• (Image courtesy of Purdue University)

    Ag Industry Puts Heads Together For Strategic Plan

    Key stakeholders from the state's agriculture sector have released a strategic plan designed to boost the sector over the next decade. The priorities include supporting infrastructure improvement, extending high-speed broadband to all parts of the state and better coordinating ag education with the private sector. The committee that drafted the plan includes leaders from...

  • Monday's launch will include presentations, speakers and panel discussions to detail strategic priorities and initiatives for the next decade.

    State to Unveil 10-Year Ag Strategy

    A group of Indiana agriculture and community leaders will today unveil a 10-year strategic plan for the state's $37 billion ag sector. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture says a team has been working on the plan for the past 18 months. Monday's launch will include presentations, speakers and panel discussions to detail strategic priorities and initiatives for the next decade.

  • Sherilyn Emberton came to Huntington University in 2013.

    Huntington Ag Focus Growing

    The president of Huntington University says the needs of the work force are driving the school's continued focus on agriculture. Sherilyn Emberton says HU's two-year-old ag program taps into a field that has meaning to the region and will "at the end of the day, produce jobs." Agriculture is a $37 billion industry in the state, and in an interview with Inside INdiana Business Television, Emberton said the concept of venturing into ag began when she started asking...

  • (file photo)

    Varied Weather Causes Uneven Start For Farmers

    A corn specialist with Purdue Extension says the growing season in Indiana has gotten off to a very uneven start. Bob Nielsen says heavy rains in April and May left standing water and delayed planting in many parts of the state, while other areas have experienced unusually hot and dry conditions.

  • The agBot Challenge takes place at Gerrish Farms in Rockville.

    Ag Innovation Takes Spotlight

    A high-tech, agriculture-focused event that kicks off Friday in Rockville underscores innovation as well as an asset lacking in many rural communities: high-speed internet service. The agBOT challenge pits teams of university students and entrepreneurs against each other in unmanned robotics competitions at Gerrish Farms in Parke County. In an interview in our Life Sciences INdiana e-newsletter, owner and Manager Steve Gerrish said the challenge brings together...

  • The facility is capable of producing 65,000 tons of fertilizer each year.

    Ag Company Opens Fertilizer Plant

    Wisconsin-based Midwestern BioAg is celebrating the grand opening of its $15 million manufacturing plant at Fair Oaks Farms. The company says the Newton County facility is capable of producing 65,000 tons of fertilizer annually. 

  • The Indiana Soybean Alliance says the state's soybean farmers stand to gain from expanded animal agriculture operations as well.

    Study Shows Animal Ag Potential

    The Indiana Soybean Alliance says a new study suggests Indiana communities should consider animal agriculture when forming economic development strategies. The study from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business shows operations such as poultry, dairy and hog producers have high multipliers, resulting in additional jobs and sales in other industries. The study cites Indiana's existing strength in animal agriculture. It says, as of the 2012 census, the state housed nearly...

  • (Image courtesy of The Dow Chemical Co.)

    Dow AgroSciences Blockbuster Cleared in U.S. And Canada

    A regulatory approval by the Chinese government clears the way for Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences LLC to release its Enlist trait in the United States and Canada. The Asian nation's Ministry of Agriculture has approved the import of corn containing the weed control technology. The Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) subsidiary considers the Enlist trait the biggest development in its history.

  • Edward Breen (left) is chief executive officer of DuPont and Andrew Liveris (right) is CEO of Dow.

    Dow, DuPont Reach Agreement With DOJ

    The proposed $130 billion merger of DuPont (NYSE: DD) and The Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) has cleared another key hurdle. The companies say they have received approval from the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division which would permit the merger to move forward. The agreement is still subject to court approval. The companies say if approval is granted, there would be no further approvals required in the U.S. for the merger to close.

  • Tony (pictured left) and Julie (pictured right) Bombacino launched Real Food Blends in 2013 following an online crowdfunding campaign.

    Real Food Blends Partners on National Distribution

    Chesterton-based Real Food Blends has announced a distribution agreement with a company with a national footprint. The feeding tube meal provider's pouches are now available through Coram CVS Specialty Infusion Services, which is considered the largest home infusion and nutrition company in the U.S. Real Food Blends was established in 2013 by wife and husband team Julie and Tony Bombacino when they found a lack of real food nutritional options for their son who used a feeding tube.

