Local farmers, producers join initiative

BY LORI MCDONALD
For The Republic

Local farmers, producers, processors and artisans, along with grocery stores and restaurants, are hoping to expand their reach through a statewide initiative.

Through their Indiana Grown membership, Jackson County producers can spread the word about their businesses to Hoosier consumers, retailers and program partners.

“Indiana Grown was something I saw online and with trying to promote our farm name, we joined and it’s just a really wonderful organization,” said Jennifer Nieman of Redemption Farms Katahdins at 5141 E. County Road 100S, Seymour. “They do a lot to support the local growers and they are all over the state.”

Nieman said when Indiana Grown has events, it’s really neat to see where all the different people come from and its all different offerings.

“Like we raise (sheep) meat, some people make candy, others have breweries, honey, and it’s just so diverse so when they have these fairs, open to the public,” Nieman said. “It’s a wonderful experience because you get to taste the food, and experience all the wonderful culture that Indiana offers.”

Vanessa Staublin, with Dittoe Public Relations in Indianapolis, promotes Indiana Grown.

With the support of Indiana Grown, Hoosier businesses can take advantage of the initiative’s additional marketing support, event opportunities and more, Staublin said.

Kordell Reid, co-owner of Marion-Kay Spices, heard about the initiative and joined last year and said it was kind of a no-brainer to become a member. Marion-Kay Spices is located at 1351 W. U.S. 50, Brownstown.

“We are a manufacturer here in Indiana so we went up to a couple of shows that they sponsored for culinary and food-related things at Ivy Tech,” Reid said. “Then I believe we listed them when we went up to the Indiana State Fair last year, and we’ve had a booth at the fair for about 57 years.”

Indiana Grown is an organization that tries to coordinate companies that are food-service oriented, in terms of they collaborate together to try to make businesses in Indiana more profitable and noticeable, Reid said.

“We’ve been in business here since 1922, so we are 96 years into it,” said Reid. “We will have a big 100-year celebration coming up in another four years and it’ll come up quick.”

Another Indiana Grown member in Jackson County is Louis Wonning of Wonning Produce, 5875 E. County Road 875 N., Seymour. He joined the initiative about three years ago.

“I was up in Indianapolis at the Indiana Horticulture and Trade Show and they had a booth there and was talking about it,” said Wonning. “It sounded like a good thing to do and a good initiative for local producers.”

Just a few of the items sold at Wonning Produce are watermelons, cantaloupes, banana peppers and sweet corn. The stand typically opens for the season around the beginning of July.

Indiana Grown educates consumers on the importance of buying Indiana Grown products, they increase networking and sales opportunities for Indiana farmers and expand support for Indiana processors in their effort to process more Indiana Grown products.

Local members

  • Burton’s Maplewood Farm, LLC
  • Chateau de Pique Winery
  • Gresham Foods, Inc.
  • Nature’s Way
  • Hackman Family Farm Market
  • JayC Food Stores
  • Kamman’s Farms, INC
  • Kingery Family Farms
  • Marion-Kay Spices
  • Redemption Farms Katahdins
  • Sand Creek Produce
  • Stream Cliff Herb Farm
  • White Creek Farms of Indiana LLC
  • Wonning Produce