The demand for locally grown food in Indiana and the willingness of producers living near large population bases to supply it led to another program announced by Lt. Governor Becky Skillman last week. She has called it the Indiana Grown program, and foresees it as a new certification program to help consumers know where their food is being raised, and by Hoosiers who have already demonstrated the ability to produce tremendous home-grown food products.
Skillman went to the Expo Hall at the Indiana State Fairgrounds to make the announcement to emphasize how produce is connected to the fair, and how many Hoosiers are now interested in where their food comes from. She also kicked off the start of the Indiana Artisan Marketplace at the same time.
What Indiana Grown is will be a brand that will be used to promote In Diana produce and production. Not all locally grown Indiana foodstuffs are crops. A growing number of small, family-operated meat businesses, especially near large population centers, have sprung up recently as customers indicate with their pocketbooks that they are willing to pay for locally grown products, both natural and organic varieties.
Launching the label is a cooperative effort that involves more than the Secretary of Agriculture in Indiana and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Others involved in launching the new identity include farmers, processors, wholesalers, retailers and restaurants. Expect to see the new certification program extend to everything from produce and field corps to dairy, horticulture, and meat and poultry products.
Some of these locally-grown products may wind up in other state or even around the world, Skillman says. She has been instrumental in leading trade missions for agriculture to other countries interested in doing business in the U.S. during her time as lt. governor.There will be an application and acceptance process to enter the program. ISDA will be in charge of the process. All producers within the state borders are eligible to apply. Look for more details soon. To check out the Indiana Artisan Marketplace, visit: Indiana Artisan Marketplace.