Ben Loehrke /

Agribusiness executives and researchers are describing Indiana as an area poised to become a global heavyweight in food-science research.

Elanco president Jeff Simmons says Indiana is building a roster of companies working on ways to boost food production to meet the needs of a world population projected to hit 10-billion in 35 years.

For instance, Simmons says, it’ll take a 60-percent increase in milk production to serve that many people.

"Growing Ag Leaders" pilot program includes IN

Nov 19, 2013

According to a U.S Department of Agriculture report, roughly 25,000 agriculture jobs go unfilled each year.

To address the issue, Monsanto and the National F.F.A. are partnering to encourage more students pursuing a degree in the field.

Most of Indiana is part of their scholarship pilot program, including Tippecanoe and surrounding counties.

Research at Purdue could help greenhouse growers in cold weather climates. Horticulture Professor Cary Mitchell and graduate students are looking into the use of LEDs with traditional lighting.

The results show a reduction in energy costs, which Mitchell says is promising for the future of LEDs.

“The quality is good, energy is much less, and yield is about the same, so those are both economic and quality consumer advantages.”

He says LED use may allow for two indoor growing seasons, instead of the usual year-long method currently practiced.

A former U.S. deputy secretary of state thinks Purdue is “ground zero” for the expertise needed to help developing economies. Bob Zoellick says technology, innovation, agriculture and business are all needed to help emerging countries. He thinks that could help the U.S. economy too.

“The United States has actually been stagnant in terms of getting more market share abroad. We benefited from the ethanol prices and the higher prices. So, frankly, I think we also need to reorient our policies towards trying to get advantage of some of these growths in international markets.”

Activists taking videos or photos of potentially illegal or embarrassing practices at farms and factories could be subject to new criminal penalties under legislation approved by the Senate.

A measure authored by Senator Travis Holdman (R-Markle) makes it a crime for anyone to videotape or photograph agricultural or industrial operations and share those photos with the public in an attempt to harm or defame the business.

Donnelly seeking Farm Bill solution

Jan 18, 2013

Indiana’s junior senator says Congress will agree on a long-term Farm Bill this year. As part of the fiscal cliff agreement, the current bill was extended through September.

Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) says in meeting with farmers and ranchers throughout the state this week, they’re demanding a five year bill, so they can have some certainty. He says the inability to produce a new Farm Bill last year had more to do with politics than the substance of the bill.

Census of Agriculture

Jan 2, 2013

The Census of Agriculture is administered every five-years and the latest survey of U.S. farmers and ranchers is underway now.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service conducts the census. Greg Matli is the deputy director of the Indiana Field Office.

He says the questionnaire will go out to a little more than 78,000 Hoosiers.

IN Farm Bureau hires retail ag business specialist

Dec 27, 2012

A new member of the Indiana Farm Bureau staff hopes to help small farms and those focused on specialty crops. Bob White was hired as IFB’s retail agriculture business specialist.

He has a background in agricultural finance and natural resources, as well as economic and policy development. However, White says he needs to hear from members who want help.

Purdue student candidate for National FFA post

Oct 19, 2012

Micah Matlock has been involved with FFA since 8th grade. Now, the Purdue sophomore is Indiana's candidate for the National FFA officer team.

The organization is holding it's national convention in Indianapolis October 24-27. The candidates for the six leadership spots will undergo a rigorous interview and testing process before a committee choices the open posts.

Matlock has been involved with FFA as a member and officer at the local chapter, regional and state levels. He says he will have to take a year off from Purdue if selected to one of the positions.

The Midwest Farmer's Daughter

Aug 23, 2012
Purdue University Press

The Midwest Farmer's Daughter: In Search of an American Icon, published by Purdue University Press, unearths the untold history and renewed cultural currency of an American icon at a time when fully 30% of new farms in the United States are woman-owned.

WBAA’s Mike Loizzo talks about the book with author Zachary Michael Jack, associate professor of English and member of the Urban and Suburban Studies and Environmental Studies faculties at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.