It is no secret that Indiana is one of the top farming states in the country with around 60,000 farms that grow, produce and process some of the highest-quality products in the nation. However, less than 10 percent of the $16 billion Hoosiers spend annually on food is sourced within Indiana. With locally made products at an all-time high, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) created and launched the Indiana Grown Initiative.
Launched in summer 2015, the Initiative aims to help Hoosier consumers easily identify, locate and purchase products that have been grown, raised or processed within the state. Indiana Grown offers the potential to create and strengthen local food markets, educate consumers on the benefits of buying local and expand the support for Indiana producers.
There are three categories to help identify Indiana Grown products or services.
- 100% Indiana – Products within this category must be grown in Indiana and/or all ingredients must come from Indiana.
- Prepared in Indiana – Product ingredients can be sourced from anywhere, but 100 percent of the production must be done in Indiana.
- Partner – To be an Indiana Grown partner, a company or institution must assist in marketing Indiana grown products and members.
- Indiana Grown – This category applies to all other Indiana Grown members.
Program members and partners include farmers, producers, processors and artisans, as well as retailers, grocers and restaurants. There is currently no cost to become a member and becoming one includes numerous benefits. Some of these benefits include: the rights to use the Indiana Grown logo that best corresponds to their product, access to sales and marketing resources, increased visibility to potential retail partners and a more accessible community to share ideas and success stories.
With the need for locally-sourced products so high, programs like Indiana Grown are extremely important to state and local economy. Buying local will not only help the producer, it will help the community as a whole by stimulating and strengthening the local economy.