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INDIANA GROWN SURPASSES 500 MEMBERS IN FIRST YEAR, CELEBRATES SUCCESS OF MEMBERS
Source: Indiana Grown news release

Indiana Grown, developed and led by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), celebrates major milestones and accomplishments after its eventful first year. With a mission to truly define what it means to buy local, Indiana Grown has helped Hoosiers find, identify and purchase agricultural products that are grown, produced or processed within the state.

The statewide initiative now includes more than 500 members, adding approximately one member per day with more than 38 business partners consisting of distributors, farmers markets and retailers, such as Marsh, Kroger and Market District.

"Indiana Grown has really taken off and demand for our products is on the rise - Hoosiers want to buy local," said Ted McKinney, ISDA Director. "We look forward to continuing to support all sectors of agriculture, whether it's a new or established producer, large or small operation, and growing the initiative during its second year."

Within the past year, Indiana Grown has participated in 11 major events to help raise awareness about the initiative as well as its members, and has even launched its first program named Indiana Grown Homegrown by Heroes, teaming up with a national organization to support military veterans.

In addition to the tremendous growth of the initiative, Indiana Grown's biggest accomplishments can be found in the success stories of its members. For example, Evansville-based member Aficionado Farms has opened at least three new greenhouses since joining Indiana Grown, which help the farm stay in business year-round. Additionally, Fort Wayne-based member Best Boy has experienced a 1,300% increase in the number of stores selling its products. Similarly, with the help from Indiana Grown, South Bend-based member Kercher's Sunrise Orchards has increased sales to one retailer by 356% since 2013.

Unique to other states' local initiatives, Indiana Grown uses four variations of its logo to differentiate types of membership, helping producers hone in on a specific market and helping consumers accurately identify locally made products. The four logo categories include:

100% Indiana - Products within this category must be grown in Indiana, all ingredients must come from Indiana and all packaging must be done within the state.

Prepared in Indiana - Product ingredients can be sourced from anywhere, but 100 percent of the production must be done in Indiana.

Partner - To be an Indiana Grown partner, a company or institution must assist in marketing Indiana grown products and members.

Indiana Grown - This category applies to all other Indiana Grown members, such as individuals.

In its second year, Indiana Grown hopes to generate additional consumer awareness in retail locations with more marketing materials and events, and is working to redesign its website to improve usability.

For more information on Indiana Grown or to apply for membership, visit IndianaGrown.org. Applicants must provide business information and answer questions to ensure their products meet Indiana Grown's guidelines. There is no cost to become a member.


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