Indiana Agriculture Insider

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Op-Ed: Cultivating Valuable Relationships With Canada

Suzanne Crouch

Relationships are critical in today’s globally dynamic marketplace. They are the driving mechanism behind so many industries, from agricultural production to international trade, and we could not be successful today were it not for our strong partnerships, especially those internationally.
Recently, I led a group of agriculture-focused delegates on an economic development trip to Canada’s Manitoba Province to strengthen Indiana’s global economy by targeting growth in key sectors, primarily agriculture. We participated in business round tables, held meetings with senior government and university officials and toured research facilities. Together, we brought back not only a better understanding of the importance of our trade relationship with Canada, but also how to further develop economic growth between Indiana and Manitoba.
To provide some insight, our trade relationship with Manitoba is a two-way street worth $1.1 billion in 2017, which was an increase of 36 percent from 2013. Indiana is the province’s seventh largest trading partner in the U.S., and nearly 190,000 Indiana jobs depend on trade and investment in Canada. Indiana exports more product to Canada than any other country in the world and is home to 70 Canadian businesses – like CN Railway, Dorel Juvenile Group, KIK Custom Products and Magna Powertrain. It is paramount that we maintain our strong trade relationship with Canada and Manitoba, so we can continue to grow our economic footprint.
We know Indiana has strong agricultural ties, and Manitoba benefits from the trade and economic growth the industry brings. While there, we signed a memorandum of understanding to expand cooperation to several areas including agricultural research and development, youth education and leadership and trade investment. This agreement lays the groundwork to establishing long-term, cooperative relationships between our two jurisdictions.
As a result of the MOU, Indiana and Manitoba will establish working groups, comprised of education, agriculture, business and government leaders, to discuss progress made under the agreement, identify additional areas of growth and, of course, keep those lines of communication open. This ensures a clear path forward and is the first step towards taking our economies to the Next Level.
Canada is Indiana’s strongest import and export partner, and we value and appreciate the investments the country has made into our state. We look forward to building on this strong foundation and working together towards a brighter future.
We want to keep a good thing growing.


Suzanne Crouch
Lieutenant Governor

8 Safety Tips for Motorists this Harvest Season


Harvest season is a busy time for our farmers and our rural roadways. To keep Hoosiers safe this year, state agencies are asking motorists to be alert, patient and responsible, as they share the road with slow-moving farm equipment. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, farm equipment vehicles (not including trucks) were involved in 92 fatal crashes across the U.S last year – with six of those incidents occurring in Indiana.

The most common types of farm equipment motorists will encounter on roads include combines, tractors pulling grain carts and large trucks hauling agricultural products.

Here are 8 driving tips to keep you, your family and farmers safe this year.

  • Watch for wide vehicles, especially when approaching curves and hills in the road.
  • Look for a reflective red triangle on the back of any farm  equipment on the road. This symbol indicates a slow-moving vehicle, one that travels under 25 mph.
  • Avoid texting and talking on the phone while driving.
  • Leaving home 10 minutes early during harvest season can help eliminate any potential delays during the commute.
  • Most farmers will pull over when they are able to let you pass, but it may take time for them to get to a safe place to do so.
  • Only pass large, slow-moving farm equipment when in an area that allows for passing. Double yellow lines on a roadway indicate an area in which passing is not permitted. Do not attempt to pass when within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad crossing, bridge or tunnel.
  • Look for hand signals before attempting to pass the vehicle. The size of farm equipment often dictates the necessity for wide turns, both to the left and the right. Just because a tractor veers right does not mean the operator is pulling over to allow someone to pass.
  • Avoid tailgating, as some farm equipment might have to make sudden stops along the road.

Along with Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, the following state agencies will be sharing safety tips this harvest season: Indiana Bureau of Motor VehiclesIndiana Department of Homeland SecurityIndiana Department of TransportationIndiana State Department of Agriculture,  Indiana State Police and Hoosier Ag Today.

Midwest Farmers Receive Red Gold Stewardship Awards

Red Gold

Recently, Red Gold tomatoes, in partnership with ISDA, awarded two of their growers with scholarships for practicing exceptional stewardship and conservation of their land and natural resources. 

Lievens Bros. owned by Brent, Greg, and Troy Lievens is a fourth generation farm and has been farming for Red Gold for more than 27 years. This year they planted 300 acres of tomatoes for Red Gold to process. 

Over the years Lievens Bros. have incorporated a variety of conservation practices into their farm including, planting cover crops, installing grass waterways and filter strips, maintaining and restoring wetlands and growing vegetative field boarders. 


The McKillip family owns McKillip Farms, and this year they grew more than 270 acres of tomatoes this year for Red Gold. 

McKillip Farms improves their soil's health by planting cover crops and practices conservation tillage. In addition, they also install grass waterways, grass travel lanes for harvest and use grass filter strips in open ditches, which reduces erosion. 

Lievens Bros. of Petersburg, Michigan, was awarded the top prize of $1000 and the option to ship an extra truckload of tomatoes per day during harvest.  McKillip Farms, of Wabash, Indiana, was awarded the second prize and received $500 and the option to ship an extra half truckload of tomatoes per day during harvest.  


Oct. 2
Indiana State Fair Advisory Committee meeting
Oct. 8
Offices Closed - Columbus Day
Oct. 9-10
Indiana Life Sciences Summit
Oct. 11
Indiana Grown Commission meeting
Oct. 24-27
National FFA Convention


Watch for slow-moving farm equipment

Indiana Grown: Tulip Tree Creamery

Indiana, Manitoba Sign MOU on Agriculture

Ag Director: Trade Dialogue Key During 'Rough Patches'

Livestock grant applications now being accepted

New Palestine woman wins photography award

Focused on agriculture: Columbus woman's camera captures farm life 

Indiana Moves Forward on Rural Broadband

Italian cheese plant coming to Indiana

Hoosier Homestead Award winner proves there's no place like home


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