EXCLUSIVE: Solinftec to Move Global HQ to Indiana
Brazil-based precision agriculture company Solinftec, which established its U.S. headquarters at the Purdue Research Park earlier this year, is now planning to move its global HQ from South America to West Lafayette. CEO Rodrigo lafelice dos Santos...
Indiana Farmland Values Stable, Credit Conditions Rocky
A new report from the Chicago district of the Federal Reserve Bank shows agricultural credit conditions in this part of the Midwest continue to decline. But that same report also shows stability in the value of good farmland. The data shows the value of more productive farmland in Indiana remains unchanged from last year while the five-state district overall saw a decline of one percent.
Elanco CEO: Growth in Targeted Categories
Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health Inc. (NYSE: ELAN) is reporting third-quarter net income of $10 million, compared to $60 million during the same period last year. The company attributes the decrease to “asset impairments, restructuring, and other special charges.
Indiana Farmers Help You to Tailgate
If you’re getting ready to tailgate before your favorite football team’s kickoff, Indiana farmers have a recipe you may want to prepare. After all, they eat many-a-meal on the tailgate of their pickup trucks during the busy fall season. The Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance have announced the winner of 2019 Colts Best Tailgate Recipe Contest.
Farmer Outlook on Ag Economy & Trade Improves
As farmers move through harvest it appears they feel more upbeat about the overall agricultural economy, but there’s still some concern about trade agreements. That’s the overall message from the October reading of the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.
Purdue Awarded $9M Grant for Plant Sensing Research
Purdue University scientists have been awarded $9 million in matching grants to further study how plant breeders use remote sensing technologies to measure the characteristics of plants. That sort of manual, in-field, work can be slow, laborious and expensive.
Indiana Hemp Growers Get Federal Guidance
Indiana hemp growers and those who process the crop now have a better roadmap for the legal production of industrial hemp in the Hoosier state in 2020. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the proposed federal regulations Thursday, which launches a 60-day comment period. “It gives the overall industry some certainty about the rules of the game,” says Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Though it is called an interim...
Harvest Time: Farm Groups Urge Motorist Patience
Recent rainfall across Indiana has kept many farmers out of their field, just as they’re trying to bring in the weather-challenged crop. Indiana Farm Bureau and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture are reminding motorists to be patient with farmers who are moving their slow-moving farm equipment on Indiana roads.
Purdue Awarded $1M Federal Grant for Hemp 'Education'
Purdue University has received a nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help scientists get a better understanding of the production of industrial hemp. Growing hemp became legal when Congress approved the 2018 Farm Bill.
New Ag-Focused Strategy Aims to Attract Business
The state of Indiana is offering a new strategy to help rural areas attract economic development to their communities: agriculture. And while agribusiness and farming are not new business concepts, they are often overlooked as being an asset. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture and other associations are trying to change that by introducing the Rural Economic Development Model to community and economic leaders in rural parts of the state. A major part of ...
AgriNovus Highlighting Jobs at FFA Convention
This week, Indianapolis will again play host to some 70,000 attendees for the National FFA Convention. Since its early days, the FFA has evolved to integrate all aspects of modern agriculture, including the agbiosciences and AgriNovus Indiana will continue to play a key role in the convention as part of its partnership with Microsoft. AgriNovus Chief Executive Officer Beth Bechdol says the Blue Room, in its second year, serves as an "innovation pavilion"...
Hemp Processor Announces Expansion
Indianapolis-based BDX Indiana has announced plans to bring more than 100 new jobs to central Indiana, with about a third of those going to a planned hemp extraction facility in Westfield. BDX extracts CBD oil from Indiana-grown hemp and is a sister company of Biodynamic Ventures, the largest hemp grower in Indiana. The city says the phase one build-out of the overall $50 million project is expected to begin this month with production to start in December.
Slow Harvest in Indiana, Mixed Yield Estimates
As fall harvest rolls along across the Corn Belt, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has updated its predictions of the size of the nation’s corn and soybean crops. In Indiana, the data shows the state’s corn yield has improved, while soybeans dropped over the past month.
Kettler: U.S., Japan Trade Deal to Benefit Hoosier Farmers
The U.S. and Japan this week formally signed a trade agreement that will reduce or eliminate Japanese tariffs on multiple U.S. agricultural products, including beef, pork and corn. Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler attended the signing ceremony at the White House.
Indiana Farmers Eager for EPA Biofuel Promises
The Trump administration has unveiled a plan to increase U.S. biofuels consumption and help farmers struggling with low grain prices, weather challenges and trade war fatigue. The Indiana Corn Growers Association is welcoming the news which would boost next year the amount of ethanol that oil refiners must add to gasoline production.
Farmer Sentiment Slips in September
A national survey of 400 farmers, conducted by Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, shows ag producers are a bit more pessimistic this month about the overall economic conditions in farm country. The Purdue University Ag Economy Barometer dropped three points from the August reading of 124.
More Than Butter, Land O' Lakes Focuses on Technology
When you hear the phrase Land O’ Lakes, many consumers may immediately think of butter, milk and cheese. But the Minnesota-based agricultural cooperative is much bigger than dairy products. The chief technology fficer of the 4,000 member-owned co-op recently spoke at the Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis. In addition to their branded milk products, Land O’ Lakes is also heavily invested in livestock animal feed and crop inputs, including seed, fertilizer and...
The Bee Corp Awarded Grant
Agriculture technology startup The Bee Corp has received another National Science Foundation grant to help develop business aspects of its pollination measurement technology. The company says the $750,000 grant will allow it to scale development of its software tool, Verifili, which uses infrared images to measure the value of beehives used for pollination.
Dryness Lingers, Burn Bans Ordered Downstate
Much of the state hasn’t received measurable amounts of rainfall in weeks, leaving many counties abnormally dry. The U.S. Drought Monitor indicates three-quarters of the state is considered dry or in some form of drought, prompting four more Indiana counties to issue burn bans on Friday.
The Future of Farming? A 'Swarm' of Tractors
A young inventor and entrepreneur from northwest Indiana thinks the future of farm tractors is smaller, lighter and abundant. Zack James is the founder of Rabbit Tractors Inc. in Cedar Lake. James displayed his idea last week at the Forbes AgTech Summit held in Indianapolis where he hoped to get the attention of investors. James’ Rabbits are significantly smaller than the traditional tractors you see in Indiana fields. His concept is to use a “swarm” of...
$2B Grain Deal for Hoosier Farmers
While Hoosier grain farmers may feel the downside effects of a trade dispute with China, they’re also celebrating trade with another trans-Pacific partner. Directors of the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council have signed an agreement to sell millions of metric tons of corn and soybeans to Taiwan in a deal worth more than $2 billion.
Showcasing Indiana at Forbes AgTech Summit
National and global leaders in the worlds of agriculture, technology, and science have closed out the 2019 Forbes Ag Tech Summit in Indianapolis, now in its second year in the state. The event gathered industry leaders and entrepreneurs who are looking for answers to the challenges of growing and producing food. The two-day summit, hosted by AgriNovus Indiana, addressed food animal health, protein and crops.
