Indiana Agriculture Insider

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Farming families are at the heart of Indiana’s story

Anyone who grew up on a farm or works in the agriculture industry knows that it's hard work – it’s not your typical 9 to 5 job. To be successful year after year, farmers must adapt and overcome any challenge, whether it’s changing technology or tough weather conditions, which takes perseverance, ingenuity and dedication.

Not to mention, more is being required today of farmers than ever before, and they are being asked to produce more food on less land while minimizing their environmental footprint. In fact, the average farmer today feeds about 155 people, compared to 1940, when one farmer only fed 19.

Hoosier Homestead Award ceremony

Although much has changed about the industry over the years, one thing remains the same, and that’s a farmer's commitment to their family and to the values that have been passed down from generation to generation.

That was apparent last week as Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler presented 65 farming families with the Hoosier Homestead Award, which was instituted in 1976 to recognize the contributions Indiana’s longstanding farms have made to the economic, cultural and social advancement of Indiana. 

Hoosier Homestead

To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years, and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 of agricultural products per year. Indiana farms may qualify for three honors: Centennial Award for 100 years of ownership, Sesquicentennial Award for 150 years of ownership and the Bicentennial Award for 200 years of ownership.

Since the program's inception in 1976, more than 5,000 families have received the Hoosier Homestead Award.

Hoosiers are very proud of their rich agricultural heritage – there’s a certain reverence there – and our state would be a lesser place were it not for its agricultural roots. Congratulations to all of the families that recently received the Hoosier Homestead Award.

To apply or to learn more about the Hoosier Homestead Award, please click here

Indiana Grown celebrates new milestone, partnership in March 

Since its July 2015 inception, Indiana Grown has been helping consumers more easily identify and purchase products grown, raised, produced and processed in Indiana. Coming up on its third year, the statewide initiative now has 1,000 members – in almost every county – and continues to add an average of one member each day.

Although Indiana Grown products can be found in a variety of places, (e.g., grocery stores, farmers markets, restaurants, etc.), they’re also available in locations you might not expect, such as schools and hospitals, like Eskenazi Health, which recently joined forces with the initiative. 


The announcement was made by Lt. Gov. Crouch and Dr. Lisa Harris, CEO at Eskenazi Health, at a joint networking event. As result of this partnership, more locally sourced options will be available soon in the hospital’s food service areas.

However, sourcing local isn’t a new concept for Eskenazi, as 100 percent of proteins and milk served come from Indiana farms. In fact, nearly 40 percent of food dollars spent by Eskenazi go to Indiana businesses, which is a number the hospital would like to see increased with the help of the initiative.

Indiana Grown

Indiana Grown is fortunate to have many great partners, like Eskenazi Health, and celebrates every member, whether they recently joined or have been with the initiative since the very beginning. As the Indiana Grown community continues to grow, we look forward to building on this momentum while finding new outlets to connect even more consumers with Indiana Grown products.

Indiana Grown is administered by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture in partnership with the lieutenant governor’s office. To learn about Indiana Grown or to apply for a free membership, please click here.

    ISDA agency bills pass General Assembly

    The 2018 legislative session concluded a little after midnight on March 15, and like every year, hundreds of bills passed out of the General Assembly that impact a wide range of industries, including agriculture. Although the Indiana State Department of Agriculture wasn’t involved with the passing of every bill, we did play a critical role with several, which passed unanimously.

    Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 331, which was carried jointly by ISDA and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), gives ISDH the authority to implement the Produce Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act. This program will be funded by the Food and Drug Administration and will provide a state agency for farmers to work with on education and compliance rather than FDA.


    SEA 105 was a joint agency bill with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH), which repeals obsolete statutes and realigns some of Indiana Code with actual agency work. It also clarifies BOAH’s ability to issue Certificates of Free Sale which are important for exporting our products internationally.

    Although it wasn’t an agency bill, ISDA monitored House Bill 1137 addressing industrial hemp. The original bill would have created an industrial hemp program within ISDA; however, the bill did not make it across the finish line before session ended. Instead, SEA 52 urges the legislative council to assign industrial hemp to an interim study committee. ISDA recognizes the economic development opportunity of industrial hemp and will be watching for a summer study committee announcement.

    To learn about other bills that passed during the 2018 legislative session, please visit


    April 4
    State Soil Conservation Board Meeting
    NRCS state office

    April 19
    Indiana State Fair Commission Meeting
    Fairgrounds Administration Building


    Indiana agriculture officials celebrate National Ag Day

    Eskenazi Health, Indiana Grown Expand Locally Sourced Food

    Indiana's Family of Farmers donates $10000 for National Ag Week

    Crouch participates in roundtable on NAFTA

    Local woman receives state honor

    FFA members enjoy a week to remember

    Grants awarded to grow Hoosier livestock industry

    Indiana Farmers Lead the Way in No-Till Farming


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