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INDIANAPOLIS — Today, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch accepted more than 100 tons, or 200,000 pounds, of poultry products on behalf of the state as part of the 72nd annual poultry donation. Lt. Governor Crouch, the Indiana State Poultry Association (ISPA), the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana came together to provide poultry products to families in need ahead of the holiday season.
“It is an honor to recognize our Hoosier poultry farmers with this tradition, which goes back 72 years,” said Lt. Governor Crouch, Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “The products donated, not only today, but throughout the year, will go a long way in ensuring our Hoosiers in need have fresh and nutritious food to consume.”
The strength of Indiana’s poultry sector was also recognized during the ceremony as one of the top poultry producing states in the country. According to the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service, Indiana ranks No. 1 in duck production, No. 2 in chicken and egg production and No. 4 in turkey production.
The poultry industry is a substantial economic driver for the state and contributes more than $12 billion in total economic activity. Additionally, this sector employs more than 12,000 Hoosiers.
“Our ag economy in Indiana would not be where it is today without the hard work and dedication of our poultry producers,” said Bruce Kettler, ISDA Director. “They continue to increase economic value and expand the Hoosier supply chain, not only nationally, but globally as well.”
Aside from the donations made today, ISPA members continually give back to their local communities throughout the year. Paul Brennan, ISPA President, expressed that over the last 12 months ISPA members have contributed more than 900,000 eggs and 150,000 pounds of meat and egg products to their local communities.
“I can’t express enough how generous our poultry industry is and how proud I am of the farmers and processors involved in this incredible organization,” said Paul Brennan. “They provide safe and healthy food options to consumers and continue to advance farm technology, all while donating products to countless Hoosiers throughout the year.”
Today’s ceremony marks an annual tradition that dates back to the late 1940s. Organized by ISPA, one of the oldest poultry organizations in the nation, it was designed to recognize the strength of Indiana’s poultry industry, as well as the annual donations made by its members, who are responsible for over 95 percent of the chicken, duck, turkey and eggs produced in Indiana.
SOURCE: News release from Indiana State Department of Agriculture