Kip Tom from the Warsaw area farms on two continents, both here and in South America. His global view of ag business makes him a "go-to" person for endeavors seeking to expand Indiana's ag business vision not only within Indiana, but outside of Indiana's borders as well. He was recently named to the steering committee of AgriNovus, a relatively new organization whose goal is to help promote and share innovation and technology in Indiana, focusing on the ag business sector.
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Beth Bechdol, president of AgriNovus, on loan from Ice Miller law firm in Indianapolis, says the idea is to bring Indiana's strengthens of agriculture together to help companies who are already here and strong grow, and to attract more business and industry in the ag sector within Indiana.
Tom joins the steering committee to represent the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. He was appointed to that group by former Gov. Mitch Daniels, and has since been reappointed by Gov. Mike Pence. While not limited to agriculture, IEDC plays a major role when ag companies consider coming to Indiana, or when ag companies within Indiana consider expanding.
IEDC has a permanent place on the AgriNovus steering committee, Bechdol says. So does the Secretary of Agriculture slot, currently held by Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, and the director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Ted McKinney now fills that role. Other members of the committee represent key companies and organizations within agriculture within Indiana.
AgriNovus is the most recent arm of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Bechdol says. Another arm, formed several years ago, is Bio Crossroads. AgriNovus and Bio Crossroads are now sister organizations under the same umbrella, Bechdol says. Bio Crossroads is currently involved in promoting STEM education. AgriNovus will focus more heavily on the food and agricultural economy within the state, with a bent toward economic development, she explains.