INDIANAPOLIS — Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler and the Indiana State Poultry Association recognized the generosity of Indiana’s poultry producers Tuesday, Nov. 22. The recognition occurred at the 75th annual Indiana state poultry recognition event at the Indiana Statehouse. Over the past year, Indiana poultry farmers have donated nearly 100 tons, or 200,000 pounds, of poultry products to Hoosiers in need.
Maple Leaf Farms, Leesburg and Milford, was among those who were honored for its generosity.
“I am so proud of the Hoosier poultry producers and the large impact they have on food-insecure Hoosiers,” said Crouch, who also serves as Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “Donating 200,000 pounds of poultry products throughout the year is an incredible feat, and I am grateful I was able to thank them in person today for their generous donations.”
For decades, Indiana’s poultry producers have been working to address food insecurity in their local communities by providing protein to food banks across the state. Some of the main products donated over the course of this year include eggs, chicken, duck and turkey.
The strength of Indiana’s poultry sector was also recognized during the ceremony, as Indiana is one of the top poultry producing states in the country. According to the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service, Indiana ranks No. 1 in duck production, No. 2 in egg production, No. 4 in turkey production and is home to high quality broiler chicken production as well.
The poultry industry is a substantial economic driver for the state, contributing more than $15 billion in total economic activity. Additionally, this sector employs more than 12,500 Hoosiers.
“Our Hoosier farmers are incredibly generous and quick to give back to their community,” said Kettler. “This event highlights their year-round contributions to various food banks and pantries located throughout Indiana and we are grateful to recognize them.”
Indiana State Poultry Association members continually give back to their local communities throughout the year. According to ISPA President Becky Joniskan, the large poultry donations come from the small communities across Indiana our poultry farming families call home.
“Indiana’s bountiful, high quality feed, ample water supply, dedicated farmers, and business climate that understands the needs of agriculture make it an ideal place to raise poultry,” said Joniskan. “We pride ourselves on feeding our neighbors, our nation, and, indeed, the world, with wholesome, nutritious poultry products.”
Maple Leaf had items on display, which were donated to Food Finders Food Bank in Lafayette. This ceremony marks an annual tradition dating back to the late 1940s. Organized by ISPA, one of the oldest poultry organizations in the nation, it was designed to recognize the strength of Indiana’s poultry industry, as well as the annual donations made by its members, who are responsible for more than 95% of the chicken, duck, turkey and eggs produced in Indiana.