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Serving: IN

Two State Ag Boards Get New Members

Two State Ag Boards Get New Members
Key people added to Land Resources, State Soil Board.

Remember when the Daniels Administration first took the reins of state government? One of the first things it did was suspend a number of business-as-usual boards until the administration could assess the purpose of each one and which ones were truly needed.

One of those affected was the Indiana Land Resources Council. A fairly recently-created body in terms of state history, its goal is to be a clearinghouse for information for county and city planners who are trying to solve growth and planning and zoning issues.

Back in action now for some time, Governor Daniels just recently appointed two new members to sit on the Council. Meetings are public and are announced through regular channels of state government.

As it was reorganized, the Land Resource's Council is under the guidance of the Indiana State Department of agriculture. Incoming director Joe Kelsay, Whiteland, praised the appointments, saying their expertise at local levels will further enhance discussion to develop tools that help better plan communities.

The new appointees are Fred Walker, a Blackford County farmer and currently president of the Blackford County Commissioners, and Jon W. Craig, Mayor of Petersburg. The two appointees also help distribute representation between northern and southern Indiana, and between farm and non-farm interests. Walker technically represents county governments, while Craig fulfills a spot for municipal government leaders.

These aren't new positions. They're replacing Mary Heyob, a former Wayne County Commissioner, and Robert Bridges, the former mayor of Rushville.

Kelsay, the new director of ISDA, is no stranger to land-use planning issues. His own family operates a 500-cow dairy in Johnson County, one of the fastest-growing counties in Indiana. Population there is well over 100,000 people. The Kelsays have worked to be good neighbors , and actually capitalize on their proximity to urban population by operating an agri-tourism business based through the farm.

At the same time Governor Daniels filled the Land Resources Council spots, he named two new members to the State Soil Conservation Board. It also is linked to the ISDA through the Division of Soil Conservation, which operates under ISDA. New members are Brett Glick of Bartholomew County and Scott Ham from far southern Indiana.

Glick farms with his brother, Trevor, operating a large grain operation, plus raising seed and operating a local niche market for grass-fed beef, raised by the brother combination. He was chairman of the Bartholomew County soil and water conservation district for the past two years.

Ham manages the Silver Creek Water Corporation in south-central Indiana. He's a past treasurer of the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water, and has been active in several leadership organizations. He's also a Master Sergeant in the Indiana National Guard, and has served in Bosnia and Afghanistan. The New Albany resident also served a tour of duty in Iraq.

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