STATEHOUSE – State Representative Matt Lehman (R-Berne) authored legislation concerning Indiana-grown food, which passed the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously on Thursday.
House Bill (HB) 1039 establishes the Indiana Grown Initiative to market and promote Indiana-produced agricultural products. It 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.
“Indiana imports an estimated 90 percent of the food we consume, despite our very strong agricultural industry,” said Rep. Lehman. “The Indiana Grown Initiative will address the need to generate an Indiana-centric brand that can promote Indiana agriculture not only among the local consumers but on a national level.”
Under this initiative, the commission would meet throughout the year to brainstorm opportunities for connecting producers with local vendors and for marketing local producers through promotional efforts.
“A recent survey showed that consumers are 90 percent more likely to purchase locally grown food products,” said Rep. Lehman. “People want to support their local farmers, and this commission will work on that and marketing what makes Indiana’s agricultural industry great.”
HB 1039 will now be considered by the Senate for further discussion and debate.