Agriculture plays an important role in the state’s history, as well as in our thriving economy. In Indiana, the industry provides 245,000 jobs and generates more than $30 billion for the economy each year. In recognition of the contributions made by our farming families, the state honors those who have owned and operated the same farm for 100 years or more by presenting the Hoosier Homestead awards.
In our state, 98 percent of farms are family owned, and since the program’s inception in 1976, nearly 5,000 farms have been presented Hoosier Homestead awards. At this year’s Indiana State Fair, Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb presented the Saltzman and Mathew families, both from Posey County, with the Bicentennial Hoosier Homestead Award, which means their farms have been in their family for 200 years. Both farms have been in operation since 1816, when our state was founded.
To qualify for this award, farms must consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 in agricultural products each year. There are two Hoosier Homestead award ceremonies each year, in March at the Statehouse and in August at the Indiana State Fair. For more information, visit www.in.gov/isda/2337.htm.
We may think of farming as strictly planting and harvesting crops, but there is much more that goes into sustaining a farm for years. These homestead families pass the tradition of farming down from generation to generation, and others can also enjoy successful careers in agriculture. From accounting to genetics to mechanics, there are many job opportunities in this field.
One in three people work in agriculture worldwide. AG Explorer is a great online tool with more information on the diverse, in-demand positions in the industry. Visit www.agexplorer.com to learn more about which career might be right for you.
Without the hard work and dedication of these Hoosier farmers, our state’s economy could not continue to thrive. I want to congratulate Sheryl Seib on receiving a Purdue Women in Agriculture Achievement Award from the Indiana Farm Bureau. Congratulations also to the Saltzman and Mathew families, as well as the other 90 families who received the Hoosier Homestead Award this summer, for carrying on Indiana’s rich legacy as an agricultural state.
State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) represents portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.
A high-resolution photo of McNamara can be downloaded by clicking here.