Elanco Marks One Year Since IPO, Split from Lilly
Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health (NYSE: ELAN) is celebrating the first anniversary of its initial public offering, following the split from Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY). On September 20, 2018, shares of Elanco stock began trading for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange. Since then, the independent public company has acquired several companies to bolster its research and development of vaccines and antibiotics for both the animal agriculture...
Indiana Crops Struggle in Homestretch as Harvest Begins
With 2019 grain crops heading into the homestretch of the growing season, it appears most Indiana farmers won’t be harvesting bin-busting crops of corn and soybeans. New federal data shows it could be the worst crop in terms of yield since the drought year of 2012.
Tracking Ag Assets in Kosciusko County
The Warsaw-based Kosciusko Economic Development Corp. has announced a project to better understand the agricultural sector in the county and showcase its impact on the economy. KEDCo., Purdue Extension and the community foundation are helping to launch an asset mapping project.
Purdue Startup Receives $1M for Orange Corn Research
A Purdue University-affiliated startup company that developed what it calls “better corn” was recently awarded a series of grants totaling more than $1 million. NutraMaize LLC has developed and is attempting to broadly commercialize orange-colored corn which contains higher levels of carotenoids.
Purdue Ag Barometer Registers Big Drop
Farmers are feeling less optimistic about the ag economy than they were in July, according to results of a new survey conducted by Purdue University's Center for Commercial Agriculture. After rising sharply two months in a row, the Ag Economy Barometer declined 29 points, down from the 153 it registered in July.
Indiana Declared Ag Disaster Area
Hoosier farmers in all 92 counties who sustained weather-related damage this year due to excessive rain and flooding are eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance, according to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared 74 counties as primary natural disaster areas. The other 18 Indiana counties are considered contiguous disaster counties, which allows farmers in those areas to be eligible for the same government assistance.
McKinney: USMCA Brings Hoosier Farmers ‘Certainty’
As weather and trade issues make 2019 a difficult year for many Indiana farmers, a U.S. agriculture official with strong ties to the state says the proposed replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement would bring something the farm economy desperately needs: stability. “We think it’s going to be a great deal for all of our farmers, and particularly (Indiana) with our proximity to Canada,” said Ted McKinney, a former Director of the Indiana...
2019 Indiana Crops 'Bottom of the Worst Ever'
“In terms of maturity, I would say it's right down there at the bottom of the worst ever,” proclaimed Brian Grete, editor of the Iowa-based Pro Farmer grain marketing newsletter, about the 2019 Indiana corn and soybean crops. Last week, Grete led a team of 60 field scouts across Indiana to get a late-season assessment of Indiana’s major grain crops. “One of my most mature corns samples I pulled (from the field) would have been the least mature in a normal year...
Gas City Startup Helping Hemp Farmers
Last month, it became legal for Hoosier farmers to grow hemp and a Gas City-based startup is being aggressive in being among the first to take advantage of market opportunities. Heartland Harvest Processing is helping farmers connect the new agricultural commodity to consumer products, including CBD. Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Moorman says the first hemp harvest under the new law is expected to begin next month. In an interview with Business of Health...
Ethanol Plant to Stop Production, POET Blames EPA
Ethanol production at an Indiana biofuels plant will be stopped and the owner blames Environmental Protection Agency policies and the oil refining industry. South Dakota-based POET Energy announced the plant in Cloverdale will be placed in “idle production” within several weeks, though no date has been set. The ethanol producer says 100’s of local jobs will be impacted, but the news release did not specifically mention “layoffs” at this point.
Fair Officials Looking Toward Future Growth
The Indiana State Fair will wrap up this weekend, continuing its multi-million-dollar impact on the state. However, officials at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, which has seen a number of investments over the past few years, are already looking toward the future. Governor Eric Holcomb has proposed using $50 million from the state's budget reserves to make improvements to the historic Swine Barn, which was built in 1923. In a recent interview on Inside INdiana Business with...
Federal Grant Supports Food Safety Lab at Purdue
Purdue University has unveiled a new lab designed to increase awareness and develop environments for food safety. The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded the university nearly $10 million to establish the first Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Safety. Associate Professor of Food Science Haley Oliver will direct the lab in collaboration with Cornell University and says the goal is to train domestic and global graduate students in research to develop the next...
USDA Report Shows Decline in Crop Yield Projections
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Hoosier farmers will see a much smaller corn and soybean crop this year, the projections based on surveys with farmers. On Monday, the USDA released a new report on the number of corn and soybean acres farmers actually were able to plant this year following a wet spring which caused delays throughout the Midwest. In Indiana, the department expects 4.9 million acres of corn, down from earlier projections of 5.4 million acres. The statewide corn...
Hoosier Farmers Say 'This One is Extreme'
Battling severe weather and uncertain market conditions is nothing new for farmers, who will tell you it comes with the territory. But this year’s weather, wet in the spring and now very dry in some parts of the state, is wreaking havoc on the state’s farm economy. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has requested federal disaster assistance for 88 of the state’s 92 counties. Boone County farmer Don Lamb says for the first time ever, 120 acres on his...
Kettler: Room for Optimism Amid Tough Farming Year
The director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture says while it will be difficult for farmers to get through a tough farming season this year, there is room for optimism. Bruce Kettler spoke Tuesday at the Indiana Ag Policy Summit in Indianapolis and says the strength of the agriculture industry and Hoosier farms is good, but not great. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Kettler said while everyone is looking to improve...
Constant Canopy Gaining National Attention
A farmer in Gaston is gaining national attention for using cash and cover crops in unison. Jason Mauck, chief executive officer of Constant Canopy says the idea is nothing new. “It started in the Depression. Farmers would sow wheat into corn,” said Mauck, whose background was in landscaping before coming back home to the farm. “It just didn't make much sense that we were only growing one crop. I’m used to flowers and different plant species, so I started...
Inaugural Conference to Focus on Diversity, Inclusion
A two-day conference kicking off Friday is designed to promote a more diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem in central Indiana. InnoPower Conference Co-founder Jamal Smith says the goal of the event is to create a platform to give everyone a seat at the table to bring their innovative thoughts and energy and create the access that traditionally hasn't existed. The event will feature a variety of local and national speakers, as well as a pitch competition and the InnoPower...
Jeffersonville Being Considered for CBD Plant
California-based Layn USA could soon establish operations in southern Indiana. One Southern Indiana, the economic development organization and chamber of commerce for Clark and Floyd counties, says the company has signed a purchase and sales agreement with the River Ridge Development Authority for a proposed $52 million CBD manufacturing facility. The project, the company says, would have the capacity to process a minimum of 5,000 tons of hemp biomass each year. As part of the...
