This year there will be a focus on agriculture’s role in spurring local economic development when the Indiana Soybean Alliance and other partners present the annual Livestock, Forage and Grain Forum. The event is Monday, March 16, at the Indianapolis Convention Center.
“We are inviting local economic development officials,” explained Jane Ade Stevens, CEO of ISA. “We are inviting local leaders to the forum this year, and help people and farmers understand that our rural communities and the success of our state is about our agriculture. It is about our farmers, our grain industry, our livestock industry and our energy industry.”
She says if local communities want to grow the best option is to tap into already existing local agriculture.
“Many people would like to have a new car plant and have those local economic development opportunities. That’s probably not going to happen for most of those communities, but they might be able to get an ice cream plant, or they might be able to get a new milk plant, or a cheese plant, or maybe a new potato chip factory. But if you want an ice cream plant you’ve got to have a cow.”
“And we want to help introduce them so that we really start to focus on our future success. It’s about those two groups working together better.”
The keynote speaker for the event will be Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger of the Indiana National Guard. His speech will focus on “How the Guard, a Feed Company, the Community can make a Difference for Indiana.” Also Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann will unveil ISDA’s new strategic dairy plan strategy.
There will be two panel discussions, one titled “Let’s Talk Turkey about Economic Development” focusing on how an Indiana ag company brought economic development to southwestern Indiana and also “From the Barns to Bacon” focusing on how investment in agriculture brings community value
The Forum will begin at 8 a.m. with registration and breakfast; the general session will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 2 p.m. Lunch and networking opportunities are included.
Registration is $25 and pre-registration is required. To learn more and register for the Forum, visit www.IndianaSoybean.com/forum.
The Livestock, Forage and Grain Forum is funded with Indiana soybean checkoff dollars and supported by Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana Beef Cattle Association, Indiana Corn Growers Association, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana Farm Bureau, Indiana Forage Council, Indiana Pork, Indiana Dairy Producers, Indiana State Board of Animal Health, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, American Dairy Association of Indiana and Purdue Extension.