(INDIANAPOLIS) – A partnership between Indiana Grown and Purdue University has developed into a grant for nearly $200,000 through the USDA’s Federal State Marketing Improvement Program. This grant seeks to improve economic impact for agriculture producers and agribusinesses across the state.
Indiana Grown, Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Purdue will use the funding to determine consumer awareness of locally grown products and how to best obtain them. They will also identify the benefits of being an Indiana Grown member and use consumer and producer data to determine the impact of the Indiana Grown program.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand and further develop the impact of our program across multiple sectors of agriculture,” said Heather Tallman, Indiana Grown program director. “This funding will allow us to better understand the public perception of Indiana Grown and grant us the opportunity to better serve our members.”
Michael Wilcox, assistant director and program leader for Purdue Extension’s Community Development program and extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics will oversee the research portion of the study and is excited to get started.
“Through research and data, our goal is to find what truly makes the Indiana Grown program valuable to both members and consumers,” said Wilcox. “We will do this by determining a variety of data, such as consumer awareness, member benefits of the program and consumer willingness to pay for local products.”
The team will develop an economic model to scientifically evaluate the current economic impacts of a state branding initiative, like Indiana Grown, both at a regional and state level.
This research will also develop a quantitative study of consumer and producer awareness and attitudes toward locally made and grown products, said Nicole Olynk Widmar, professor, and associate head at Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural Economics.
Upon completion, the findings will be shared with public and private stakeholders in Indiana, other similar state programs, and used as the basis for scholarly outputs to inform future research and programming by Indiana Grown and Purdue Extension.