Crouch: Trade Mission Strengthens Mexico Relationship
Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch says a recent trade mission to Mexico aimed to show that Indiana is open for business. Crouch led a delegation of Indiana agriculture and tourism officials to Mexico this week, which was highlighted by the signing of a letter of intent between Indiana and the Mexican state of Hidalgo. The letter calls for enhanced cooperation between the two states in areas including agriculture, education, and science and technology. In an interview with...
Crouch Leading Delegation to Mexico
Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch is leading a group of Indiana agriculture and tourism officials to Mexico to cultivate economic partnerships, strengthen agricultural relationships and highlight Indiana as a tourism destination. The delegates will meet with Mexican travel writers, tour organizers, travel agents, and potential businesses, who are interested in expanding their tourism reach to America. The agricultural delegation will focus on Mexico City, with a...
Monumental Marketplace Highlights Hoosier Businesses
The Indiana Grown initiative is celebrating more than 130 Hoosier businesses at the third annual Monumental Marketplace in downtown Indianapolis. Program Director Heather Tallman tells Inside INdiana Business the event not only gives attendees the chance to sample locally-made products, but also provides a benefit for businesses. "We like to provide opportunities just like this where they can reach the public from all over the state in one place." Tallman says Indiana Grown...
Governor Meets with Ag Leaders on Delayed Planting
Governor Eric Holcomb recently met with leaders from the state's agriculture sector regarding the impact of unusual weather conditions on farms and other ag businesses. The USDA says 84 percent of Indiana's corn crop and 64 percent of soybeans have been planted. Typically, both crops are at 100 percent planted by this time of the year.
Indiana, Manitoba Continue Ag Collaboration Talks
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...
Hoosier Startups Win Evansville Pitch Competition
Two Indiana startups took home prizes last week at the Venture Club of Indiana's regional pitch competition in Evansville. The winners were selected out of five companies that gave pitches and will move on to the statewide Innovation Showcase competition in August.
Indiana Not Selected for USDA Agency Headquarters
Indiana will not become the new home of two of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's divisions. The USDA announced today it has selected the Greater Kansas City Region to serve as the headquarters for its Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Elevate Purdue Foundry Awards Investments
Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund has announced $80,000 in investment funding to four Purdue University-affiliated startups. The startups have been selected to receive tier-one "Black Award" investments of $20,000 each. They are Covert Defenses, BDYWR, Rogo Ag LLC and C2 Medical Robotics Inc. Covert Defenses develops technology to prevent computer attacks on systems such as a nuclear reactor or power plant.
Farmer Sentiment Hits Two-Year Low
A study from Purdue University says agriculture producer sentiment has dropped to its lowest level since October 2016. The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, which surveys 400 ag producers nationwide each month, says farmers' concerns on both current and future economic conditions have "worsened considerably."
Purdue Ag-Tech Startup Lands $200K
A Purdue University ag-tech startup has secured two large investments. Rogo Ag LLC, which is developing autonomous robots to collect more accurate soil samples for farmers, received $200,000 from the Purdue Ag-Celerator Fund and Ag Alumni Seed, a Purdue-affiliated nonprofit.
NextGen Expo, agBOT Challenge to Begin
The Purdue University College of Agriculture and Gerrish Farms in Rockville will Thursday kick off a three-day event to showcase high-tech innovations in agriculture. The NextGen Expo and agBOT Challenge 2019 will both take place at the Agronomy Center for Research and Education on the West Lafayette campus.
Professor: USDA Selection Would Bring Benefits to Indiana
A professor of political science at IUPUI says Indiana would be a great landing spot for two agencies within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The department has named Indiana one of three finalists to serve as the home for its Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Bill Blomquist says having the agencies located in Indiana would raise the level and the quality of research and education in agriculture in the state, in addition to economic and ...
Customer Focus, Tech Drive Beck's Expansion
Beck’s Chief Executive Officer Sonny Beck believes his company’s focus on customer relationships and technology are driving forces in building what is now the largest family-owned seed company in the nation. Last week, Beck’s announced a $62 million expansion at its Atlanta, Indiana headquarters operation, essentially doubling processing capabilities there. The investment could also mean nearly 60 new jobs over three years, jobs that Beck says are...
Indiana Among Finalists For USDA Agencies
Indiana is among three finalists to become the new homes of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The proposal from Purdue University, the state of Indiana and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. was chosen from among 136 Expressions of Interest from 35 states. The department says it took into account factors including workforce, infrastructure and quality of life. The USDA announced last...
Ag Tech Company Bringing Hundreds of Jobs to Rushville
Florida-based Cormo USA Inc. has announced plans to establish its first U.S. production plant in Rushville and create up to 250 jobs by the end of 2023. The company, which uses technology to turn corn field waste into sustainable products, says it will invest nearly $30 million to build and equip a facility on 10 acres in Rushville's Commerce Park. Cormo USA is a joint venture between Switzerland-based Cormo AG and Sustainable Projects Group Inc. in Florida. It plans to break...
Beck: We Want to Expand in Indiana
The chief executive officer of Beck's Hybrids in Hamilton County says they wanted to continue growing in Indiana. The company today announced plans to invest $60 million to build a new facility at its Atlanta headquarters and create about 60 jobs. Sonny Beck says the facility will focus on soybean processing and double the the company's current processing capacity. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Beck said the company could have gone to Iowa to build this type of...
Beck's Plans $60M Expansion
Hamilton County-based Beck's Hybrids says it will pump more than $60 million into expanding operations at its Atlanta headquarters. The company expects its planned new soybean processing facility to be complete by 2022. Beck's says the expansion, which will double processing capacity, will result in about 60 new jobs. The new facility will include a seven-story, stand-alone processing tower, five new warehouses, office space and storage space. Beck's says the expansion will...
Traders Point Creamery Completes Restructuring
Zionsville-based Traders Point Creamery says it has completed several steps to bring its brand home. In an open letter to customers, the dairy farm said it has completed several efforts to return to its roots as an Indiana company and a farm-based food experience.
Showcase Winners Highlight Variety in Agbiosciences
An ag startup that originated at Purdue University was one of the big winners at Tuesday's Ag+Bio+Science Start-up Showcase in Indianapolis. NutraMaize, which specializes in non-GMO orange corn, won the People's Choice award and $2,000 at the event hosted by AgriNovus Indiana.
Showcase Spotlights Agbioscience Startups
AgriNovus Indiana will today host its annual Ag+Bio+Science Start-up Showcase in Indianapolis. The event will feature presentations from the entrepreneurs behind six agbiosicence startups from throughout the state, two of which will receive a People's Choice cash prize based on an audience vote. Dan Dawes, senior director of innovation and strategy for AgriNovus, says the showcase continues to grow with more competitive and advanced companies being featured. In an interview with...
Kettler: Census Shows Indiana's Farming Strength
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture says the latest Census of Agriculture shows the sector remains the backbone of the state. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released the census, which is taken every five years. It shows Indiana's agricultural production in 2017 totaled more than $11 billion, which the ISDA says puts the state in the top 10 nationwide for total agricultural products sold. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business...
