Agriculture Leaders Convene for the Inaugural Indiana Governor’s Agriculture Conference


 INDIANAPOLIS – Governor Mike Pence, Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann and nearly 350 agriculture leaders from throughout Indiana and the nation gathered today for the Inaugural Governor’s Agriculture Conference that featured national speakers from key sectors of the agriculture industry.

The globally-themed conference advanced Indiana’s reputation as an impactful leader in agriculture throughout the world. The attendees heard from internationally recognized speakers on essential topics centered on agribusiness development, conservation, stewardship, sustainability, feeding an increasing population, and Indiana’s growing role in addressing these critical topics. The program recognized the importance of global innovation and the necessity to continue to elevate Indiana as a major player in agriculture and agribusiness, through stimulating thoughts and ideas from prominent and challenging speakers. It also provided Indiana’s Governor and Lt. Governor with an opportunity to share ideas and thoughts about continuing to elevate Indiana agriculture.

Governor Pence described the conference as a way to elevate Indiana as a major global player in agriculture.  He noted, “I could not be more proud of the exceptional skills, resilience and ingenuity of the men and women who continue to move Indiana agriculture forward.  By combining old-fashioned hard work and common sense with next-generation innovation and technology, Indiana farm families and agribusinesses are strengthening our rural communities here at home… and contributing significantly to feeding, fueling and clothing the world.”

Pence also thanked the guest speakers who shared their insights into the challenges and opportunities for the American agriculture industry in the 21st century.

The conference was opened by Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, who also serves as Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture. She highlighted the continued expansion of the agriculture industry in Indiana, including significant growth in food processing. The Lieutenant Governor also advanced a renewed Indiana Grown program featuring Indiana products, and summarized the new AgriNovus Indiana initiative that is providing a platform for collaboration and synergy among research efforts at Indiana agribusinesses and universities.

In addition to Governor Mike Pence and Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, guest speakers at the conference included:

Dr. Jay Akridge, Dean of Agriculture, Purdue University

Dr. Jason Clay, Senior Vice President of Food and Markets, World Wildlife Fund

Tim Hassinger, President & CEO, Dow AgroScience

Greg Page, Executive Chairman, Cargill Incorporated

Jeff Simmons, President, Elanco


Beth Archer, Executive Director of the AgrIInstitute and Ted McKinney, Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture co-chaired the conference. The Agribusiness Council of Indiana, AgriNovus Indiana, Indiana Beef Cattle Association, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana Dairy Producers, Indiana Ethanol Producers Association (IEPA), Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Indiana Farm Bureau, Indiana State Poultry Association, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association, Inc., Indiana Pork, and the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association sponsored the conference.