Finding ways to add value to the products we grow here in the Hoosier state remains a top priority for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and its director, Bruce Kettler, in 2021. Kettler says the ISDA economic development team continues to search for ag companies that want to grow, expand, relocate, or start anew in Indiana.
Kettler says one way they’re doing that is to follow up on the existing dairy strategy that was launched in 2015 with a new dairy strategy that will be launched in the coming weeks.
“We refer to it as the Indiana Dairy Strategy 2.0 from the one that was released about 5 or 6 years ago. We’ve gone back and re-looked at that, I think it’s going to be tremendous. I was just reviewing the final draft and I’m heartened. There’s a lot of things there. A lot has changed in the dairy industry since the first strategy was put together. So, there are ways to be able to find value added products, maybe even on farm processing that we can encourage.”
Kettler adds that they remain focused on their Rural Economic Development Model that was launched in 2019.
“We’ve got several regions of the state where those local economic development organizations are banding together and actually even looking for grant funds to be able to develop strategic plans for those regions…We’re making more emphasis in our team at the Department of Agriculture on engaging with those folks to see how agriculture fits in with that as well.”
You can learn more about ISDA’s Rural Economic Development Model here.