Republican candidate for Indiana Lt. Governor and Secretary of Agriculture Sue Ellspermann believes education is an important issue. But she believes more programs are needed to assist those who will farm or do other jobs without going to a four-year college.
She shared these views and more during an exclusive interview. The small-town legislator from Ferdinand, Indiana, population 2,200, says she understands the needs of rural communities, and wants the chance to help improve the economy for Indiana and agriculture. She acknowledges she has much to learn about agriculture, especially about how agencies such as the Division of Soil Conservation operate, but expressed a willingness to learn if elected.
Here’s the final part in our series of interviews with the two candidates for lt. governor.
IPF: The Indiana FFA is now housed under ISDA. What is your opinion of that relationship?
ELLSPERMANN: I love the fact that FFA moved over to ISDA! FFA offers a great opportunity. We have to do all we can to support young people.
We would work with the Department of Education and ISDA. We don’t feel we’re concentrating enough on non-college bound students. We need more emphasis there. Farming is becoming high-tech, and we need a skilled workforce.
IPF: What can Indiana do to better support the Division of Soil Conservation within ISDA and address water quality and conservation concerns in the state?
ELLSPERMANN: There are a number of players involved in soil conservation. One role will be to help coordinate efforts. We need to look at water conservation. It’s an important resource that has been taken for granted for a long time.
We formed an Ohio River Basin caucus in the House to learn more about how to take care of this resource. It’s still a learning process.