Indiana Agriculture Insider

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Director Kettler goes to Israel


In early May, ISDA Director Bruce Kettler joined Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) on a trade mission to Israel.

In order to provide a quick recap, we sat down with Director Kettler and asked him a couple of questions about his experiences as a member of the delegation.

Q: What were some of the trip's highlights?

A: There was something going on every day—it was very productive. Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of the trip though was attending the 20th Agritech Israel Conference in Tel Aviv, which brought together agricultural leaders in technology, innovation and water management. During the conference, we met with businesses, industry stakeholders and notable officials, like Uri Ariel, Israel's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

We also participated in a round-table discussion with prospective Indiana companies, and then met with Israeli governmental officials. There, we were able to share best practices and collaborate on emerging markets and new technologies.

Another highlight was witnessing Governor Holcomb sign a memorandum of understanding between IEDC and the Israel Innovation Authority, which symbolized our joint cooperation to advance our agbiosciences sectors.

Q: Why was this trip important for Indiana agriculture?

A: Indiana and Israel are leaders in innovation, especially in the agbiosciences. This was a great opportunity for us to, not only discuss some of the challenges facing this sector, but also explore ways we can work together to move our two states forward.

For example, Israel is a global hub for technology, but they have some natural limitations due to their geography. In order to expand their research, they need large-scale acreage and farms to test and observe new agricultural technology. They also need access to larger markets. Indiana is uniquely positioned, with our many research institutes and agbiosciences companies, as well as our agricultural diversity and strength, to support Israel in this area—benefiting both agbiosciences sectors.

This trip also allowed us to carry out an important component of ISDA’s economic development strategy, which is to create, expand and maintain long-term export markets for Indiana’s agricultural products. International trade is critical to our economy and the agriculture industry, so anytime we can strengthen ties and expand access to our markets overseas is tremendously valuable.

Q: What can Indiana agriculture learn from Israel?

A: With limited resources, Israel has embraced technology and innovation, and I think our farmers could greatly benefit from that, specifically when it comes to conserving our natural resources, such as water. Located in a subtropical region, with a mostly Mediterranean climate, Israel has had to adapt year after year to withstand those hot and dry summers. Although I wouldn’t classify Indiana’s climate as arid, we have experienced our fair share of hot and dry summers—not long ago as a matter of fact. That’s why, learning ways to better conserve our natural resources will greatly benefit our farmers, now and in the future.

Q: What did you enjoy most about the trip?

A: Connecting Indiana businesses to technological and agricultural companies was a great feeling. Our department’s vision is to make Indiana agriculture a global leader in innovation and commercialization for food, fuel and fiber production, and this trip was a calculated step towards that goal.

Sip, sample, shop: The Monumental Marketplace goes full circle in 2018

Join more than 150 Indiana Grown vendors in a free celebration of Hoosier-made products as the second Monumental Marketplace takes over downtown Indianapolis’ Monument Circle from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday, June 15.

The farmers market-style event will bring local business owners, farmers and the greater community together to highlight the importance of eating, drinking and shopping local.

The Indiana Grown initiative, nearing its third anniversary, helps consumers identify and buy Indiana-made products—keeping their dollars and food close to home.


Take the afternoon off and sip hot or cold brewed coffee from Noble Coffee & Tea Co. or Herbal Teas from Freebird Farm and Homestead. For those 21 and over, there will even be wine and beer from Indiana wineries and breweries on hand to try.

Have a sweet tooth? Sample gourmet marshmallows from 240sweet. In the mood for something savory? Try hand-breaded tenderloin from Swayzee Tenderloins. Looking for a spicier option? Sample sauces and mustards from Best Boy and artisanal meats from Turchetti’s Salumeria. 

More than food is coming to the circle: Pick up natural soaps and lip balms from Soapy Soap Company or handwoven handbags from Acton Creative.

Monumental marketplace

That’s only a sample of what you’ll find on June 15. Indiana Grown vendors will offer everything from ice cream to popcorn to freshly-cut flowers to an assortment of bacon, ham and pork—and more.

By leaving your lunch at home and eating local, you’ll support farmers and businesses across the state committed to keeping their products local.

If you can’t make it to Monument Circle on June 15, don’t worry! There are more than 1,100 members of Indiana Grown—and at least one in all 92 counties. Find a member near you at


June 15
Indiana Grown Monumental Marketplace -  Indianapolis

June 18-21
Indiana FFA State Convention - West Lafayette


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