Arnold: Indiana agriculture to become even stronger under new plan

Posted by: Victoria Klimczak  | Thursday, August 3, 2017 11:24 am

Food and agricultural production is an integral aspect of Indiana’s legacy. Between farming, processing, storing and hauling, agricultural businesses contribute over $31 billion to the state’s economy and provide more than 245,000 jobs for Hoosiers. Food production businesses play a critical role in Indiana’s strong economy and are a major part of the U.S. food and agriculture system, helping to maintain the country’s position in the global market. Because of the industry’s significance to our state and world, a new Indiana Agriculture Strategic Plan works to improve all aspects of Indiana agriculture throughout the next decade.

More than 60 percent of our state is farmland, and in our community alone, there is more than 550,000 acres of land used for agricultural purposes. Expanding and developing Indiana agriculture through stewardship, education and innovation will benefit many hardworking farmers in our area and throughout the state. Improvements to food and agriculture production affect every Hoosier, from the meals we eat to the overall health of Indiana’s economy.

In an effort to make the industry even more robust, a committee of various agriculture leaders and representatives from boards, universities, and both non-government and government organizations from across the state joined efforts to develop the Indiana Agriculture Strategic Plan. The plan outlines ways Indiana will expand contributions to the global marketplace, build a stronger workforce, increase innovation and enhance leadership in the field.

The plan contains seven priorities to move Indiana forward, including economic and community development; natural resources stewardship and environment; education and career development; public relations and outreach; leadership development; infrastructure; and food and agricultural innovation. Included with each of these priorities is a list of detailed action items that lay out a specific path for moving ahead. There is also a designated “champion” for each action item, as well as a breakdown of the resources required to accomplish the tasks.

Indiana has a long history of successful farming practices, and I am looking forward to the positive impacts the Indiana Agriculture Strategic Plan will have on our area in coming years. This is the next step as we continue advancing the agricultural powerhouse our state has become. For a look at the complete plan, visit www.in.gov/isda. As always, please contact me with any questions, comments or input you may have at 317-232-9793 or h74@iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents House District 74,

which includes portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.

A high-resolution photo of Arnold can be downloaded by clicking here.