The Indiana Grown initiative is shining a spotlight on Hoosier veterans in the agriculture business. The initiative’s Homegrown By Heroes program will promote veteran producers through specifically-designed branding on packaging and in retail displays. Governor Mike Pence says the effort will give veterans "every opportunity to succeed" when they return to civilian life. Indiana Grown Director David King says the program, which aims to boost Indiana food producers and their products, has grown to nearly 400 members.
Blue Yonder Organic Farm owner Sara Creech is a veteran and says the she is thrilled to be a part of the initiative. In a release, she said, "As a veteran and local agriculture business owner, I see great value in the Homegrown By Heroes program and look forward to seeing its impact on my fellow veterans and Indiana Grown members."
To be eligible, producers must have active duty, National Guard or reserve member of the U.S. Armed Forces status and maintain at least 50 percent veteran ownership and at least 50 percent veteran management control.
The Indiana Grown effort is supported by public and private partners in the food and ag sector throughout the state. Organizers are working with retailers including Marsh Supermarkets Inc., Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), where kiosks display Indiana-made products.
King says Indiana Grown is sharpening its focus on restaurants, schools and hospitals.