McKinney: Ag Sector on 'Quite a Roll'
INDIANAPOLIS - The director of the Indiana Department of Agriculture says he thinks the state's ag sector can continue its recent momentum. Within the last week, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) has announced plans to build one of the nation's largest milk processing operations in Fort Wayne, Krone North America detailed a relocation from Tennessee to Shelbyville and the groundwork is being laid for a potential $230 million cheesemaking facility in Newton County. Ted McKinney says the stage has been set for these announcements because of efforts like Agrinovus Indiana, and when it comes to the diary sector, a realization that four million pounds of unprocessed milk leaves the state each day.
When it comes to the dairy sector, he says officials came to the realization a year ago that four million pounds of unprocessed milk leave the state each day. He says the state acted on "instinct" that dairy was "flying under the radar" and had great, untapped potential. McKinney says leaders then began developing and launching a comprehensive plan to take advantage of opportunities in the industry. McKinney says everything lined up, despite different timing for each of the recent developments. "We had excess milk, we have good farmers, we have a good supply. Our infrastructure is good and getting better. The business climate in the state is always referenced by other people, unsolicited, I might add."
McKinney, who will be featured next week on Inside INdiana Business Television. He also serves as agriculture director for the Indiana Economic Development Corp.