Agriculture Secretary Bullish on Purdue
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture is touting the work of Purdue University. Sonny Perdue visited the West Lafayette campus Tuesday to meet with President Mitch Daniels, as well as students and faculty. It was one of several stops in Indiana for Perdue, who also visited the National FFA Center and Second Helpings Inc. in Indianapolis. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Perdue called the university an...
IU School of Medicine Report Targets Breast Cancer
A new report from the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine outlines potential future options to treat triple negative breast cancer. Researcher Xiongbin Lu says he and a collaborator have patented a new "nano-bomb" method, which could lead to a targeted therapy option.
More Families Earn Hoosier Homestead Awards
More than 50 families from throughout the state have been recognized for operating longstanding farms. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler have presented the latest Hoosier Homestead Awards, recognizing farms owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years.
Indy Students Running Cheese-Making Business
Middle school students at Paramount Schools of Excellence in Indianapolis are getting a unique, hands-on entrepreneurial opportunity. With the help of school staff, the students are running a licensed dairy operation and hub for artisan cheeses, which is being featured at various high-profile restaurants, markets and bistros throughout the state. The mayor-sponsored charter school on the city's near east side has turned about an acre of its campus into a dairy farm.
State Seeks to Tap 'Tremendous Potential' of Hardwood Industry
New investment and jobs that pay well above the state average are among the payoffs state officials see in a just-released hardwood strategy. The Indiana Hardwood Strategy will focus on business development, education and marketing in hopes of growing an industry valued at more than $10 billion annually and responsible for 70,000 jobs. Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler says a boost to the sector could benefit some areas of the state that face economic...
New Strategy to Focus on Indiana's Hardwood Sector
Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch has unveiled a new initiative to boost Indiana's hardwood industry. The Indiana Hardwood Strategy aims to expand existing wood processing facilities and attract new hardwood companies to Indiana. Crouch says the industry contributes more than $10 billion to Indiana's economy and supports more than 70,000 high-wage jobs. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Crouch said an assessment of the state's...
Entrepreneur Chosen For Fellowship to Africa
A young Indiana entrepreneur is using his expertise to help families in Africa. Scott Massey, a graduate of Purdue University and co-founder of Evansville-based Heliponix, has been selected for his second Mandela Washington Fellowship to lead educational workshops in the Republic of Cameroon.
Ivy Tech Surpasses Goal For Precision Ag Facility
Ivy Tech Community College in Terre Haute is celebrating a fundraising milestone. The school says it has exceeded its $2.5 million goal in the capital campaign to support its precision agriculture equipment technology and diesel technology programs, including the renovation of the Center of Excellence, which houses the programs. Chancellor Lee Anne Crooks says while the facility opened at the beginning of the current academic year, the campaign continued in order to provide the...
Organic Dairy Facility Gets Green Light
A controversial large-scale organic dairy project in Newton County is moving forward. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report construction has begun on the facility for the Texas-based Natural Prairie Dairy project, which is opposed by many due to environmental contamination concerns.
'Unique' Coworking Space Opens in Greenfield
A new coworking space in Hancock County aims to fill an underserved need in east central Indiana. Idea Co-op features a traditional indoor coworking area, along with 36 acres of outdoor space that can be used by members. The coworking space is operated by Greenfield-based NineStar Connect and director of business and economic development Jill Snyder says the outdoor aspect makes it a unique concept for the region.
Fort Wayne Farm Show Celebrating 30 Years
More than 400 exhibitors will take part in the 30th annual Fort Wayne Farm Show, which kicks off Tuesday. Show Director Fred Cline says the event is the largest farm show in Indiana and up to 35,000 people are expected to attend this year. He says the variety of agriculture represented in the region continues to make Fort Wayne an attractive spot for the event that draws not only regional dealers, but representatives from various manufacturers. In an interview with...
Gift to Purdue Will Endow Faculty Chair
A gift to the Purdue University Department of Agricultural Economics will endow a faculty chair and help support student learning opportunities. Nonprofit Clearing Corporation Charitable Foundation donated $1.5 million to create the endowment for the Clearing Corporation Charitable Foundation Chair in Food and Agricultural Marketing and a fund to support students. The $1 million gift toward the chair will be matched by the College of Agriculture Endowed Chair Challenge Matching Gift P...
Indiana Touts Another Record Year For Jobs
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says Indiana set another record for economic development in 2018. The state it landed 320 national and international commitments from companies, topping $7.3 billion in investment and more than 31,000 new jobs. The IEDC also reports the planned jobs offer an average wage of $26.84 per hour, which is more than 20 percent higher than the state's current average. The year's biggest projects include Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), which is...
SMWC to Offer Sustainable Agriculture Certificate
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is adding a graduate certificate in sustainable agriculture in the spring. The graduate certificate is a 17-credit, 5-month program for farmers, agriculture educators and others interested environmentally sound agriculture. “Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is committed to a set of core values, among them sustainability. This graduate certificate program is a natural fit for the College and its mission because it promises to prepare th...
National FFA Convention to Stay in Indy
One of the state's largest conventions will remain in Indianapolis. The National FFA Organization has announced Indy will continue to host the National FFA Convention & Expo through 2031. The announcement comes two months after the organization set a new attendance record at the 2018 convention, which drew 69,944 people. The event had an estimated economic impact of $39.8 million for the city. The organization has previously committed to hold the event...
Solinftec Aims to Bring Momentum to Purdue HQ
The chief operating officer of a Brazil-based ag tech company says he hopes to bring the success he's seen in his home country to the U.S. Daniel Padrao says the U.S. market is very important for Solinftec, which announced Thursday plans to establish its U.S. headquarters at the Purdue Research Park. The company has already set up operations in Florida and California and Padrao says they are moving at a very fast pace. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Padrao said...
Another Ag Tech Company Picks Purdue Research Park
A Brazil-based digital agriculture company has big plans in West Lafayette. Solinftec says it will invest more than $50 million to establish its U.S. headquarters at the Purdue Research Park and create more than 300 jobs by 2022. The company provides Internet of Things-based technology to provide farmers with real-time data. Purdue President Mitch Daniels says the move is the latest evidence of the school "becoming a world center of precision agriculture."
West Coast Ag Tech Accelerator Coming to Midwest
A California-based venture and innovation firm has announced plans to bring its THRIVE AgTech program to the Midwest. SVG Partners says the accelerator will focus specifically on animal health and support agriculture advancements while working with Indiana-based corporate partners such as AgriNovus Indiana, Elanco Animal Health Inc. (NYSE: ELAN) in Greenfield and Purdue University.