  • (Image courtesy of Bell Aquaculture)

    Acquisition Lined up For Hoosier Indoor Fish Producer

    A Massachusetts company has reached an agreement to acquire a once-promising east central Indiana indoor fish farming business. AquaBounty Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AQB) says the $14 million deal for assets of the Bell Fish Co., which had previously been billed as the largest yellow perch producer in the U.S. The agreement includes Bell's farming facility in Albany. AquaBounty, a subsidiary of Intrexon Corp. (NYSE: XON), says the deal is expected to close within a month.

  • Seymour Egg Producer Cuts Ribbon on New HQ

    Seymour-based Rose Acre Farms Inc. is showcasing its new headquarters. The $5.5 million project began last summer and will house around 80 workers. The nation's second-largest egg producer's Jackson County roots date back to the 1930s. It employs some 2,100 throughout the U.S., 574 of which are in Jackson County.

  • (Image courtesy of Oliver Winery)

    Oliver Winery Part of National List

    A national publication has included Oliver Winery in Bloomington on a list of the 25 best wineries in the country. The list, published by Travel + Leisure, used an analysis of Yelp reviews to determine the results. Oliver was one of only two wineries in the Midwest included in "The Top Vineyards All Around The U.S."

  • Marsh Bankruptcy Sale Attracts 'Numerous Bidders'

    The Wednesday deadline to accept potential buyout bids for Indianapolis-based Marsh Supermarkets has passed and a spokesman for the financially-strapped grocery chain says "numerous bidders" made offers. The company and its advisors are not providing any details about the offers or revealing the identity of any bidder. A statement from Tom Mulligan, a spokesman for Marsh who is based in New York, reads...

  • (rendering courtesy Becknell Industries)

    Monsanto Planning Facility in Greenwood

    St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) is planning to invest nearly $30 million into a new research facility in Greenwood. Our partners at the Daily Journal report the agriculture company would occupy a 140,000 square-foot facility in the Southtech Business Park and add a small number of jobs. Monsanto is requesting a 10-year, $1.6 million personal property tax abatement to equip the facility, which is being developed by...

  • The USDA launched the SET program in 2009.

    Indiana Region Picked For USDA Program

    A USDA program designed to strengthen regional economic development has added an Indiana organization. The Southern Indiana Development Commission is among seven groups in five states selected for the latest round of technical assistance awards. The Stronger Economies Together program offers services including assistance in developing a regional economic development plan and data such as comparative economic advantages as well as demographic and socio-economic information. ...
  • (Image courtesy of Elanco)

    Elanco, Gates Foundation Pair-up in East Africa

    Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health has landed a grant of nearly $2.9 million from a big-name source. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting the company's animal health and productivity initiatives for subsistence cow and chicken farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Elanco Global Leader of Corporate Responsibility Noel Paul says the grant supports Elanco's cause-driven missions, engages employees and could have business benefits.

  • Akanocure is also researching technology that could synthesize and develop anticancer chemotherapeutic drugs derived from natural sources.

    Startups Land Ag-celerator Funding

    The Purdue Ag-celerator has awarded a total of $100,000 to two Purdue University agriculture-based startups. The recipients, Akanocure Pharmaceutical Inc. and VinSense LLC, were chosen from among seven finalists to receive the funding as part of the spring semester Ag-celerator Demo Day.

  • Market Wagon now operates online farmers markets in Indianapolis and Evansville.

    Indy Online Farmers Market Acquired

    Indianapolis-based Market Wagon LLC has acquired FarmersMarket.com, also based in Indy. Market Wagon, which has a similar online market in the Evansville area, says it plans to rebrand the online farmers market and expand the concept to other cities throughout Indiana.

  • Demand Drives Cafe Valley to Add Third Shift

    One of Grant County's largest employers is adding a third shift. Arizona-based Cafe Valley Inc., which opened a baking production facility in Marion in 2014, says it is looking to fill more than 60 openings to keep up with demand. In addition to third shift production help, the company says it is also adding workers to its second shift, as well as maintenance, sanitation and delivery driver positions.

