"Ten percent of what we eat, we grow. Ninety percent we import. We're kind of the breadbasket of America in the Midwest here. We need to be consuming more of what we grow here." IN State Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne)
Indiana is known as an agricultural state.
However, studies show Hoosiers aren't eating most of the food grown locally.
This week, Indiana governor mike pence signed House Enrolled Act 1039- creating a state-wide campaign to promote local food grown in Indiana.
"A lot of what we do agriculturally are commodities. So we're going soybeans and corn and farming those out. Those aren't the ag that we do in this commodity, and doesn't necessarily represent produce kind of crops that we can grow and eat,” master gardener Holly Chaille says.
Indiana State Representative Matt Lehman (R-Berne) says the newly-formed Indiana Grown Initiative will change that.
"Ten percent of what we eat, we grow. Ninety percent we import. We're kind of the breadbasket of America in the Midwest here. We need to be consuming more of what we grow here,” Lehman says.
The Indiana Grown Initiative is expected to market and promote locally-grown produce to people, businesses, and organizations.
"What it does is it's trying to connect grower with the buyer. Whether it's through farmer's markets, through fresh markets... And people will see advertisements, and they'll say, you know what, maybe I'll look into this more,” Lehman says.
And one of the backbones to all of that could be urban gardens in many of our cities like this one right here in the middle of Fort Wayne.
Urban gardens like this is one of the places that could benefit.
Master gardener Holly Chaille says it can have a positive impact on our region.
"I think that a commission like this will help close the gap in terms of food deserts... The immediate benefit of focusing right here in your own community of a garden that you can participate in that helps you get well emotionally, and physically, you maybe don't need as many social services as you once needed because you're eating fresher,” Chaille says.
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