On September 18, 2006, Hoosier Ag Today went on the air for the first time. Backed by a group of Indiana farm leaders who had a passion for growing Hoosier agriculture, the vision of founders Gary and Kathleen Truitt was to create a news source focused on the informational needs of Indiana farmers. On day one, 10 local radio stations aired the programming that featured live updates from the trading floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, where open outcry was still being used. The programming also included a customized weather forecast and a heavy dose of state and national farm news.
Today, these elements still are at the core of HAT programs which are now broadcast by over 70 stations around the state. The broadcast team has also grown, first to include Andy Eubank, later Eric Pfeiffer, and, most recently, Ashley Davenport. “When we started, we had a 3 year plan and said, if we could not make this work within 3 years, we would call it quits,” said Gary Truitt. “The network was profitable after 2 and has remained so ever since.”
In 2006, Indiana agriculture was an industry on the grow. The renewable energy sector was just taking off, and ethanol plants were being built around the state to provide a new market for Indiana corn. The State Department of Agriculture was just getting organized and developing a strategic plan for growth over the next 10 years. The internet was quickly becoming a place for news, and HAT was quick to adopt this new tool to deliver information to farmers. It began with a multimedia web portal and was soon followed by a daily e-mail newsletter. Today the network uses several social media platforms and YouTube for distribution of text, audio, and video material.
Indiana agriculture has changed a lot in the past 15 years. One of the more striking developments was the result of the Conservation Partnership that was just taking shape in 2006. Since then Indiana farmers have led the way in the adoption of cover crops. Hoosier Ag Today has been a solid promoter of this development and now produces a Soil Health Podcast in cooperation with the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative.
Indiana farmers have responded to Hoosier Ag Today by making it the most listened to farm radio network in the state, according to Ag Media Research (AMR). In partnership with Farm World Newspaper, HAT produces the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo. This trade show held each December showcases the latest technology and products in agriculture. The show will be held next at the Grand Park Sports Campus, December 14-16, 2021.
Organizations that helped launch HAT and continue to support it include Indiana Farm Bureau, Indiana Corn Growers, Indiana Soybean Alliance, American Dairy Association of Indiana, the Indiana Department of Agriculture, and the J.L. Farmakis Group.
About Hoosier Ag Today
Hoosier Ag Today was founded in 2006 for the specific purpose of serving the informational needs of the Hoosier agricultural community. HAT currently has 75 radio stations broadcasting its programs. In addition, HAT operates a multi-media web site, and publishes a daily e-mail newsletter. In 2008, 2010, 2012, 2016, and 2018, Hoosier Ag Today was rated the most listened to farm radio network in Indiana by Ag Media Research. In 2019, Hoosier Ag Today purchased Michigan Ag Today, a 16 station farm network serving the Michigan farm community. HAT is also part owner of the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo, held each December in Indianapolis. Hoosier Ag Today is represented nationally by J. L. Farmakis, Inc.