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Serving: IN

Shift in Course for New State ISDA Director

Hazlett moves on, dairyman steps in.

Rumors swirled throughout the week. Lt. Governor Becky Skillman made it official herself at the summer delegate meeting of Indiana Farm Bureau in Indianapolis on Saturday, Aug. 29. Anne Hazlett will resign her position as director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. In her place, Joe Kelsay, a dairyman and crop farmer from Whiteland, will take over the reins of ISDA.

 

Hazlett served only nine months, after coming home to Indiana from Washington, D.C. Still, she used that time to pull together a new strategic plan for ISDA, and make important staff adjustments. Ironically, the new strategic plan was officially unveiled on Kelsay’s farm in late June.

 

Hazlett returns to Washington, D.C. to assume the role of chief counsel the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. She will report to ranking member Senator Saxby Chambliss.  Sources suggest that while Hazlett hated to leave Indiana once again, she felt her services were most needed in Washington, where critical issues that could impact farmers nationwide are under debate. She believes that there are capable hands to carry out Lt. Governor Skillman and Governor Daniels plans for agriculture already in the Hoosier state.

 

That person turns out to be Joe Kelsay. He and his father, Merrill, and brother, Russ, milk 500 cows and raise additional crop acreage. Joe concentrates on the diary herd and the management side of the operation. He and his wife, Amy, have begun a business in agri-tourism, and open their farm to tourists from late September though October.

 

Kelsay will take the new position after his fall harvest ends, or approximately around he first part of November. He’s a ’99 Purdue University graduate who has held several leadership positions, including chairman of the Farm Bureau state Young farmers Committee.

 

Good luck to both Ann and Joe.

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