Food, Ag Tech Part of Agbioscience Innovation Summit
More than 400 business leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists and investors will gather Thursday for the 2018 Agbiosciences Innovation Summit in downtown Indianapolis. The day-long event, hosted by AgriNovus Indiana, will focus on food and ag tech investment, as well as the journey for ag tech startups in Indiana and opportunities for Indiana to grow in the sector. Elanco Animal Health Inc. Executive Vice President Aaron Schacht said the event is...
Indy Part of Growth Plans For Corteva
The agriculture division of Michigan-based DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) is looking to Indiana to help continue its growth. The formation of Corteva Agriscience, which has a large presence in Indianapolis, was first announced nine months ago. Rajan Gajaria, executive vice president of business formation, says technology is going to play a major role in the future of agriculture and specifically, crop protection. Corteva was created through a combination of...
Agriculture Economic Summit Set For Jasper
The Dubois County Soil and Water Conservation District and Dubois Strong are Friday hosting the Southwest Indiana Agriculture Economic Summit in Jasper. Dubois Strong says the event will update local producers, agricultural businesses, and financial institutions on the latest in economic programs, education and opportunities in the county.
Trader's Point Creamery 'Bringing Our Brand Back Home'
Zionsville-based Trader's Point Creamery says it is dialing back its nationwide distribution footprint. In an open letter to its customers, the organic dairy farm says "over time, we have felt the tug back towards the place and production scale that fueled our vision in the early days." It is renewing its focus, the letter says, on being an Indiana and Midwest brand. To maintain a more personal connection with its customers through...
Cambridge Ag Company Picks Purdue Research Park
A Boston-based seed development and plant breeding company is expanding into the Purdue Research Park. Inari will open what it calls the world's first Seed Foundry at the complex. The company says the work done there can help "revolutionize the seed industry" and create a more resilient and sustainable food system. Inari Senior Vice President of Operations Mark Stowers says the 26,000 square-foot facility will ultimately house about 50 people, but adds there is plenty...
Purdue Hosts Food & Ag Business National Conference
Purdue University's Center for Food and Agricultural Business is hosting the 2018 National Conference for Food and Agribusiness. The conference brings together agri-food professionals to discuss topics ranging from market trends to e-commerce. The focus of the two-day conference is on business relationships, and includes new breakout workshops. Purdue faculty will give presentations along with farmers, researchers and industry professionals.
Indiana Grown Looks to Take School Food Local
Indiana Grown is partnering with several organizations to bring more local food to Indiana schools. The state program will work with farmers, producers and businesses looking to sell their products to put together a food resource guide for local schools. Under the guidance of the Indiana State Department of Health, Purdue Extension will gather the information on products including fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and drinks. Once the Indiana Grown for Schools Resource Guide is...
Anderson 'Perfect Environment' For Italpollina Operation
The head of an Italian agbiosciences company that has established its North American headquarters in Anderson calls Indiana "the perfect environment for business." During a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday on a former General Motors plant site, Italpollina Chief Executive Officer Luca Bonini said his company is already working on a second production phase that could open the door for exports from the Madison County operation. The company now has...
Indiana Wine Grape Growers See Fruitful Season
A professor of horticulture at Purdue University says wine grape growers throughout the state have yielded positive results in a difficult season. Bruce Bordelon says a cold winter and rainy ripening period did not deter Indiana growers, who had a productive harvest with high fruit quality.
Frozen Garden's Presence Grows
A northwest Indiana company that makes frozen smoothies is planning continued growth in the coming year. Chesterton-based Frozen Garden, which sells its smoothies in Strack and Van Til locations in Indiana, as well as stores in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The company launched in 2015 with three employees and it expects to grow to 10-12 in 2019. Chief Executive Officer Allyson Straka says production and sales have tripled over the last year and...
Ethanol Producer to Build Shelbyville Plant
A South Dakota-based biofuels company has announced plans for its fifth ethanol plant in Indiana. POET LLC says it will invest nearly $160 million to build the facility in Shelbyvill, and create 45 full-time jobs. The company says the plant is expected to go online in the spring of 2020 and will be capable of producing 80 million gallons of ethanol annually. The ethanol produced at the plant will come from $110 million of corn purchased from farmers within...
Indy, Atlanta Vie For Future FFA Conventions
As the National FFA kicks of its National Convention and Expo in Indianapolis this week, the organization, and Indy convention planners, have an eye to what city will host future events. The 91st edition of the FFA convention is expected to attract nearly 70,000 attendees from every state in the nation, and pack a $40 million economic impact in the region. The lucrative event is committed to Indianapolis through 2024. Chief Executive Officer Mark Poeschl says...
DowDuPont Paints Picture of Ag Spin-Out
Michigan-based DowDuPont Inc. is providing a detailed look at the scope of its agriculture spin-out Corteva Agriscience. The independent company, which will have a significant presence in Indianapolis, will be made up of a combination of Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer and DuPont Crop Protection. The spin is expected to take place June 1. In a notice to shareholders included in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, CEO James Collins said...
Miami County Celebrates $24M Swine Feed Mill
Delphi-based Indiana Packers Corp. has cut the ribbon on a $24 million swine feed operation in Miami County. IPC subsidiary OP Nutrition will run the Peru mill, which is expected to produce some 4,800 tons of feed per week. The double-shift facility will employ 12. OP Nutrition President Dave Murray calls the mill "a key piece in IPC's growth strategy," adding "it's an exciting chapter for us and we're thrilled to continue to expand and grow our business within...
Agbioscience Movement Courting Young Talent to Fuel Growth
Hamilton County-based Beck's Hybrids President Scott Beck is among a growing number of people who believe ag tech and the agbiosciences can be Indiana’s next big thing. Beck participated in last week's Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis, the first time the high-profile event was held outside of California. "People are recognizing the assets that are in Indiana and that it is a hub of innovation when it comes to agriculture, particularly agbioscience."
Forbes Calls Indiana 'Center' of AgTech Scene
Forbes Media Editor-In-Chief Steve Forbes says hosting the Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis for the first time puts the global event at "the center of it all." The event features dozens of entrepreneurs and leaders in the field at all levels from farmers to innovators to Governor Eric Holcomb. When asked why Indianapolis is the right place for the event, Forbes told Inside INdiana Business Mary-Rachel Redman "the question is not why, but why not?" He discussed...
Global Ag Event Hits Indy
An event designed to take on some of the biggest challenges facing the global agriculture scene will begin Wednesday in Indianapolis. The Forbes AgTech Summit is expected to attract some 500 ag leaders and entrepreneurs during its first appearance in the state. Speakers include Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, the entrepreneur behind an insect-like pollination drone and a Corteva Agriscience executive. Organizers include...
Agbioscience Company Coming to Wells County
Pennsylvania-based EnviroKure has announced plans to invest more than $10 million to establish a Wells County operation and create 17 jobs by 2020. The liquid biofertilizer company expects to have the new site fully operational in late 2019. The plant in Bluffton will extract microbes from chicken manure to cultivate biofertilizers and biostimulants. The company says it will begin hiring on-site management in the early summer, followed by manufacturing positions in the fall of...
