Food And Ag Effort Looks to Harvest Growth

Posted: Updated:

Indiana's food and agriculture innovation initiative is moving forward with a new brand and what it calls a "first-of-its-kind" industry report. The organization, now called AgriNovus Indiana, says the study shows the sector employs nearly 70,000 Hoosiers, not including farmers. Executive Director Beth Bechdol says those jobs tend to pay about 30 percent more than Indiana's average wage. The study also identifies areas with potential for growth including plant science and animal nutrition products.

November 5, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- With support from the State of Indiana, leading businesses, and academic institutions, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) has advanced their food and agriculture innovation initiative by creating a name and brand for the organization and publishing a "first-of-its-kind" industry report that details innovation in the State and identifies opportunities for growth.

Established as the Indiana Food and Agriculture Innovation Initiative in late 2013, the organization today announced a new name and brand – AgriNovus Indiana. The name reflects the agriculture industry's continuing focus on new, innovative ideas and products, while the brand depicts technology and also highlights the torch in the state flag of Indiana.

"One of our initial goals for the organization was to build a recognizable brand that was not only a reflection of the sector, but also representative of the State of Indiana," said Beth Bechdol, Executive Director for AgriNovus Indiana. "Together, with the State and key stakeholders from industry and academia, we believe the new name and identity will bring attention to our strategic efforts and raise the level of awareness around Indiana's strengths in food and agricultural innovation."

"CICP and BioCrossroads began its examination of this sector in 2012 and felt strongly that an organized initiative in the State would shine a spotlight on the innovation in the food and agricultural sector and support continued growth in the industry," said David L. Johnson, President and CEO of CICP and BioCrossroads. "A core group of investors and an Executive Steering Committee of government, academic and industry leaders have worked over these last several months to guide an important assessment of our innovation strengths and to provide the Initiative with a unique and fitting identity."

Earlier this year, AgriNovus Indiana initiated a study for Indiana to examine and understand the State's agbiosciences assets and to identify opportunities for future sector growth. The report, published today by AgriNovus Indiana and Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, better defines the agbiosciences sector in Indiana. According to the data, Indiana's agbiosciences sector is an important contributor to the health of Indiana's economy - providing approximately 68,000 high-wage jobs (not including farming), generating large numbers of patents and scientific publications, and investing significant resources in cutting-edge research.

Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann noted, "Agribusiness is a $16 billion industry in Indiana that includes world-class leaders in research and development both in the private sector and at our state's leading research universities. AgriNovus will foster new levels of collaboration and synergy among all the players further advancing this important segment of our economy and creating more jobs for Hoosiers."

The report "Innovative Agbioscience in Indiana: A Baseline Assessment" examines the state of the agbioscience ecosystem in Indiana and provides a detailed evaluation of key food and agriculture innovation drivers for the State. The study specifically identified four key sectors of agbiosciences that have the greatest opportunity for economic growth in Indiana:

• Plant Science and Crop Protection

• Animal Health (Veterinary) and Nutrition Products

• Value-Added Human Food and Nutrition Products

• Agricultural Production Equipment, Processing Equipment and Precision Agricultural Systems

"Indiana is historically a nationally recognized leader in plant sciences and animal health, and it is important for AgriNovus Indiana and our stakeholders to continue to support these two robust sectors," said Bechdol. "In addition, precision agriculture technologies, information and data systems and other agricultural production equipment is a rapidly growing and dynamic sector that Indiana is well-positioned to further expand as these technologies further permeate the industry."

Another priority sector for AgriNovus Indiana will be value-added food and nutrition.

"With the challenges of meeting the nutrition needs of a growing global population and providing healthy foods that sustain strength and health, it is important for Indiana to leverage its extensive food production and processing assets with research in the agricultural, pharmaceutical and human health sectors of Indiana," said Jay Akridge, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture at Purdue University.

With a strategic focus on these four key areas of opportunity, AgriNovus Indiana will continue efforts to build awareness of the industry's ingenuity and value through branding and targeted promotion of Indiana's food and agriculture innovation landscape, expanding collaboration among key stakeholders in strategic areas and supporting the formation of new innovative companies in Indiana.

"Indiana is one of the strongest life sciences states in the U.S., and agbiosciences represent an important element of that leadership," said Johnson. "We are in an enviable position of being able to build upon these assets as well as multi-disciplinary opportunities across the agbiosciences, human and veterinary biomedical sciences and medical devices and equipment sectors."

AgriNovus Indiana is supported by an Executive Steering Committee comprised of professionals representing AGCO, Beck’s Hybrids, Clabber Girl, Dow AgroSciences, Elanco, Indiana Soybean Alliance/Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana State Fair Commission, JBS United, LDI, Ltd., Purdue Agriculture, National FFA, Whiteshire Hamroc, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the Office of the Lt. Governor.

"Together we have worked hard these past several months to accomplish critical milestones for this effort," added Bechdol. "It's exciting to see Indiana taking steps to become recognized as a source of technology and research solutions to some of today's biggest global challenges. Indiana has long been known as a prominent agriculture state. Looking ahead, we must continue to enhance our production capabilities but now more vocally promote and grow the innovative talent and technologies of Indiana as well."

For more information visit

About AgriNovus Indiana

AgriNovus Indiana is the State's food and agriculture innovation initiative focused on advancing the sector as a nationally recognized leader through strategic collaboration among corporations, industry associations, government and universities; the creation and support of new companies; as well as branding and targeted promotions to elevate the sector. AgriNovus Indiana is part of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, an effort dedicated to the Indiana's continued prosperity and growth.

About Central Indiana Corporate Partnership

The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) was formed in 1999 to bring together the chief executives of Central Indiana's prominent corporations, foundations and university presidents in a strategic and collaborative effort dedicated to the region's continued prosperity and growth. To advance this mission, CICP sponsors six key economic development initiatives, AgriNovus Indiana, BioCrossroads, Conexus Indiana, Energy Systems Network and TechPoint, each of which addresses challenges and opportunities unique to its respec