INDIANAPOLIS – Lt. gov. Suzanne Crouch, Bruce Kettler, Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, and the Indiana State Poultry Association on Tuesday, November 22 recognized the generosity of poultry producers at the Indiana Statehouse of Indiana. Last year, Indiana poultry farmers donated nearly 100 tons, or 200,000 pounds, of poultry products to Hoosiers in need.
Maple Leaf Farms, Leesburg and Milford were among those honored for their generosity.
“I’m so proud of the Hoosier poultry farmers and the huge impact they’re having on Hoosiers who are food insecure,” said Crouch, who also serves as Indiana Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “Donating 200,000 pounds of poultry products throughout the year is an incredible achievement and I am grateful to have been able to personally thank them for their generous donations today.”
For decades, Indiana’s poultry producers have worked to address food insecurity in their local communities by providing protein to food banks across the state. Some of the main products donated this year are eggs, chickens, ducks and turkeys.
The ceremony also recognized the strength of Indiana’s poultry sector, as Indiana is one of the states with the highest poultry production in the country. According to the USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service, Indiana is #1 in duck production, #2 in egg production, #4 in turkey production, and is also home to high quality broiler chicken production.
The poultry industry is a major contributor to the economy of the state, contributing more than $15 billion to total economic activity. In addition, this sector employs more than 12,500 Hoosiers.
“Our Hoosier farmers are incredibly generous and quick to give back to their community,” Kettler said. “This event highlights their year-round contributions to various food banks and pantries across Indiana, and we’re grateful to recognize them.”
Indiana State Poultry Association members continually give back to their local communities throughout the year. According to ISPA President Becky Joniskan, the large donations of poultry come from the small communities across Indiana that our poultry farming families call home.
“Indiana’s rich, high-quality forage, plentiful water supply, dedicated farmers, and a business climate that understands the needs of farming make it an ideal location for poultry farming,” Joniskan said. “We take pride in feeding our neighbors, our nation and indeed the world with healthy, nutritious poultry products.”
Maple Leaf had items on display that were donated to the Food Finders Food Bank in Lafayette. This ceremony marks an annual tradition that dates back to the late 1940s. Organized by ISPA, one of the nation’s oldest poultry organizations, it was designed to recognize the strength of Indiana’s poultry industry and the annual donations of its members, who are responsible for more than 95% of the chicken, duck, turkey, and eggs produced in Indiana .