DowDuPont Announces Ag Leadership
DowDuPont (NYSE: DWDP) has named the senior leaders for its agriculture division, which will be spun-off as a condition of the massive merger between Dow and DuPont. Corteva Agriscience, which officials say will have a significant presence at the Dow AgroSciences campus on the northwest side of Indianapolis, will be led by current ag division Chief Operating Officer James Collins. The merger of Dow and DuPont closed a year ago. Collins previously served as...
Indiana, Manitoba Sign MOU on Agriculture
Officials from the departments of agriculture in Indiana and the Canadian province of Manitoba have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in an effort to grow the agriculture sectors of both regions. The agreement was signed during an Indiana delegation's trip to Manitoba, which continues through Wednesday.
City Partnering on Produce Stand in Bus Station
A pilot program designed to bring more fresh and affordable produce to downtown Indianapolis has launched. Food in Transit involves selling fruits and vegetables at the city's primary public transit station, the Julia M. Carson Transit Center, during heavy travel hours. Mayor Joe Hogsett calls the effort "a significant step forward" in addressing food access issues in the city. He added "this work does not stop here. We will continue to..."
Tech Tying Two Innovative Fishers Spaces Together
As construction continues on The Yard at Fishers District, which will feature a culinary incubator, the founder of another nearby innovation space, the Indiana IoT Lab's John Wechsler, says technology will shape the future of the culinary scene. The incubator is one part of the $110 million mixed-use community, which will include hotel, retail, residential and dining properties. Wechsler says the culinary incubator is on pace to open in about a year. In an interview...
Celebrity Chef Stumps For Tech at Indiana IoT Lab
During a visit Thursday to Fishers, a celebrity chef said the future of cooking involves embracing technology. Robert Irvine delivered a presentation at the Indiana IoT Lab and told Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman high-tech advances and the growing availability of home food delivery will never put bricks-and-mortar restaurants out of business, but will cause changes that restaurateurs must deal with. He said the top chefs in the country are already...
Ag Director: Trade Dialogue Key During 'Rough Patches'
As state leaders prepare for two separate international trade missions next week, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler says his trip -- a visit to the agriculturally-rich Canadian province of Manitoba with Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch -- will help the state "stretch its wings" in a location people don't always think about. Governor Eric Holcomb will be leading a delegation focusing on the automotive sector in Italy.
McKinney: Countries 'Getting The Message' on Tariffs
Former Indiana Department of Agriculture Director Ted McKinney says he's "bullish" that some of the steel and aluminum tariff issues that have fueled trade tensions could "sunset" in the coming weeks and months as countries negotiate with the United States. McKinney, who now serves as U.S. Department of Agriculture under secretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, says China has caused many of the trade issues through overproduction and "cheatin...
'Farm-to-Fork' Restaurant to Make Anderson Debut
A restaurant focused on farm-to-fork cuisine will launch this weekend in downtown Anderson. Farm Society will hold a grand opening Sunday. Founder Tami Blevins says the business has received support from the community even before its opening night. "Not a day goes by without someone stopping in to say how excited they are, or how much they are looking forward to seeing the doors open," she said. Farm Society was the audience choice winner of the recent...
Study: 'Wabash Heartland' Strapped For Broadband Access
The Wabash Heartland Innovation Network, a 10-county, tech-focused initiative supporting the agriculture and manufacturing industries, has released a study illustrating lagging broadband access in the region. The findings suggest residents would have saved $27 million if all unserved homes had access to the high-speed digital technology. The WHIN was first announced in 2016 and it is backed by a nearly $40 million grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. Its goal is to...
Indy Group Issues 'State of The Food System'
A new report designed to illustrate challenges, provide a framework to measure progress and inform future strategies regarding the food system in Indianapolis has been released. The State of the Food System, released by the Indy Food Council, examines topics including local agriculture, the food economy, health and wellness, food access and food waste. The organization says the report involved engaging stakeholders and experts to write, research, edit and review the final product.
Research Swine Company Selects Jasper County
An agbiosciences company from California has broken ground on its first Indiana operation. Premier BioSource, which raises swine for research purposes, plans to invest about $7.5 million into a 600-sow production facility in Rensselaer. The company says it considered other locations in Michigan and Illinois, but selected Indiana because of its business climate and financial strength. The operation is expected to be open within a year and employ 21 in Jasper County.
Wine, Cheese, And Soon Beer at Schnabeltier
A Fulton County wine and cheese maker has launched the early stages of a third craft: beer. Schnabeltier launched in 2014 as part of a diversification effort by Rochester-based RapidView LLC. Vice President of Sales and Marketing Matt Sutton says the foray into fermentation came by request from customers. "We thought it would be just a natural, nice progression of the products we already offer," he told Inside INdiana Business. Once beer sales begin, Sutton says...
Longtime Food Distributor Brings on 'Grab-And-Go'
Indianapolis Fruit and Piazza Produce has acquired a young Noblesville-based company that makes "grab-and-go" foods. IF&P Foods LLC says all Cibus Fresh operations and its 15 employees will remain. The food distributor says the addition of Cibus Fresh, founded last year by Kurt Layer and Bill Pitrelli, will help meet "an unprecedented rise in demand" for offerings including packaged sandwiches, wraps, flat breads, salads, snack packs and...
Indiana Popcorn Seed Maker Reaching Markets Worldwide
A hybrid popcorn seed producer and distributor may be located in a small Tippecanoe County community, but it has built a global footprint. Romney-based Ag Alumni Seed sprouted from Purdue University in 1938 to market hybrid watermelon, tomato, grains and corn developed at the school and when the program ended in 1995, the nonprofit was born. Ag Alumni Seeds Agricultural Alumni Seed Improvement Association Inc., as it is formally known, has customers throughout...
Indiana Packers Corp. Details 'On-Point' Acquisition Agreement
Delphi-based Indiana Packers Corp. has agreed to acquire Specialty Foods Group LLC of Owensboro, Kentucky. The deal still requires regulatory approval and is expected to close in the coming weeks. SFG's parent, Toronto-based Specialty Foods Group Income Fund, says proceeds from the sale are expected to total up to $27 million. In addition to its Delphi headquarters, IPC has pork processing facilities in Frankfort and Michigan. President Russ Yearwood says...
Turkey Hatchery Opens in Terre Haute
Officials in Vigo County have cut the ribbon on the $22 million Select Genetics turkey hatchery in Terre Haute. The Minnesota-based company says the new facility, touted as the largest turkey hatchery in the world, is equipped to set more than 41 million eggs per year with a full capacity of 60 million eggs.
Purdue Poultry Chair to Carry Farm Family Name
The first-ever endowed chair in poultry science at Purdue University will be named in honor of a well-known northern Indiana agricultural family. The $1 million gift, which will be boosted through the College of Agriculture Endowed Chair Challenge Matching Gift Program, will create the Terry and Sandra Tucker Chair in Poultry Science in the Department of Animal Sciences. Terry, a Purdue graduate, is chief executive officer and board chair of Milford-based Maple Leaf Farms.
