Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s name is all over the news as the announcement of Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate nears. But Thursday the governor made an important Indiana announcement about investments of $1 billion over the next 10 years to advance innovation and entrepreneurship in the state.
The state’s director of agriculture Ted McKinney told HAT that agriculture will be a part of the plan.
“Yes, absolutely,” he said, “and to affirm that from the get-go, ag was and is and has always been on that list. When they started this and looked holistically across the state of Indiana, from day one on this conception ag has been in the mix. Hence, the invitation for quotes and references, hence their encouragement for us to send out more directly with my own comments. You bet, food and ag is all in.”
Governor Pence outlined the proposal to strengthen and accelerate Hoosier innovation through strategic partnerships while addressing the eighth annual Innovation Showcase in Indianapolis. The plan aims to ensure that Indiana plays a leading role in solving 21st century challenges while supporting long-term economic growth, job creation and talent attraction.
“As a state, we have worked diligently to establish a pro-growth business climate in Indiana and our efforts are being recognized across the nation,” said Governor Pence. “We cut costs, lowered taxes and reduced regulations to allow job creators to invest in what matters most – in their businesses and in their employees. Indiana is ranked first in the Midwest for business and first in the nation for small business regulations, but we’re not done yet. We must build on this economic momentum and increase collaboration between educators, community leaders, industry partners and most importantly, idea generators, to further propel innovation across the Hoosier state for generations to come.”
For Indiana agriculture, part of the plan includes increased support for industry-driven initiatives, such as AgriNovus Indiana and initiatives like the Indiana Soybean Alliance Innovation Showcase and the work being done in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University could also benefit.
“As one of Indiana’s largest and most longstanding industries, food and agriculture will certainly benefit from this bold initiative,” McKinney said. “We have more than a head start with AgriNovus Indiana, our state’s agricultural innovation initiative, but this commitment opens the door to entirely new opportunities, which will move Indiana food and ag forward substantially.”
Beth Bechdol, President & Chief Executive Officer at AgriNovus said, “AgriNovus Indiana is focused on promoting innovative agbioscience leaders, supporting entrepreneurs and new companies, and building a strong base of human capital here in our state. Today’s initiative, announced by Governor Pence, offers unprecedented support for Indiana’s robust and dynamic agbiosciences sector. These critical resources will serve to foster even more strategic collaboration among entrepreneurs, businesses, regional leaders, government and universities in food and agriculture innovation.”
The 10-year plan, which centers on collaboration between government, education and research institutes, communities and the private sector, will advance Indiana’s current economic momentum and combat potential threats to growth, such as workforce shortages and the availability of capital.
Visit www.iedc.in.gov for additional information on the specific initiatives and funding mechanisms associated with the plan.