Keeping it home grown in the Hoosier state

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A new law signed by Gov. Mike Pence aims to keep locally grown products here in the Hoosier state. With a large percentage of our food coming from out-of-state, many say this is something Indiana needs.

Sunspot Natural Market has been a part of the West Lafayette community for 10 years. Every year, General Manager Kathleen Anderson says their business continues to grow.

“We have seen a dramatic increase in sales and the need for local both produce and meat, as well as eggs,” said Anderson.

That’s exactly what you can find at Sunspot. It’s a natural food market selling, not only all-natural food, but local organic products as well.

“We are locally and family owned, as well,” said Anderson. “So, we like to have local supporters, as well as us supporting those who want to do the same.”

Soon, more local farmers may be flocking to stores like Sunspot.

Last week, Gov. Mike Pence signed the Indiana Grown Inititative into law. The initiative intends to promote Indiana agriculture by keeping it in the Hoosier state. Republican State Rep. Don Lehe says it’s something that was needed.

“The discussion was that 90 percent of the food that’s consumed in Indiana by Indiana Hoosiers is from out of state,” said Lehe. “So, a lot of the support kind of came from that reason.”

Lehe says the Indiana Grown Program has been around for several years, but he says it’s never really taken flight.

“What’s missing in the last, or what’s been done in the past, was a connection that citizens knew where to go to get homegrown foods,” Lehe said.

With this initiative’s focus on marketing, Lehe hopes that it is a gap that will soon close.

“I think there is a need for that push, and it really will help us stand out to the United States as a whole of creating this initiative,” Anderson said.

Don Lehe says funding for the project won’t be discussed until 2015, so he expects the program to really ramp up sometime next year.

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