Survey: Indiana Farmland Values Rise
A survey published earlier this month in the Purdue Agricultural Economics Report shows farmland values and cash rents throughout the state rose slightly this year. Purdue Agricultural Economics Professor Craig Dobbins says the June 2018 Purdue Land Value Survey aims to give people an idea of what is happening in the farmland market.
Rural Broadband at Center of New State Position
Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch has named Scott Rudd the state's new director of broadband opportunities. Crouch says Rudd will work closely with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to help farmers and farm businesses keep up with advancing technology and help rural communities find ways to attract reliable and affordable high-speed Internet. Rudd, who most recently served as town manager and...
Hoosier Homestead Awards Honor Farm Families
Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler honored 88 families Friday with the Hoosier Homestead Award. To be eligible for the Hoosier Homestead Award, farms must also consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 of agricultural products annually. There are three categories for the award, including the Centennial Award for 100 years of ownership, the Sesquicentennial Award for 150 years of ownership and the...
Italian Cheese Producers to Launch Plant in Northeast Indiana
A startup cheese maker has announced $9.5 million plans to locate its facility in Huntington County. Golfo di Napoli Dairy, which will use organic milk from Fair Oaks Farm in northwest Indiana to produce multiple cheese varieties, says it will create 35 jobs over the next two years. Production in Warren is expected to begin in February. The owners and operators of the new plant, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. says, are fourth-generation cheese makers from Italy.
Ivy Tech to Open Precision Ag Facility
Ivy Tech Community College in Terre Haute will Wednesday cut the ribbon on the new home of its Precision Agriculture Equipment Technology program. The college says the Center of Excellence Laboratory space will provide students with real-world, hands-on learning opportunities.
Trade Concerns Cause Drop in Ag Producer Confidence
Concerns about an increasing trade war and falling commodity prices have led to a sharp drop in agriculture producer sentiment. The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer fell 26 points in July, marking the largest one-month decline since October 2015, when data began to be collected.
AquaBounty Awaiting FDA OK on Imported Fish Eggs
Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AQB) has detailed alternatives for the full production plans it has for its aquaculture production operation in east central Indiana. The company says a U.S. Food and Drug Administration order is preventing the company from importing its AquAdvantage brand salmon eggs from Canada because of an Import Alert. AquaBounty is awaiting the FDA's final labeling guidance for the salmon that would be produced...
Wolf Family Learning Center Expansion Complete in Fort Wayne
The 4,000 square foot expansion of the Wolf Family Learning Center on the grounds of the Salomon Farm Park is now complete. Mayor Tom Henry and other city officials celebrated the grand opening Wednesday. The 170 acre working farm was given to the city by the Chris and Maxine Salomon family in 1996 and has been used to teach kids about various aspects of agriculture. The $560,000 expansion has added a professional-grade teaching kitchen, classroom, handicap-accessible restr...
Corteva Agriscience Exec Receives Presidential Nomination
President Donald Trump has nominated an Indiana agbiosciences executive to serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture under secretary of agriculture for research, education and economics. Scott Hutchins is the global leader of integrated field sciences for Corteva Agriscience, which has a Global Business Center at the former Dow Agrosciences campus in Indianapolis. Hutchins is also an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska and previously served as...
National FFA Announces New Digital Tool
The Indianapolis-based National FFA Organization is joining with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) to launch an initiative aimed at 650,000 FFA student members throughout the country. The FFA says Blue 365 will “serve as a catalyst for evolving sustainability, innovative efficiency and preparing the future leaders who will solve the world’s critical agricultural challenges."
Tyner: 'Lose-Lose' Situation Brewing With Trump Tariffs
Purdue University agricultural economist Wally Tyner says $12 billion in recently-announced federal aid for farmers will not offset the long-term damage if a series of international tariffs levied by President Donald Trump stick around. Tyner says barriers created by the tariffs and the ensuing retaliatory measures from trading partners like China, Mexico and the European Union are a "lose-lose" situation for all involved. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business...
New Wine Trail Established in Indiana
Indiana Grown has partnered with Indiana wineries across the state for the Indiana Grown Wine Trail. The trail features 30 wineries offering varying options for wine enthusiasts. “This trail provides the opportunity to experience all that Indiana’s winemakers have to offer in a fun and exciting way,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “We have some of the best wineries in the country, and I en...
Frito-Lay Adding Lines, Jobs in Frankfort
The nation's largest snack maker has announced expansion plans in Frankfort. Frito-Lay, which is owned by PepsiCo Inc. (Nasdaq: PEP), says it will pump $159 million into its Clinton County operations and add 50 jobs. Plans call for two new production lines and more warehouse space. Frito-Lay currently employs around 1,100 in Frankfort at two production sites in the city. Its footprint includes 135 acres and 17 snack production lines. Mayor Chris McBarnes says...
Study: Hoosier Wine Industry Keeps Growing
A new study shows Indiana's wine and grape industry is continuing its forward momentum. The report, commissioned by the Indiana Wine Grape Council, Purdue University Wine Grape Team and the Indiana Winery and Vineyard Association, says the industry generated $604 million in economic impact in 2016.
Trump Nominates Indiana Farm Exec For Ambassador Post
The chief executive officer of Leesburg-based Tom Farms LLC has been nominated by President Donald Trump for a globally-focused agricultural appointment. Kip Tom, who is also a managing member of the large-scale seed producer and grain commodity production business, is being recommended to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture at the Department of State. Tom has served on the boards of directors for...
Nature Preserve Finds Rare Bee in Avon
Burnett Woods Nature Preserve in Avon has identified a species of bee rarely found in the eastern united states on their grounds. The bee is the first of its kind in the state of Indiana. The park attributes the bee sighting to a well-kept habitat that is boosting the number of pollinators in central Indiana.
Partnership Promotes Ag to Next Generation
Leaders from the Indianapolis-based National FFA Organization and AgriNovus Indiana have unveiled an initiative designed to expose attendees of the massive annual FFA Convention and Expo to careers and innovation in agriculture. The Blue Room -- a 17,000 square-foot interactive experience -- will focus on experiential learning to help grow the talent pipeline in the sector. The National FFA has also launched Blue 365, which is focused on the convergence of...
Urban Farm Offers Opportunities to Ex-Offenders
A soon-to-open nonprofit urban farm on the south side of Indianapolis aims to give formerly-incarcerated women a chance to "craft a future story" while combating the city's food desert issue. Bellfound Farm spans 17 acres and allows young women to run an urban farm while receiving counseling, coaching and business training. Founders Nekoma Burcham and Alena Jones, who are Women's Fund of Central Indiana NEXT Fellows, say Bellfound coaches will continue to support...
