Indiana Grown, a program of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture that helps farmers and producers have a greater market for their products, is under new leadership. Heather Tallman, previously the Member Development Program Manager, is now Program Director, overseeing all aspects of the Indiana Grown program. The move was made just in time for the first day of the Indiana State Fair and the opening of this year’s marketplace in the Ag/Hort Building at the fairgrounds.
“We open up the space as a marketplace for our members to sell to crowds they might not have ever met before. So, we have things from all over the state, Elkhart, Bloomington, Evansville, New Albany…so, someone can come here who maybe lives in Indianapolis and try something out from Southern Indiana or Northern Indiana. (We have) products from over 150 members, so it’s kind of a neat thing.”
What specifically can you find if you head to the marketplace?
“We have Tell City Pretzels, sunflower oil, a lot of barbecue sauce, but we also have roasted coffee. Something that’s only here at this marketplace are the two ice creams from Round Barn Creamery, the ‘Boilermaker Tracks’ and then the other one is the space themed ice cream that just rolled out.”
Tallman said being on display at the fair is also a great way to communicate with farmers that don’t know about Indiana Grown and the benefits of membership.
“We were setting up and a couple of honey producers came over. They said, ‘Now, what is this all about?’ So, for us, it was like real working in action. We were able to tell them about the program and how we can help them, and they can help us, we can work together, and they signed up last night. In the heat of all this getting ready for the fair, they still signed up for Indiana Grown.”
Membership to Indiana Grown is free. One benefit of membership is the ability to have the Indiana Grown logo on your packaging to better identify its local roots with consumers. You can find more info at indianagrown.org.