  • (Image courtesy of CraftMark Bakery LLC)

    Baker Plans Production Boost, $16.5M Investment

    A frozen baked goods company is planning to expand production in Indianapolis and add 32 jobs. CraftMark Bakery LLC, formerly known as Specialty Bakery LLC, is seeking tax abatement on a proposed $16.5 million investment that could also retain 237 jobs. The company first launched its Indianapolis facility in 2014. It invested around $75 million into a 225,000 square-foot headquarters and manufacturing operation, meeting its previous hiring goals early.

  • Family Express was founded in Valparaiso and has more than 60 locations.

    Family Express Awarded Another Ethanol Grant

    The Indiana Office of Energy Development and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council have awarded more than $158,000 to Valparaiso-based Family Express Corp. The grant, which is part of the Hoosier Homegrown Fuels Blender Pump Program, adds to the nearly $800,000 grant awarded to Family Express last year.

  • Ellen Ketterson will lead the Prepared for Environmental Change team.

    Grand Challenges Recipient Lands 'Extraordinary Investment'

    Indiana University has announced a $55 million investment into the second project funded through the Grand Challenges Program. The Prepared for Environmental Change initiative is led by IU Distinguished Professor of Biology Ellen Ketterson and supported by a partners including Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), Citizens Energy Group in Indianapolis and several Hoosier government officials. It involves...

  • Cargill Office Relocates to Purdue Research Park

    The east region office for Minnesota-based Cargill's Agricultural Supply Chain has relocated to the Purdue Research Park. Financial details of the move were not disclosed, however, Cargill says the office will initially employ 26 people with the potential to add a small number of jobs.

  • Micronutrients has operations in Indianapolis and, soon, New Castle.

    Agribusiness Company Investing $30M in New Castle

    A Dutch-owned animal feed additive company is planning to invest around $30 million into a new manufacturing plant in New Castle. Micronutrients USA, which was founded more than 20 years ago in Indianapolis, says the facility will lead to 50 new jobs by 2020. The company plans to break ground later this year and the Henry County operation is expected to launch by the middle of 2019. Micronutrients USA currently employs 150 at its Indianapolis facilities.

  • The startup is part of the Purdue Foundry.

    Startup Creates Liquid Bandages From Corn

    Indianapolis-based entrepreneurs are hopeful their new liquid bandage product made from corn could hit the market within a year. Natural Renewal LLC, launched by Purdue University graduates, produces the Natural Renewal Liquid Bandage from corn protein that is left over from the refining process. The company says scaling-up the manufacturing process would be relatively inexpensive.

  • Beck's Hybrids, Israeli Company Collaborating

    Hamilton County-based Beck's Hybrids has announced a new partnership with an Israeli genetics company. The partnership with Kaiima Bio-Agritech Ltd. involves evaluating integration of genomic changes the companies say will result in higher-yielding corn hybrids. The collaboration expands on three years of testing the efficacy of Kaiima's technology platform in Beck's elite corn germplasm. The EP technology uses the plant's own DNA to introduce novel diversity within the genome.

  • (Image courtesy of Strack & Van Til.)

    Stracks Owner Details Bankruptcy Filing

    The Illinois-based parent of northwest Indiana's Strack & Van Til chain of grocery stores has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Central Grocers Inc. says it plans to wind down distribution operations and "conduct an orderly sale" of the 22 remaining Strack & Van Til locations. The chain is based in Highland and its owners announced in April the Strack & Van Til stores were on the market.

  • Edward Breen (left) is chief executive officer of DuPont and Andrew Liveris (right) is CEO of Dow.

    Dow, DuPont Merger Lands Conditional Approval in China

    The planned $130 billion merger between DuPont (NYSE: DD) and The Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) has received conditional regulatory approval from China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). The merger still requires approval in the U.S. and both companies say they are confident that approval will be granted.

  • (Image of Terre Haute campus courtesy of Ivy Tech Community College.)

    Federal Grant to Support In-Demand Ag Training

    Ivy Tech Community College Wabash Valley has received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The funding will support a new precision agriculture center of excellence, which will be housed at the Vigo County Industrial Park. The school's Diesel Heavy Truck Technology program will also be located in the facility, which was previously a doughmaking building.

