STATEHOUSE – House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1039, authored by State Representative Matt Lehman (R-Berne), was signed into law by Governor Mike Pence.
HEA 1039 establishes the Indiana Grown Initiative, which will market and promote Indiana-produced agricultural products. This legislation calls for the establishment of a commission comprised of Indiana residents and marketing experts, as well as representatives from the agriculture industry, local retailers, farmers' markets and restaurants.
“Only 10 percent of the food that Hoosiers consume is produced here in Indiana, and I find that troubling, considering our reputation as an agriculture state,” said Rep. Lehman. “The Indiana Grown Initiative will address the need to generate an Indiana-centric brand to promote Indiana agriculture nationally, starting in our own neighborhoods.”
The commission will meet throughout the year to brainstorm opportunities for connecting producers with local vendors and promoting their goods. Many other states promote their locally produced goods with similar initiatives. For example, South Carolina has seen $265 million in new economic value and $23 million in new tax revenue generated as a result of their program.
“By establishing this initiative, Indiana can showcase the strength of Hoosier agriculture,” said Rep. Lehman. “Hoosiers want to support their local farmers, and this is a great way to help them stand out.”
Rep. Lehman represents all of Adams County and portions of Allen and Wells counties. He serves as the Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore and Chairman of the Insurance Committee. He also serves on the Courts and Criminal Code and Public Policy committees.