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[r29] Column: Growing the economy by supporting local farmers
Start Date: 6/9/2014 All Day
End Date: 6/9/2014
Entry Description
Growing the economy by supporting local farmers

Since 1992, I have had the privilege of representing the greatest community in Indiana. As a lifelong resident, I always enjoy seeing the warm and familiar faces as I walk around the courthouse in Noblesville. You can’t make a trip around the downtown area without seeing someone you know. Neighbors still help each other take care of their lawns, and it is that togetherness that makes our community so great.

An important aspect of togetherness and supporting the community is buying local. Not only will you find unique, high-quality products only made in our area, but it also grows our local economy and supports small businesses as well. This includes buying produce grown by Hoosier farmers close to home. 

In 2013, Noblesville Main Street expanded the Farmers’ Market by adding the “Thursday Market.” The Farmers’ Market, held in the Riverview Health overflow parking lot on Saturdays, allows local vendors to sell a wide array of homegrown products like honey and fresh-baked goods to list a few. 

Although more of a European-style market, the Thursday Market, located just east of the Noblesville Main Street office, will offer items such as fresh meals, hand-harvested produce and small-batch artisan foods. I encourage everyone to support our local farmers by coming out to these events, and after trying the barbeque ribs and chicken, I can assure you will certainly be happy you did. For additional information about the times and locations, please visit www.noblesvillemainstreet.org.

Along with this concept, and in a column I wrote in March, I briefly highlighted what we did in the Legislature to boost Hoosier-grown, agricultural products, specifically the creation of the Indiana Grown Initiative. To go further in-depth, this initiative was developed to better market and promotes Indiana-produced food as well as establishes a statewide brand. Although Indiana has a strong agricultural reputation, we still import roughly 90 percent of our food, which is why it is important that we create a brand associated with our state’s agriculture. 

Farmers that join this program will receive Indiana Grown stickers for products such as produce, dairy, eggs, livestock and ornamental horticulture. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) has been tasked with developing and administering the Indiana Grown Initiative as well as establishing fees for participation and rules concerning the program.

Other states have launched similar initiatives, which have been enormously successful. In fact, South Carolina has seen an extra $265 million generated and an additional $23 million in tax revenue as a direct result of their program. Through this initiative, it is my hope that we can better promote the Hoosier brand, both locally and nationally, bringing additional revenue to our community.

I was also proud to support legislation this year that reaffirms Indiana’s commitment to Hoosier agriculture, which is a crucial industry for rural areas of the state. It declares that Indiana remains committed to conserving, protecting and encouraging the development and improvement of agriculture and agri-business.

Hoosier farmers contribute so much to our state and local economy, and it was my hope that by supporting these laws, we are not only protecting their rights, but also promoting their high-quality goods. Their hard work and dedication deserves to be promoted, not just in Indiana but throughout the nation as well. For those interested in participating in the Indiana Grown Initiative, I encourage you to visit www.in.gov/isda/2513.htm. I hope to see Indiana Grown stickers on some of the produce displayed at the Farmers Market in our community, and I look forward to seeing you there!

-30-

Representative Kathy Kreag Richardson (R-Noblesville)
Contact Information:
Name: Ben Gavelek
Phone: 317-232-9831
Email: ben.gavelek@iga.in.gov
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    > Growing the economy by supporting local farmers
Entry Type:
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Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • About Indiana
  • Agriculture & Environment
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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