- Animal Production: grazing management
- Crop Production: cover crops, crop rotation
- Education and Training: extension
- Production Systems: transitioning to organic
- Soil Management: Cover Cropping for Soil Health
- Sustainable Communities: urban agriculture
Indiana is making strides in its move toward awareness of and even implementation of practices that could be considered as more sustainable in nature. Though the vast majority of the current crop and livestock production in the state might be referred to as very “conventional” in its nature there seems to be an increase in interest in and adoption of cover crops and soil health enhancing practices, rotational grazing, pasture poultry and hog production and a variety of integrated pest management strategies and pollinator protection practices among others.
The hiring of a Purdue Local Foods Coordinator and a Farm Bureau Retail Agriculture specialist and more recently the creation of a GAPs Educator position, as well as Assistant ANR program leader positions in Soil Health/Cover Crops and Diversified Food and Farming systems and the growth of the Indiana Small Farm Conference as a means of outreach to a previously largely underserved audience are all signs of the evolution that is underway and evidence of Indiana’s awakening to the concept of sustainable agriculture and local food system development.
The Indiana SARE PDP program continues to extend its reach to new audience and to engage new groups of educators in its programmatic efforts. The SARE Advisory committee is increasing the diversity of its representation and continues to seek suitable talented and passionate representatives. Additionally, there continues to be a tangible increase in the willingness of various agencies to collaborate and work toward identifying and addressing issues at the State and local levels. Cover crops and soil health are topics seen a “common ground” between various groups within Indiana agriculture and is a subject area on which we continue to build true collaboration.
Project objectives from proposal:
State initiatives for 2017-18 are:
• “Scaling Up Local Food Systems”- Farm to School Initiative
• Crop and Livestock Diversification Practices to Enhance Agricultural Sustainability (to include Small Farm Conference)
• Cover Crops and Soil Health
• Agricultural Interface with Urban Food Needs