapolis

July 25
State Soil Conservation Board meeting - Indianapolis


The Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency wants to inform grain producers and elevators that the 0.2 percent premium collected on all grain marketed to licensed grain buyers for the Indiana Grain Indemnity Fund will no longer be deducted starting July 1, 2017. Per Indiana law, once the fund reaches $25 million by the end of the fiscal year, the Indiana Grain Indemnity Corporation (IGIC) board may not require the collection of additional farmer premiums. Currently, the fund has more than $35 million.

Visit for additional information. 


Purdue University alumnus Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, president of the African Development Bank Group, has been named the 2017 World Food Prize laureate for his work as a reformer and leader of the agricultural sector in Africa.

The World Food Prize, often referred to as the Nobel Prize for food and agriculture, is the highest international honor recognizing the achievements of those who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world. Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize, made the announcement on Monday (June 26) and Sonny Perdue, U.S. secretary of agriculture, delivered the keynote remarks at the ceremony held in Washington, D.C.

Adesina joins Purdue faculty members Gebisa Ejeta (2009) and Philip Nelson (2007) as World Food Prize laureates.

To read the rest of the announcement by Purdue University, click here.


Indiana agriculture launches new strategic plan

Dairy advocate draws from non-farm background

Hoosier Homestead Awards recognize family farms

Indiana Has the Proof, Conservation is Working

Indiana Grown To Recruit Local Food Vendors With New State Funds

Tater tots, tacos top Indianapolis food events this July

First look at Indiana's new FFA officer team


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