A new agribusiness initiative aims to help Indiana farmers grow and expand their businesses.
The Indiana Small Business Development Center, Purdue Center for Regional Development, Purdue Extension and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture partnered to launch the Indiana SBDC Agribusiness Initiative.
It will offer no-cost services that include business advising and training on subjects like financing, crop yields, exporting, product development and U.S. Department of Agriculture loan packaging.
“Small business development is big business for the state of Indiana,” said David Watkins, Indiana SBDC state director and Indiana Economic Development Corporation vice president of small business. “Entrepreneurs and small businesses are fundamental to the future growth and sustainability of communities across the state, and this partnership will focus on providing small Hoosier agribusinesses with the tools, resources and training they need to start, grow and innovate.”
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Indiana has an estimated 94,000 farmers and 15 million acres of farmland between Lake Michigan and the Ohio River. The Hoosier State is one of the top producers of corn, soybeans, hogs, poultry, popcorn and tomatoes nationwide.
Agriculture contributes $31.2 billion a year to the state’s economy each year.
“Over the past few decades, the needs of Hoosier agribusinesses have rapidly evolved,” said Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. “This initiative recognizes the critical role agribusinesses, supply networks and distribution channels play in helping to ensure a strong Indiana economy.”
Former Hoosier Heartland Indiana SBDC Regional Director Monty Henderson will serve as director of the new initiative. The Indiana SBDC, Purdue Extension and state agency will provide advising services while Purdue will offer administrative support.
“Entrepreneurs are vital because they create new jobs, new wealth and new growth,” said Jason Henderson, senior associate dean and director of Extension at Purdue University. “The partnership behind the Agribusiness Initiative is a way to leverage the Extension network to connect and support entrepreneurs in every Indiana county, with resources at Purdue and beyond, to build stronger economic engines in the agribusiness industry.”
For more information, visit isbdc.org.
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