SfL Network

The Indiana Smart Agriculture Work Group

Indiana Smart Agriculture Work Group

Solutions from the Land and Purdue University’s College of Agriculture are supporting a special self-directed Work Group, composed of Indiana agricultural thought leaders and value chain partners, who together are exploring and assessing the impacts that potential extreme weather events and changing climatic conditions are having and are expected to have on the state’s agriculture sector. More than 80 percent of Indiana’s land is devoted to farms and forests and every 10 jobs directly related to agriculture supports an additional eight jobs in the state. The Indiana Smart Agriculture (INSA) Work Group is Co-Chaired by Don Villwock, a farmer and past President of the Indiana Farm Bureau and Jason Henderson, Associate Dean of Purdue’s College of Agriculture and Director of Extension.

Goals Include:

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Assist Indiana agriculture leaders

in examining the potential vulnerabilities and opportunities created by changing climatic conditions in ways that are relevant to their daily lives;

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Equip producers

with the tools and knowledge they need to make informed decisions and manage new risks under changing conditions; and

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Mobilize thought leaders

to advocate for needed changes in land use practices, research, education, and policy.

Work Group

Leaders

Photo of Jason Henderson
Jason Henderson

Jason R. Henderson is the Senior Associate Dean in the Purdue University College of Agriculture and Director of Purdue Extension. In this role, he leads statewide public engagement and research-based education in 4-H Youth Development, Agricultural and Natural Resources, Community Development, and Health and Human Sciences. As Purdue’s Assistant Vice President for Engagement, he provides leadership in university-wide initiatives that connect Purdue expertise and resources to statewide needs and helps form effective partnerships to grow Indiana’s economy and improve quality of life for its residents.

Jason previously served as Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. While serving as the Bank’s regional economist and Nebraska representative, he also led Federal Reserve efforts to track agricultural and rural economies, including the Tenth District Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions and the Federal Reserve System’s Agricultural Finance Databook. He also managed the Main Street Economist, a bimonthly publication covering economic issues affecting rural areas, and has published more than 60 agricultural economics research articles in academic and Federal Reserve publications on such topics as land values, entrepreneurship, electronic commerce in agriculture, demographics, and many more. He holds masters and doctorate degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Central College in Pella, Iowa.

Photo of Don Villwock
Don Villwock

Don Villwock, is a retiring no-till sustainable farmer from Edwardsport Indiana. Don and his wife Joyce have no-tilled for 40 years and have used cover crops for over 20 years. He produces white corn, seed soybeans, seed wheat and popcorn.  Don served as president of Indiana Farm Bureau and was a founding board member of the 25×25 renewable energy group.

Group Members

Work Group Activities

21st Century Agriculture Renaissance Report

Delivering Sustainable Resilience

Over the course of 2022, the Work Group met three times to discuss and assess the impact that climate change and other challenges are having on their operations and identify pathways that can help producers:

  • sustainably increase agricultural productivity and livelihoods;
  • enhance adaptive capacity and improve resilience; and
  • deliver ecosystem services, sequester carbon, and reduce and/or avoid greenhouse gas emissions.

Their Phase One report summarizes their work, findings, and recommendations.

 

Next steps

In a second phase of work, INSA will invite stakeholders from across the agriculture and forestry value chains in Indiana to join them in forming a multi-stakeholder, cross boundary collaborative that together will construct and build support for climate smart strategy and action plan that can guide future policies, programs, partnerships, and investments needed for Indiana agriculture to adapt and thrive.

In the Press

Stories from Indiana Leaders

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INSA Project News

Check out SfL updates related to the Iowa Smart Agriculture Work Group.