Indiana Farmers Commit to the Conversation with Hoosier Consumers
The Indiana Livestock Forage and Grain Forum drew over 500 producers to the Indiana Convention Center. The theme of the meeting was Commit to the Conversation. The program featured several Hoosier producers who had taken unique steps to connect with consumers in their local area. Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, who attended the meeting, said the unity of purpose by all the major agricultural interests was a good sign, "When I walked into the room today, this was very rewarding." She said this kind of unity is needed for Indiana agriculture to continue to grow.
In her presentation, Skillman outlined the new Indiana Farmers Feed US program. This is a promotion that offers consumers the chance to win free groceries if they first watch a video profile of one of several Indiana farmers. Skillman said that most Hoosiers are not connected with a farm and do not know any farmers. She said this program will help them learn about the men and women who produce the food and the impact farmers bring to their community and the state of Indiana. "Our economy is changing, but agriculture's role in Indiana remains constant," said Skillman. "This promotion is a great effort by our farmers to share with Hoosiers the importance of modern agriculture."
During the program, several examples of how to reach out to consumers were presented. These included putting windows in the hog barn so visitors could see what was happening inside, offering tours to restaurant chefs, and installing web cameras so consumers could see what was happening on a farm over the internet. Each forum attendee was presented with a starter kit to help them start a conversation with their friends and neighbors.