Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

May 13, 2014

Growing vegetables and the economy in Connersville

Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in a ground breaking ceremony for Lifeline Farms in Connersville. Joined by leaders in our community, the ceremony marked the beginning of construction for the large scale organic vegetable business, which could support up to 20 jobs in our area.

The company will grow organic vegetables, certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in farming facilities, known as hoop houses. Those facilities will be built on 16 acres of cropland located along the North Indiana 1 roadway in the Airport Industrial Park. The first product grown will be lettuce, but in the future, each hoop house could have up to eight different crops in a year. Eventually, the facilities could be used for aquaculture, cultivating salmon, in which their waste could be used as plant fertilizer.

As a rural community, agriculture is essential to our local and state economies. This is why the General Assembly continued to expand opportunities for Hoosier farmers this past session. One of the opportunities we created was the Indiana Grown Initiative. By unanimously passing House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1039, the program is intended to market and promote Indiana produced agricultural products.

The Indiana Grown Initiative will be developed, administered, marketed and promoted by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA). HEA 1039 also creates the Indiana Grown Commission which will provide technical assistance and industry knowledge to support the ISDA when implementing the program. The commission will help connect grocers, wholesalers, and processors with Indiana-based producers of meat, fruits, vegetables and more. Other states have successfully created similar programs, which has led to millions of dollars in new economic value.

It is important to generate a Hoosier-centric brand that will promote Indiana agriculture produced goods both within our state and throughout the country. Indiana is a strong agricultural state but still imports nearly 90 percent of its food. By promoting Indiana agriculture, Hoosiers purchasing local produce can support area businesses, boosting our state’s economy.

Text Only
Columns
  • Five Decades of 'Progress “Political polarization,” “divided government” and “Washington gridlock” have been on the rise for the last 15 years. Public calls for compromise and de-emphasis on centralized government stand out in public opinion polls; yet, nothing changes, and t

    July 31, 2014

  • Governor Pence addresses President regarding unaccompanied children Dear President Obama,I am writing to express my profound concern about the federal government’s mishandling of the present crisis of unaccompanied children crossing the nation’s Southern border by the tens of thousands. The federal government has not

    July 31, 2014

  • Now why didn't I think of that? According to the dictionary definition, repurpose means “ to change or adapt something so it can be used for a purpose other than its original intent.” As one of the many who spend their free time “repurposing,” I like to think of it as bringing new

    July 31, 2014

  • Getting on with the program Now that the fair has been written in the history book, it’s time to get on to more Extension Homemaker News. But first, I would like to extend thanks to Eileen Fisse for the wonderful job she did for the Open Class exhibits. The building looked nice

    July 30, 2014

  • Pat Smith: An actor's life Chances are that Ben Tebbe would have been successful anyhow but it’s refreshing that he remembers who gave him a chance. No doubt, Karen (Clemenson) Hoak would have been proud of what he has accomplished since she gave him a part in a Tree County Pl

    July 30, 2014

  • Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Nature’s BountyOur daughters were raised in the country and definitely couldn’t be considered “citified” children. Not with Dad around! From the time I was a little boy, I learned there are a lot of good things coming from the wild, and I set about e

    July 29, 2014

  • Word of advice So, what’s the word?Really, what is the word? With over 250,000 words in the English language, you’d think there would be a word for just about everything. Not so. Therefore, I am on a crusade to find a term for some everyday occurrences for which th

    July 29, 2014

  • 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress for national security failures INDIANAPOLIS – Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Ha

    July 29, 2014

  • Brian Howey: Rising up to meet Putin's thuggery BLOOMINGTON – Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of the Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my pa

    July 29, 2014

  • Pat Smith: A reader's special note Before beginning this week’s column it must be stressed that I love getting emails from readers, love getting telephone calls from readers and love seeing readers when I’m out and about – especially those who very generously tell me that they read th

    July 24, 2014