By Sherry Bunting
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Dairy Producers (IDP) Partners in Success luncheon Oct. 25 at the state fairgrounds in Indianapolis was a time to review the past year’s activities and look ahead to the future of the organization, which serves as the voice, advocate and partner for Hoosier dairy farmers, with membership accounting for about 70% of the state’s dairy cows.
IDP executive director Doug Leman thanked the approximately 80 sponsors ranging from corporate sponsors to bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond level sponsors.
“Without our sponsors we would not be able to do what we are doing for our producers,” said Leman, giving special recognition to the support of the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council hosting the fourth annual IDP Partners in Success luncheon. In addition to ISA / ICMC, other diamond-level sponsors are Milk Promotion Services of Indiana and Stewart-Peterson.
Representing ISA / ICMC, Andy Tauer said “We appreciate this relationship and what we learn from you folks, and we continue to look for ways our checkoff can support dairy.” He gave the example of including dairy as a permanent fixture in the ISA / ICMC “Glass Barn” that opened this year at the state fair and will be used for educating school groups throughout the year.
IDP president LuAnn Troxel reviewed the organization’s many events during the year and reminded the group of the organization’s purpose supported by allied industry sponsorships and producer membership dues.
“The Milk Promotion Service’s job is to promote dairy products. Our job is to support dairy farmers,” she said. “We are the proactive voice, and we are also listening to what is going on.”
Troxel gave the example of the survey members filled out on dairy policy. “There’s nothing else in the nation like this showing how farmers answered fundamental questions about the dairy policies being considered in the Farm Bill. Our farmers responded and that information is being used by lawmakers,” Troxel explained.
By Sherry Bunting
INDIANAPOLIS – A new mode of transportation is poised to be a ‘game changer’ for Indiana, providing the ability to move fresh food products to the southeast and beyond; to engage resort buyers in the Caribbean, and Central and South America, as well as tapping the growth markets for dairy protein in the Pacific Rim.
In March 2014, a new “food train” will begin transporting refrigerated and frozen food products from Tampa, Florida to Northwest Indiana… and back again. Add to this the anticipated renovations to the Panama Canal enabling cargo to sail from eastern U.S. and Gulf ports to destinations in the Pacific, and the net result is a whole new world of marketing opportunities.
Indiana dairy farmers are well positioned for the future via the Green Express -- a new mile-long dedicated, high speed, non-stop, food train capable of transporting refrigerated and frozen dairy products direct from Kingsbury to Tampa. The new route stems from the 800-acre INland Logistics Port at Kingsbury, LaPorte County, connecting the Kingsbury Industrial Park to the CSX rail line just south of Chicago.
This is what the Indiana Department of Agriculture views as a potential “food campus” to be anchored by the new food train traveling nonstop to and from Tampa, with the Tampa destination positioned within 500 yards of port.
This trip takes 52 hours by truck and 56 hours by train; however, both Chicago and Tampa are “international trade zones,” so, once the food is on the non-stop Green Express, it is deemed exported and can be offloaded upon arrival without waiting the many days of administrative time and additional fees required for inspections.
“We’re connecting the pieces and combining the parts to help get their stuff up here and our stuff down there.” said Chris McGrath, a partner in the Chicago-based Providence Logistics, the owner and developer of the logistics park that will operate the Green Express. “We’re optimizing the supply chain to get product distributed faster and fresher, with less waste and less spoilage, while realizing savings in fuel costs as well as other downstream benefits.”
McGrath spoke during the Indiana Dairy Producers (IDP) annual Partners in Success Luncheon in the Farm Bureau building at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Friday, October 25 in Indianapolis. He unveiled the current status and future plans for the Green Express, funded through the private investment of the Providence Logistics partners, along with LaPorte County’s investment in site improvements to the logistics park and CSX rail line.