Last week, Governor Eric Holcomb made his first speech as Governor to an Indiana agricultural organization to outline his vision for the state’s farm economy. Speaking to the Agribusiness Council of Indiana, which represents Hoosier ag businesses large and small, Holcomb pledged to make Indiana the kind of place where farmers and agribusinesses can thrive. He said this will require an investment in our state’s infrastructure, “This involves not only the roads that lead into Indiana but also lead into local communities if we are going to be a job magnet in 20 years. This is going to be driven by the innovation and technology we will see in the agricultural sector.”
He also said it will require that Indiana eliminate burdens on and unnecessary regulations, “We should not have hurdles that get in the way. We live in a state that has rational and reasonable regulations.” He told reporters that he will abolish regulations that are burdensome to agriculture.
While Holcomb praised the business leaders for the technical innovation that has made Indiana an agricultural leader, he also said more needs to be done to provide market opportunities in these difficult economic times, “We need to make sure we are fostering an environment that is fostering more processing plants. Thankfully, we have had 13 ethanol plants sprout up across Indiana, but I would like to see more. That will be one of our strategies to help us weather some of the tough times in agriculture.” He emphasized that Indiana will remain “a strong place with a sound economy.”
The Governor also pledged continued support for vocational education and making sure Indiana agribusinesses have access to a well-educated and trained workforce. He said the state will continue to provide support to local communities who are trying to deal with the drug abuse problem, especially in rural areas. He noted that agriculture needs a drug-free workforce and that the epidemic of drug use is not just an urban issue but one that impacts rural communities and agribusinesses.