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 Agriculture and its Indiana Grown initiative for the lion’s share of Healthy Hoosier Oil’s Oil’s success.
"It’s been vital in our success," Boyer said. "I would say probably 80 percent — or maybe even better than 80 percent — of our retail business for our oils is a direct result of our involvement" in the statewide Indiana farmer and artisan-focused program. The oils can be found in Kroger and Meijer locations throughout the state.
Once processed, the remaining canola and sunflower meal is sold to another sixth-generation Indiana ag business, Hunt Family Farms in Amboy, to use as hog feed. Nathan Hunt runs Hunt Family Farms and joined Boyer on the show. He says Indiana Grown has helped get its pasture-raised pork into some local stores and restaurants.
Healthy Hoosier Oil is part of an emerging local food scene in the small town of Converse that includes Jefferson Street BBQ and Marty’s Pub. Boyer says one restaurant exclusively uses his oil and another uses Hunt Family Farms pork.