Indiana’s burgeoning Ag Bioscience sector came together Wednesday for the Ag Innovation Summit, a chance to focus on the growth and potential of this vital sector of Hoosier Agriculture. The focus was on innovation and how to foster innovation in agriculture in the Hoosier State. Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch opened the meeting by declaring the Holcomb administration is committed to growing ag bioscience research, innovation, and investment in Indiana. Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, former head of research at Purdue and now with USDA’s National institute of Food and Agriculture, told HAT that Indiana has quickly become one of the top agricultural innovation centers in the world. “In my position, I have traveled to every state in the nation; and I can tell you Indiana is one of the top places for agriculture innovation in the U.S. In fact, one of the top places in the world,” he stated.
Ramaswamy added Indiana has the resources to foster an atmosphere of agriculture innovation, “You have the energy and the commitment of the companies and state government and the resources of Purdue and other universities to attract some of the best innovators in the world.” He told the summit that innovation must not just be on the production side of agriculture, but must include food, energy, and even food waste, “It must go from the farm, to the table, to the trash can.”
Jimmy Owens, with Ascus Biosciences, a California company that has built their first production plant in Indiana, said the Hoosier openness to agricultural innovation was what attracted them to our state. “Indiana has an openness and acceptance of agriculture and innovation,” he said. “It has a very good business environment so it is a place we can do business and feel comfortable about it.” Ascus Biosciences is developing products to help livestock and dairy producers improve production and animal health.
Agrinovus, organizer of the summit, has brought together a wide variety of companies to work together to help foster agricultural innovation in our state and to develop the funding and talent needed to make that innovation a reality. Many of the companies at the Summit are developing products and technology that will radically change agriculture in the next 10 to 20 years.