  • Hospitality Industry, Project Indy Announce Partnership

    Project Indy, Mayor Joe Hogsett's initiative to find meaningful summer employment for high school students, has added another partner. The Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Indianapolis Kitchen Cabinet has signed on to help youth interested in finding summer jobs in the industry. "The fact that the association has become a full partner in our Project Indy effort, I think is very important," he said.

  • (Image courtesy of Sun King Brewing Co.)

    Sun King Makes Moves For 'Solid, Steady' Growth

    A co-founder of Indianapolis-based Sun King Brewing Co. says a shift from self-distribution in its home county will help Indiana's second-largest brewery continue to grow. Clay Robinson says an expanded distribution agreement with Indianapolis-based Monarch Beverage Co. will open additional doors to bars, retailers and restaurants in Marion County, as well as connect Sun King's sales team with Monarch's staff that service accounts "day-in and day-out."

  • WATCH: IoT Hackathon Looks to 'Energize' Economy

    More than 350 participants and dozens of companies are taking part in this weekend's 24-hour AT&T Internet of Things Civic Hackathon. AT&T Indiana President Bill Soards says teams will have 24 hours to develop IoT technology designed to "energize Indiana's economy." He says the event at Launch Fishers will marry Indiana's legacy economy of agriculture, manufacturing and logistics with the state's rapidly-growing tech strength.

  • Ag Innovation Video

    • Ag Industry Puts Heads Together For Strategic Plan

      Key stakeholders from the state's agriculture sector have released a strategic plan designed to boost the sector over the next decade. The major priorities include supporting infrastructure improvement efforts, extending high-speed broadband to all parts of the state and better coordinating ag education standards between educators and the industry.

    • Huntington University Zeroing in on Ag

      Huntington University recently received approval from the Indiana Department of Education to offer an agricultural education degree. The northeast Indiana school also launched its Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies two years ago and broke ground on the Ware Plant Science Production Facility this Spring.


About Ag Innovation

Ag Innovation features news surrounding the growth, success and excitement in the state’s $16 billion agriculture sector. Coverage includes a focus on early stage and startup companies, world class corporations and academic institutions that make Indiana a hub for important industry.

  • Perspectives: Ag INnovation

    • The Growth of IoT in Agriculture

      One of the oldest human trades is farming. Since the dawn of civilization, a need for regular, stable food production has been a staple of society. Today, agriculture is responsible for over $130 billion of our gross GDP in America. 

  • Most Popular Stories

    • Carrier Parent Looks to 'Set The Record Straight'

      The parent of Carrier Corp. says it is looking to clear up some confusion about its plans for its Indianapolis manufacturing facility. Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) says there have been inaccurate reports about the facility and the jobs associated with it.

    • BWI to Break Ground on First U.S. Facility

      State and local officials will Wednesday afternoon join executives from BeijingWest Industries Co. Ltd. to break ground on a more than $80 million manufacturing facility in Greenfield. The nearly 275,000 square-foot building will be the Chinese company's first production site in the U.S. and is expected to create up to 441 jobs by 2021.

    • IU Targets Entrepreneurship With Reorganization

      Indiana University is detailing measures it says will boost entrepreneurial activity at its campuses statewide. President Michael McRobbie has reorganized the IU Research and Technology Corp. in ways the school says will better address challenges such as talent identification, capital, startup space and programming for the companies behind innovations at IU.

    • New Ivy Tech Campus Chancellors in Place Statewide

      As part of its new organizational structure, Ivy Tech Community College has announced the 19 chancellors that will head its statewide campuses. President Sue Ellspermann says it represents the next step "in putting more 'community' into community college." The more localized structure, Ivy Tech says, will create self-sustaining units led by the chancellors. The new setup replaces the regional or bi-regional leadership structure that had been in place.

    • Zionsville Company Relocating to Westfield

      A Zionsville-based distributor is planning to relocate to Westfield. The Westfield Advisory Plan Commission has approved plans from NewPro Containers to invest $4 million for a new facility near the Westfield Business Park.