Indiana building network of university, commercial ag researchers

Governor hopes Agriculture Innovation Corridor will boost food production in state

Indiana’s agriculture department is planning a push into the science behind food production by trying to build a network of university and commercial researchers for what’s being called an Agriculture Innovation Corridor.

Governor Mike Pence included the initiative in his State of the State speech, and Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann said she has started talking with leaders from Purdue University and elsewhere about its prospects.

The concept comes from a report released last summer by BioCrossroads, an Indianapolis-based life sciences investment and development group supported by numerous companies and foundations. That report, according to The Associated Press, highlighted what the group believes is an opportunity for Indiana to attract and encourage companies developing agriculture innovations. It points to the agriculture-related research being done at Purdue, along with existing companies such as Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences and Eli Lilly and Co.’s Elanco Animal Health.

The state hopes to boost the agriculture research initiatives while continuing its traditional promotion of farming and crop and livestock markets, said Ellspermann, who also heads Indiana’s agriculture agency. Ellspermann said some sources of state money would already be available if needed to help spur certain ventures.