By BEN KENNEY
Indiana State Department of Agriculture Communications Director
Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann announced a new dairy strategy for Indiana agriculture in remarks to the Indiana Livestock, Forage and Grain Forum hosted by the Indiana Soybean Alliance. The strategy was commissioned by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture with the assistance of a national agriculture consultant who conducted research and market analysis working with the Indiana dairy industry.
Key elements of the strategy focus on expanding Indiana’s current dairy processors, attracting new dairy processing facilities to Indiana and adopting policies that support and improve dairy farming operations.
Lt. Governor Ellspermann noted, “Each day four million pounds of milk produced in Indiana are shipped to processing facilities outside of Indiana. Our goal is to add value to that product before it leaves our borders by increasing our dairy processing capacity in our existing 23 plants as well as by attracting new facilities. As the strategy notes, Indiana’s geographic location and transportation infrastructure provide a competitive advantage for Indiana-based plants shipping dairy products to East Coast markets.”
“With a renewed and united focus, we can make Indiana an even more productive dairy state,” said ISDA Director Ted McKinney. “ISDA staff, along with our key partners from around Indiana, will help inform the public and dairy industry on the long term benefits of investing in milk production and dairy processing in the state of Indiana.”
The report also suggests that Indiana continue to protect and support the ability of dairy farms to operate productively with reasonable environmental guidelines that protect Indiana’s land and water. Furthermore, it identifies the need for Indiana to maintain both the transportation infrastructure and transport policies that facilitate moving milk from the farm to the processor and then out to the broader markets, including such issues as weight limits on tanker transports.
For more information on the Indiana Dairy Strategy, please visit ISDA’s website at www.isda.in.gov.