Leaders for Indiana Grown initiative announced, planning underway

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By: Kate Stoltzfus
kstoltzfus@elkharttruth.com

J. Tyler Klassen/The Truth

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture has announced the members of a commission for the new Indiana Grown program.

Indiana Grown will work to connect consumers with state-grown products, including agriculture from large farming operations to small roadside stands.

The committee was formed to develop and launch the program, which will be “a cooperative effort among producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers and the ISDA in order to brand and promote Indiana produce and production,” according to the ISDA.

Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann announced the appointments on Monday, August 4.

The 10 appointees for the Indiana Grown Initiative Commission are:

  • Bob White – Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc. 
(Indianapolis)
  • Cheryl Carter Jones – Local Growers’ Guild 
(Bloomington)
  • Pete Eshelman – Joseph Decuis
 (Roanoke)
  • Chelsea Marburger – Indianapolis City Market 
(Indianapolis)
  • Chris Baggott – Tyner Pond Farm 
(Greenfield)
  • Jeanette Merritt – Indiana Wines and Purdue Wine Grape Team 
(West Lafayette)
  • Sara Yelich – Historic Lafayette Farmers’ Market
 (Lafayette)
  • Deb Trocha – Indiana Cooperative Development Center 
(Indianapolis)
  • Margaret Asher – Asher Agency 
(Fort Wayne)
  • Mark Straw – Strawbridge Farm

Ted McKinney, director of the ISDA, will chair the commission, and a representative from Purdue University will also serve.

The 12-member committee will give direction to ISDA staff to connect businesses that use or sell agricultural products, including restaurants, grocers, wholesalers, processors and farmers’ markets with Indiana-based producers of meat, fruits, vegetables, wine and forest products.

“The Indiana Grown program will be an effective way to promote the variety of food and beverage items produced by our own Hoosier agriculture industry,” Ellspermann said in a statement. “I am grateful that for the leadership that this group of volunteers representing a variety of interests will provide for the Indiana Grown program.”

The commission held its first meeting to discuss the format of the new program on Friday, August 8 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

All farm and specialty food producers or anyone involved in the production of agricultural products can apply for membership with the ISDA.

For more information, visit the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

See a list of Indiana Grown Producers.

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