In recognition of National Agriculture Day, Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb, who serves as Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Ted McKinney, Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, are encouraging Hoosiers to show their appreciation for all those involved in the agriculture industry. “It is well for Hoosiers to remember the vital role that agriculture has played on our history and development as a state,” said Lt. Governor Holcomb. “Indiana has always been a leading agricultural state and continues to rank in the top five in the nation in many agricultural products including traditional field crops, livestock and poultry. Today is about recognizing the remarkable men and women on the farms and in our agri-businesses who continue to make this industry strong in Indiana.”
National Ag Day was established by the Agriculture Council of America to recognize the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, producers, associations, schools, universities, agribusinesses and government leaders all come together to celebrate the industry, which continues to have a major impact on our state and national economies. “Since the very foundation of America, agriculture has been responsible for almost everything we eat, use and wear – growing up on a farm I was able to see that firsthand,” McKinney said. “Indiana is fortunate to have the best farming families in the country, and it is important that we recognize them, not just today but every day, and the remarkable contributions they make to our state and nation.”
National Ag Day also works to raise awareness and encourages every American to understand how food, fuel and fiber products are produced; value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy; and appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products. “As we enter our third century of farming this great land, we are excited about the future of agriculture in our state and the opportunity Indiana has to remain a national leader in agriculture innovation and technology. The families who for generations have been dedicated to feeding our state, nation and a hungry world remain the backbone of our agriculture industry. Indiana’s 21st Century model will only strengthen our state for generations to come,” said Lt. Governor Holcomb.
Indiana Agriculture, By the Numbers:
• Indiana agriculture contributes an estimated $31 billion towards Indiana gross domestic product.
• Last year, the total value of agricultural products sold was $11.2 billion.
• In 2015, 14.7 million acres of farmland were cultivated by Indiana’s farming operations.
• Indiana agricultural industries combine to employ more than 107,500 direct workers.
• There were 57,700 farming operations in Indiana in 2015.
• The average size of an Indiana farm is 255 acres.
• 83 percent of Indiana land is in farms, forests and woodland.
• 98 percent of Indiana farms are family-owned.
• Indiana ranks 1st in commercial duck production, wood office furniture and kitchen cabinet manufacturing.
• Indiana ranks 2nd in popcorn production, tomatoes (for processing), ice cream production, total eggs produced and cropland planted with a cover crop.
• Indiana ranks 3rd in egg layers inventory, soybeans, spearmint and fresh market cantaloupe.
• Indiana ranks 4th in turkeys raised and peppermint.
• Indiana ranks 5th in corn (for grain), fresh market watermelon and snap beans (for processing).