Indiana Agriculture Insider

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ISDA is now accepting grant applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant program, which works to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the marketplace.

Applications are open to academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, producer associations, community-based organizations and other specialty crop stakeholders. Applications are due by March 22, 2019. A full list of specialty crops is available on USDA’s website.

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The Indiana Statehouse probably isn’t the first place you would expect to see a large number of FFA members, but that certainly wasn’t the case during February, with two major celebrations and frequent chapter visits – all to raise awareness about the importance of agriculture and the student-led organization.

On February 7, the Indiana FFA Association, joined by other Career and Technical Student Organizations, assembled at the Statehouse to celebrate National Career and Technical Education Month. They spent the day meeting with Indiana’s elected leaders and advocating for CTE and CTSOs, which are critical to readying students for college and their careers.

Indiana has eight such programs that serve more than 24,000 students across the state. These organizations are integrated into a school’s CTE programs and courses, and extend learning through innovative programs, experiences, competitions and more. According to the National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations, 94 percent of students that participate in these types of programs graduate from high school.

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In recognition of their important work, State Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany) authored a resolution and honored these organizations in the House Chamber. To read more about the ceremony, click here.

February is also the time of the year when the nation joins together to celebrate National FFA Week. This tradition dates back to 1948, and while every member and chapter celebrates differently, Indiana kicked things off right this year by welcoming more than 90 FFA members to the Statehouse for a full day of leadership development, learning and fun.

Serving as pages in the House and Senate, these members were able to tour the Statehouse, meet with their elected leaders and experience a full day of legislative activity. While they were doing that, the Indiana FFA State Officer team had the opportunity to visit with Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, and discuss opportunities to take FFA and agriculture to the Next Level.

One of the highlights of the day was being recognized by the Indiana General Assembly with a joint resolution, authored by State Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) and sponsored by State Rep. Don Lehe (R-Brookston). The resolution highlighted the impact of the organization, which is preparing more than 12,000 members in Indiana for over 250 unique careers in the food, fiber and natural resource sectors.

Although National FFA Week is over and Career and Technical Education Month is winding down, it’s important to continue to lift up this student-led organization and recognize the important role it plays in the future of agriculture and the state. Click here to read more about FFA Page Day at the Statehouse or here to learn more about National FFA Week.

Special Note: The Indiana FFA Association would like to thank the Indiana Soybean Alliance for providing lunch to this year’s participants.


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The Indiana State Department of Agriculture is conducting two trainings for livestock producers interested in the Certified Livestock Producer Program, which is a voluntary program that recognizes producers that go above and beyond in their farm management in the areas of environmental stewardship, animal well-being, biosecurity, emergency planning and community relations.

The trainings are free and open to all livestock species.

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This month, Bruce Kettler, ISDA Director, and Jim Schellinger, Indiana's Secretary of Commerce, visited Sao Paolo, Brazil and Bogota, Colombia in an effort to grow Indiana’s presence in these key South American markets.

The five day trip included meeting with Sao Paolo city officials, the U.S. Consulate General in Colombia and former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, along with various business executives and U.S. ambassadors.

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Additionally, this visit allowed Director Kettler to meet with Indiana companies, who have expanded to South America, like Corteva Agriscience. This company is headquartered on the northside of Indianapolis, but also has a facility in Brazil.

One highlight of the trip was having dinner with Solinftec representatives, who recently announced a U.S. headquarters in West Lafayette, Indiana. This ag tech-focused company plans to invest $50.6 million to locate its U.S. headquarters to Indiana and looks to provide 334 high wage jobs to Hoosiers by 2022.

Indiana has an excellent business climate. With over half of the U.S. within a day's drive, coupled with a few of the most outstanding research universities in the world, the Hoosier state is a great choice for any business looking to expand. So far, over a dozen Brazilian companies have already invested in Indiana, and it is one of our top 15 trade markets. This trip helped establish connections and solidify business potential in Indiana and across the Midwest.

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  • March 7
    Indiana Grown Day at the Statehouse
    Indiana Statehouse
  • March 15
    Hoosier Homestead Award ceremony
    Indiana Statehouse
  • March 18
    National Ag Day Celebration
    Indiana Statehouse
  • March 25-29
    Grain Safety Week
  • March 27
    Indiana Grain Indemnity Corp Meeting
    Indiana Farm Bureau Building
  • March 28
    Indiana State Fair Commission Meeting
    Indiana State Fairgrounds
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