Indiana Agriculture Insider

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Indianapolis hosts 90th National FFA Convention & Expo

It was impossible to walk around downtown Indianapolis last week and not see blue and gold corduroy jackets everywhere. A record 67,006 members from all across the country came for the 90th National FFA Convention & Expo, an experience they will never forget.


This year’s theme was, “I Can. We Will,” emphasizing the impact one member can have and how it can be amplified when others work together. This teamwork could be seen across the city as members participated in National Days of Service. Whether it was planting trees, building a garden or packing meals to feed the hungry, hundreds of FFA volunteers left their mark on the host city. In addition to service hours, members could also participate in general sessions, workshops, career tours or compete for scholarships.



FFA members were also recognized for their accomplishments at convention, including many from Indiana. In fact, three Hoosiers were named American Star Award finalists this year, representing the best of the best among thousands of American FFA Degree recipients. Shenandoah FFA Chapter had two finalists, Nathan DeYoung in Agribusiness and Devin Debruhl in Agricultural Placement. Leah Hefty, of the DeKalb FFA Chapter, was a finalist in Agriscience.

The following list includes some of the additional awards that were handed out during National FFA Convention: 

  • American FFA Degree: More than 100 Indiana FFA members received the American FFA Degree, which was awarded to those who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA and made significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experience.
  • Agricultural Proficiency Awards: This year, 37 Hoosier students received the Agricultural Proficiency Award, which honors FFA members who, through their SAEs, have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers. Out of seven National FFA Finalists, two Hoosiers won their proficiency, Drake Davis of the Southmont FFA and Liam Ludwig of the Batesville FFA.
  • National FFA Star Chapter Awards: Twenty Indiana FFA chapters received the National Chapter Award, which recognizes chapters that successfully complete an annual Program of Activities, including a series of activities designed to encourage its members to grow as individuals, to work as part of a team and to serve others.
  • In addition to these awards, there were also many Agriscience Fair and State Chapter Award finalists.

Congratulations to all of the Indiana FFA members who participated this year and for making the 90th National Convention & Expo a tremendous success. Visit to learn more about each award, as well as the convention.

3 big places the Indiana Grown logo is poppin’ up

Popcorn is one of America’s favorite snacks. It can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways and is the perfect finger food for almost any occasion, whether it’s at the movies, a football game or in the comfort of your home. Indiana is a national leader in popcorn production and some of the biggest household names in popcorn are located right here in the Hoosier state, like Just Pop In! and Cousin Willie’s. These national brands continue to grow in popularity and are finding new, unique ways to reach consumers. 


For example, Cousin Willie’s was recently named the official popcorn provider for Lucas Oil Stadium, which allows them to sell and showcase their amazing Indiana-grown products in front of 60,000+ home game attendees. This is an amazing opportunity for them to tell their story, of a family owned business that started 70 years ago in Ramsey, Ind., as well as provide consumers with a local option to choose from during the game. However, for fans that don’t know Cousin Willie’s popcorn is grown in Indiana, they decided to incorporate the Indiana Grown logo on their signage, giving consumers confidence of the product’s origin.


But, Lucas Oil isn’t the only place the Indiana Grown logo is poppin’ up in a big way, it can now be found all across Northwest Indiana on nearly a dozen Albanese billboards.

Located in Merrillville, Albanese is known for making some of the best gummies and candies – not just in the nation, but in the world. They use only the highest quality ingredients, putting flavor and texture first, and Albanese has received numerous awards for this, such as the Professional Candy Buyer's Product of the Year award and the Technology award. Albanese's 30 year story is filled with tons of sweet success and is a must-see location in Northwest Indiana. 


If you ever decide to take a trip to Albanese, or just while driving to and from work, you might come across the Indiana Grown logo somewhere else, like on the back of a Piazza Produce truck.

Piazza Produce is located in Indianapolis and has been a trusted foodservice provider since 1970. While they started with a single truck, the family-owned business now has an entire fleet, equipped with refrigeration and GPS tracking devices, which is important when transporting dry or perishable products. Piazza offers a wide array of produce, locally sourced goods, and specialty items, just to name a few, and remains focused on providing unparalleled customer service. Visit to learn more.

Having the Indiana Grown logo pop-up in three big ways is a win-win; it’s not only great for the initiative, but also for the companies that display it, like Cousin Willie’s, Albanese, and Piazza. In addition to these examples, many other members of Indiana Grown are incorporating the logo on their products, packaging or as part of their signage. This provides Hoosier consumers, who have plenty of purchasing options, an opportunity to support their neighbors and keep their dollars closer to home.


November 10
Offices closed - Veterans Day

November 15
Indiana Land Resources Council meeting

November 16
Indiana State Fair Commission meeting

November 23-24
Offices closed - Thanksgiving

November 30
Indiana Grown Commission meeting


ISDA is now accepting applications for the livestock promotion and market development grants to foster growth within the Hoosier livestock industry.

The livestock promotion and market development grants are open to non-profit organizations, commissions and associations with 501(c) status involving the following livestock species: cattle, swine, sheep, equine, goats, poultry, camelids, ostriches, cervidae, bison, aquaculture and rabbits.

Both grants will reimburse up to 50 percent of the amount spent to conduct or support the projects, programs and events outlined in each of the grants. 

The application is deadline is Dec. 1, 2017. Click here to learn more.


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