Holcomb to Make FFA Announcement
Governor Eric Holcomb will Monday join officials from the National FFA Organization and AgriNovus Indiana to make an announcement regarding this year's National FFA Convention & Expo in downtown Indianapolis. The FFA says the announcement will impact 650,000 student members nationwide.
Officials See Rich Dairy Future For Indiana
State agriculture officials say a decision by Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) to locate a major milk processing facility in Fort Wayne validates what they say is a promising future for the state's dairy industry. Walmart and state officials last week christened the state-of-the-art facility, which employs 300 and will buy milk from hundreds of northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio farmers. "I think Walmart saw the business climate in Indiana, but they also know that we are able to..."
Pogue's Run Grocer Closing
An Indianapolis grocery co-operative says it will close Tuesday. Pogue's Run Grocer, which opened on the city's near east side in 2010, announced on Facebook that sales are at the lowest they've ever been and "the store has reached a point where it cannot sustain itself and the people who are carrying most of the burden are the employees." Pogue's Run has focused on selling local produce and organic and responsibly-sourced foods.
State FFA Convention Set to Begin
The 89th Indiana FFA State Convention begins Monday at Purdue University in West Lafayette. The four-day event will include community service projects, awards ceremonies and the election of state officers. Thousands of students will take part in community projects during the event, including making blankets and CANstruction projects that will be donated to Hoosiers in need. Speakers will include Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and paralympian and best-selling author...
Indiana Grown Puts Members In Spotlight
The Indiana Grown initiative's signature event returned today to downtown Indianapolis. Program Manager Heather Tallman says the Monumental Marketplace has already paid dividends in its two-year history. "We had wineries that met blackberry growers that were able to buy blackberries and then distribution who came here and met different people they could start using in restaurants and grocery stores," said Tallman.
Walmart: New Milk Plant Fed by Hoosiers Farmers
The largest retailer in the country will host a grand opening Wednesday in Fort Wayne for its first milk processing plant in North America. The 250,000 square-foot Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) facility, the company says, has already created more than 300 jobs. Plans for the plant were unveiled two years ago following an increased emphasis by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture on boosting the Hoosier dairy industry. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business...
USDA Licenses Elanco Swine Vaccine
Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health has received licensing approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a swine vaccine. The Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) division says Prevacent reduces porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, a disease it estimates costs the industry between $560 million and $660 million per year. The vaccine can be used in piglets two weeks or older. PRRS first emerged in the late-1980s.
Aggressively Organic Making Public Debut
Fishers-based indoor agriculture company Aggressively Organic is launching its product to the public. The company, which makes hydroponic, micro-chambers to grow produce indoors, says its first Micro Pods will arrive in August. The announcement comes on on the heels of what the company calls a successful private launch and winning the Food+City Challenge Prize competition at March's South by Southwest in Texas. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Partlow...
Purdue Receives Funding to Solve BioRefinery Problems
Biorefinery operations have faced the problem of biomass blockages in their facilities since their inception, and now a team at Purdue hopes to finally solve the issues. Lignocellulosic biomass, which is made up of post-harvest agricultural materials such as soybean hulls, often jam moving augers, forcing shutdowns for cleaning and repairs.
Applications Open for Indiana Innovation Awards
Centric Inc. has announced it is accepting applications for the eighth annual awards that recognize individuals and organizations who lead innovation in the state. The Indiana Innovation Awards cover a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, technology, education and the arts. Past winners include Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, Octiv, Delta Faucet, 21st Century Charter School of Gary, Brackets for Good and RDM Aquaculture.
Superior Ag Cuts Ribbon on Dale Feed Mill
Huntingburg-based Superior Ag has cut the ribbon on its $20 million feed mill in Spencer County. The cooperative says the facility has the ability to produce 3,000 tons of livestock nutrition weekly, with production scheduled to begin in the middle of June. Construction on the Dale Feed Mill began in January 2017. Superior Ag says the decision to build the facility was made in order to be compliant with Food Safety Modernization Act regulations. The cost of upgrading...
agBOT Challenge Gets Underway
An agriculture innovation competition that brings together students and industry stakeholders kicks off for the third year Thursday in Parke County. The agBOT Challenge, which is held at the 600-acre Gerrish Farms in Rockville, involves the development and demonstration of ag-focused technology by college and university teams. Events within the three-day challenge focus on autonomous, plant identification, harvesting and weed eradication solutions.
State Fair Names Featured Farmers
The Indiana State Fair and Corteva Agriscience has unveiled this year's Featured Farmers. The program, which honors a different farm operation throughout the state each day of the State Fair, aims to "put a face on Hoosier agriculture by connecting consumers with farmers."
AgTech 'Pre-Commercial Battleground' Set For Year Three
The third annual agBOT Challenge is a week away in rural Parke County and its founder says the event lets college teams "push the limits" with their agricultural technology concepts. Steve Gerrish, who is chief executive officer of Rockville-based airBridge and owner of the more than 600-acre Gerrish Farms where the competition is held, says the agBOT Challenge has already provided a boost for advanced technologies like...
Indiana, Israel Sign Ag Tech Agreement
Governor Eric Holcomb has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Israel Innovation Authority focused on agbiosciences, life sciences and cybersecurity. Holcomb says the agreement, signed as part of his economic development trip to Israel, could lead to "academic exchanges, mutual investment and cross collaboration." Israel is known as an entrepreneurial hub. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the country has one startup per every 1,600 people, and...
Brooke's Candy Refocuses, Will Close Terre Haute Shop
Dana-based Brooke's Candy Co. says it will close its downtown Terre Haute retail shop June 1. The location opened less than two years ago and is the company's second storefront. In a message on Facebook, Brooke's Candy Co. says the decision will allow it to focus on the Brooke's Naturals line, which includes cookie, brownie, cake and bread mixes. The company calls it a tough decision, saying...
Burgeoning Cooking Oil Maker Reaching Statewide Audience
A sixth-generation Indiana farm family is finding success through diversification. Healthy Hoosier Oil LLC, part of Boyer Farms in Converse, produces cold-pressed sunflower and canola oils. Owner Mark Boyer says the commodity crop farmers wanted to branch out and research guided them to the chemical-free method of extracting oils from seeds and demand is on the rise. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Boyer credited the Indiana State Department of...
Production at Aquaculture Facility Moving Forward
An indoor fish farm in Albany is one step closer to resuming production. Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AQB), which acquired Bell Fish Co. LLC last year, says it has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to raise salmon at the Albany facility. The company says the site currently has 10 employees, a number that is expected to grow to 25 once the first phase of salmon production begins. The Albany facility will become the company's...
Rural Nonprofits Lack Planning Expertise
There have been several efforts targeting the advancement of rural communities and their welfare. However, the nonprofits that play a pivotal role in providing service to these same areas are struggling to operate efficiently. A recent survey conducted puts the focus on their plight. Our firm appealed to over 100 organizations in a 20-county area focused in southeastern Indiana, bordered primarily by Interstates 65 and 70. The results were not surprising.