The Statehouse Market program running each Thursday in Robert D. Orr Plaza in Indianapolis from May 23 through October 4 and the Hoosier Harvest Hub, a project to link producers of locally-grown food and consumers online, aren't the only efforts to promote products grown as good in Indiana.
Libby Fritz, information specialist for the Indiana Department of Agriculture, says that Indiana Grown labeling will continue this year.
The program was launched in March 2012 under the direction of then Secretary of Agriculture Becky Skillman. The effort involves not only producers, but also processors, wholesalers, retailers and restaurants.
ISDA is the catalyst that holds this program together and intends to move it forward this year. The idea is to brand and promote Indiana produce and production. It's a marketing tool for both producers and agribusinesses in Indiana, Fritz says. The idea started and gained traction in an effort to meet the demands of consumers who say they want locally grown products.
Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, now Secretary of Agriculture in Indiana, hopes the program will continue to grow.
"By continuing to expand this program's membership, we will shine a spotlight on our Hoosier growers and broaden the marketplace for their products right here in Indiana," Ellspermann says. "Our goal is to further develop the local connections of Hoosier families and Hoosier farmers."
Jay Hawley, Frankfort, who operates Grandpa Jay's Pork, participates in the Statehouse Market, and also is a member of Indiana Grown. He believes more opportunities will come along because of this program which can help him expand his market reach.
For a membership application for Indiana Grown, you can visit http://www.in.gov.isda and go to the Indiana Grown page. Or you can contact Jill Pritchard, who manages the program for ISDA, at [email protected] or at 317-800-1700.