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Small business partnership growing support for Indiana agribusinesses

Last Updated on March 8, 2022 by Indiana Small Business Development Center

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD), Purdue Extension, and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) today announced a partnership to launch the Agribusiness Initiative.  

The Indiana SBDC Agribusiness Initiative offers Hoosier small businesses and entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector access to no-cost, confidential specialty business advising and training, including financing, crop yield projections, U.S. Department of Agriculture loan packaging, value-added product development, and commodity exporting, among others. These businesses range from producers and processors of agricultural commodities to manufacturers of value-added products, machinery, technology and hardwoods. 

“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.”

Agriculture is a vital component to Indiana’s economic health, contributing an estimated $31.2 billion to Indiana’s economy each year. With more than 15 million acres of farmland, Indiana supports more than 94,000 Hoosier farmers and is a leading producer of corn, soybeans, hogs, poultry, popcorn and tomato products. Indiana’s agricultural excellence is also driving exploration, experimentation and innovation as farmers and scientists work together to provide cutting-edge research that promises to move the global agriculture industry into the future. 

“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.”

In addition to business advising and training provided by the Indiana SBDC, PCRD will provide administrative support, with additional advising services from Purdue Extension and ISDA. Former Hoosier Heartland Indiana SBDC Regional Director Monty Henderson will serve as director for the Agribusiness Initiative. Indiana agribusinesses are encouraged to learn more about and register for the program online.   “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.”

With its consistent leading-edge agribusiness and agtech activity, PCRD, which currently hosts two of Indiana SBDC’s regional offices, will host the new Agribusiness Initiative. The combined expertise, research and outreach efforts of PCRD and Extension complement the Agribusiness Initiative and help drive the Indiana SBDC’s goals to better serve developing agribusinesses and farms by employing and securing agricultural professionals to help bridge the advising gap.

About Indiana SBDC
The Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) is a program of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, which leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts. The Indiana SBDC helps entrepreneurs and small businesses start, grow, finance, innovate, and transition through no-cost, confidential business advising and training. With a network of 10 regional offices through the state, the Indiana SBDC creates a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses.

The Indiana SBDC is funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. For more information about the Indiana SBDC, visit isbdc.org.  

About Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) 
PCRD seeks to pioneer new ideas and strategies that contribute to regional collaboration, innovation and prosperity. Founded in 2005, the Center partners with public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to identify and enhance the key drivers of innovation in regions across Indiana, the U.S. and beyond. These drivers include a vibrant and inclusive civic leadership, a commitment to collaboration, and the application of advanced data support systems to promote sound decision-making and the pursuit of economic development investments that build on the competitive assets of regions. Learn more at pcrd.purdue.edu.

Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA)
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) was established as a separate state agency by the Legislature in 2005. Administratively, ISDA reports to Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, who also serves as Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. Major responsibilities include advocacy for Indiana agriculture at the local, state and federal level, managing soil conservation programs, promoting economic development and agricultural innovation, serving as a regulatory ombudsman for agricultural businesses, and licensing grain firms throughout the state.

SOURCE: News release from Indiana Small Business Development Center