Indiana, Manitoba Continue Ag Collaboration Talks

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(photo courtesy of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture) (photo courtesy of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture)

Indiana agriculture officials are continuing to strengthen the state's relationship with Canada. The state last week hosted a delegation from Manitoba which spent several days visiting the Purdue University College of Agriculture, the Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center and Purdue Foundry. The visit was a follow-up to a trip to Manitoba by an Indiana delegation led by Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler, which culminated in the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two regions.

The Canadian delegation was led by Dori Gingera-Beauchemin, deputy minister of Manitoba Agriculture. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Kettler said the two of them sat down to further discuss the MOU and ways to collaborate.

"Another area that they're very interested in is learning more about youth leadership development (and) ag education," said Kettler. "Of course, the FFA program in the state of Indiana and in the United States is very strong. Mark Poeschl with National FFA was part of that trade mission up to Manitoba last fall and so we're going to look for ways to be able to continue to develop that youth leadership development and maybe agriculture education in their schools and maybe even use Indiana FFA as part of that program as well. It's one of the areas we're going to dig into with more detail."

Kettler says other topics of discussion included broadband connectivity and potential student or professor exchanges with Purdue University. He says they also talked about industrial hemp, which has been a part of Canada's agriculture sector for 30 years and could soon be a big part of Indiana agriculture. 

Kettler says, despite ongoing trade issues at the federal level, the partnership between Indiana and Manitoba shows collaboration is still possible.

"The memorandum of understanding that we signed when we were up there we think is more than a piece of paper. It should be a way to actually start to put actions in place that we can do where we have agreed there's collaboration that can occur and that's what we did while they were here in Indiana and I expect us to continue to do that."

Kettler says he and Deputy Minister of Manitoba Agriculture Dori Gingera-Beauchemin further discussed the MOU and ways to collaborate.
Kettler says, despite ongoing trade issues at the federal level, the partnership between Indiana and Manitoba shows collaboration is still possible.
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