Indiana voters will size up the two major party candidates for governor and make their choice Nov. 6. Indiana Prairie Farmer conducted exclusive interviews with each candidate to see how they envision the future of agriculture in Indiana.
Here are excerpts from the conversation with Congressman Mike Pence, the Republican.
IPF: What is the number one challenge facing Indiana overall in the next four years?
PENCE: Job creation is job one. We've been saying this for 14 months. Indiana is on the verge of an era of growth. Governor Mitch Daniels laid the foundation of financial responsibility, government, education and workplace reform that make sour state one of the leading states in the Midwest for the economy.
We can get there, but we're not there yet. We need to build on the foundation that was poured. We can create good jobs, have great schools, safe streets and strong families and make this a reality.
We're proposing a broad range of ideas to make Indiana a better place to work.
IPF: Where does agriculture fit in your agenda?
PENCE: Indiana is agriculture. It's why Senator Richard Lugar encouraged me to pursue a seat on the House Agriculture Committee when I was elected to Congress.
Agriculture was at the center of the state's recovery since '08. It will be in the present ant the future. The true legacy of the Daniels Administration will be putting agriculture back in its rightful role as an economic priority. We will try to expand it. We're ready to go to the next level. We really like the agricultural corridor concept. Indiana can be a leader in applied research. We have partners like Dow AgroSciences and Purdue University to make that happen.
IPF: How do you view the balance between large livestock operations and the environment? What is the state's role?
PENCE: We have an expanding footprint in livestock. I'm convinced we can do it in a way that's acceptable to the environment and in full compliance with state and federal guidelines. It is possible to say yes to agricultural growth and have a clean environment at the same time. We've made measurable progress in having cleaner air and water. We have and we can do this.