AgriNovus Indiana Chief Executive Officer Mitch Frazier says over the past two years, the entire world focused on the food supply chain as it faced multiple challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. In this week’s Ag+Bio+Science podcast, Frazier explains why the challenges are creating opportunities for Indiana’s agricultural industry.
“As we look at agbiosciences here in Indiana, specifically, this is a $52 billion industry. And the bulk, the biggest portion, $29 billion of that $52 billion is in value added food. And if we look back over the last 18-24 months, what we’ve seen is the entire world focus even more so on the food supply chain, everything from where that food is grown to how the food ultimately gets to the customer,” said Frazier.
Last year, AgriNovus, the state initiative to fuel growth in Indiana’s agbioscience economy, launched a four-year vision for the future: Grow 2024. Frazier says it provides a roadmap of where the state’s ag sector needs to go to continue growth.
“That’s our bold ambition to add $4 billion dollars to the agbioscience economy here in Indiana by 2024,” explained Frazier to Inside INdiana Business and podcast host Gerry Dick. “That’s not just driven by us. That’s driven by the business leaders who say I want to be a place that is growing. I want to be a part of a place that’s growing. I want to be a part of a team that’s going to go out and put points on the board.”
Also on the podcast is Nate Feltman, owner and CEO of Indianapolis-based IBJ Media, which includes Inside INdiana Business. From 2006-2008, Feltman served as Indiana Secretary of Commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. He was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels.
Feltman says the ag space was important then, pointing to the state’s efforts to embrace the then-growing ethanol industry. But now, due to AgriNovus’ efforts, the industry is exploding with growth.
“We hadn’t begun to really think about the intersection of technology, agriculture, health sciences, life sciences,” said Feltman. “That [growth] has occurred over the last 15 years…that’s the really exciting part.”