This is Agriculture Week in Indiana, and a number of special activities are planned. Ted McKinney, Director of the State Department of Agriculture, says the week will feature the announcement of the winning proposal for a marketing competition. Student groups at state universities were invited to come up with ideas on ways to promote Indiana agriculture, and McKinney stated, “The response has been tremendous to this opportunity.” McKinney said the idea was the “brain child” of Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann and that the ideas will be put to use by his department to promote the good works of agriculture. The winning team will be announced Monday afternoon at the Statehouse. The finalists are from Huntington University, University of Indianapolis, and University of Southern Indiana.
Also featured this week will be a special food truck event at the Statehouse to promote agriculture to Indiana state employees, “We will have about a dozen food trucks parked in back of the state capital, along with a program featuring remarks by Lt. Governor Ellspermann and the Governor will read the Indiana Ag Day proclamation.” McKinney said the event is targeted at educating state employees about agriculture, “They know a lot about food, but they may not know much about where their food comes from. We want to help make that connection.”
A number of educational activities have and will take place around the state. For example. this past Friday a group of Hendricks County farmers brought their equipment and livestock to an elementary school in Avon, IN. McKinney, who was on hand, said the students learned a lot about where their food comes from. He said the live pigs were an especially big hit, “The producers showed the students where bacon comes from, where hams come from, and the students were very interested and very matter a fact about it.” He added this shows that, when you explain agriculture without emotion and an agenda, people — especially young people — are very receptive. He told HAT the world needs meat protein and Indiana can provide that protein, “That is an important message we need to deliver.”
There will also be a Hoosier Homestead award program at the Statehouse this week. Farms that have been in the same family for more than 100 years will be recognized. McKinney says one of the farms that will be honored has been in the same family for over 200 years.
Coverage of Ag Week events will continue this week from Hoosier Ag Today.