While the Indiana State Department of Agriculture has not made an official announcement, a spokesman within ISDA confirms that Gina Sheets will soon step down as Director of ISDA. The timeline for her transition out of the office is unknown. However, other sources indicate that she will likely not serve as ISDA director beyond early January 2014.
Sheets, Frankfort, was named ISDA director replacing Joe Kelsay, Whiteland, after Governor Mike Pence took office in 2013. Pence and Sue Ellspermann, Secretary of Agriculture by virtue of being Lt. Governor, announced that Sheets would be the director at a press conference during the first week of Pence's administration. She was already an ISDA employee, working with economic development. Both Pence and Ellspermann touted her at the time for her prowess in economic development, and noted that they wanted ISDA to maintain a strong presence in this area.
Before joining ISDA several years ago and serving as the lead person for economic development efforts, Sheets held various posts related to economic development in Clinton County. She and her husband also maintained a small farm and raised food to sell to local consumers.
Her husband is a missionary already serving overseas. While not confirmed it's widely held in ag circles that Sheets will be joining him once her time at ISDA is completed.
During her one-year stint as director, Sheets has hired several people to help staff ISDA, including Jordan Seger to head the Division of Soil Conservation. The post was vacant after Jerod Chew left to return to a position with the Natural Resources Conservation Service during Kelsay's time as director. Seger has ties to a family farm operation in southern Indiana.
Word within ISDA unofficially is that no timeline has been set for replacing Sheets, or when an announcement of a new director will be made. Word is that the selection process is underway for a new director.