Farmers Feed Indiana’s Economic Success


    Submitted BY State Rep. Cindy Ledbetter (R-Newburgh

    (she represents House District 75) 

    Many Hoosiers will visit a local farm this fall to gather gourds at a pumpkin patch or pick apples at an orchard. These experiences can remind us all about the important role agriculture plays in our lives.

    Indiana’s farmers help feed the world and our economy, and we’ve made progress in supporting them and their families.

    Farmers contribute $31.2 billion to our economy and create over 180,000 jobs, according to the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. In Pike, Spencer and Warrick counties alone, over 1,300 farms generate more than $192 million in products annually, according to a 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

    With many farmers being small-business owners, an obstacle they face is accessing affordable health care options. Now Indiana Farm Bureau offers a new health plan, which covers essential health benefits, such as office visits, preventative services, and maternity and newborn care.

    To prevent diseases from spreading among livestock, a new law will require outbreaks to be reported to the state veterinarian within 24 hours and a new law allows youth agriculture groups, like FFA, to sell their products directly to school cafeterias.

    When carving jack-o-lanterns or picking apples for the perfect pie, take a moment to appreciate the hard work of Hoosier farmers and their impact on our state. I also encourage you to shop local, such as buying produce from the Historic Newburgh Farmers Market, occurring weekly June to August.

    If you’d like to visit a nearby Indiana farm, check out Lakeview Orchard in Rockport offers peaches, pumpkins, apple cider and more. Not far away, Pepper’s Ridge Winery is a great place for a picnic. No matter where you choose, I hope you enjoy your visit to an Indiana farm.