KIRPC Region Awarded Federal Grant to Develop Regional Value-Added Agricultural Strategyjaspercountyin
October 1, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KIRPC Region Awarded Federal Grant to Develop Regional Value-Added Agricultural Strategy.
The Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission (KIRPC) is pleased to announce that the US Economic Development Administration (US EDA) has awarded a $34,930 grant to assist six counties in Northwest Indiana in creating a strategy to leverage the region’s agricultural assets. The grant will fund implementation of the Rural Economic Development Model (REDM): a first-of-its-kind process developed in Indiana to assist rural communities in creating new economic development opportunities for Indiana’s farmers.
The US EDA grant will enable Benton, Jasper, Newton, Pulaski, Starke, and White Counties to examine the agricultural output in their regions to identify opportunities for creating new markets, applications, or processing facilities that can enhance the local value of the agricultural output. This will create new markets and income for local farmers, generate more local jobs connected to agriculture, and capture a greater source of revenue for the region’s communities.
The Rural Economic Development model was created as a collaboration between the Indiana Economic Development Association (IEDA), Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) with support from the Indiana Farm Bureau, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
“I’m excited to see Jasper County is involved in this effort to highlight agriculture and work to add value to the many commodities produced by our farmers,” said Jasper County Commissioner, Kendell Culp. He continued “as the leading agricultural county in Indiana, I’m pleased to see Jasper County taking the lead in developing an agriculture strategy that will add value to the commodities our farmers grow here. As we work to sustain our local communities, we need to build upon our strength. Agriculture provides that opportunity for us locally and regionally.”
The Rural Economic Development Model employs a proprietary technology developed by PCRD that enables counties and regions to examine the agricultural output unique to their locale, and then engages a local planning team composed of local economic development officials, farmers, and other local stakeholders to create and implement a plan to leverage local agricultural outputs, expand existing agribusinesses and attract new economic opportunities.
The 18-month process kicked off in the third quarter of 2021 and will be completed in the Fall of 2022.
The Jasper County Economic Development Organization in Rensselaer, Indiana is committed to enhancing the quality of life in Jasper County and our surrounding areas. Growing and strengthening our existing businesses as well as attracting new industry and business to our communities is a major focus of our efforts. JCEDO services, programs, workforce development, and small business programming provides an optimum business environment where agriculture, commerce, and industry can prosper. We utilize the right mix of resources, including local officials, educators, and residents; along with the expertise of our business leaders to focus on growth efforts. We are dedicated to Cultivating Opportunity in Jasper County.
For more information, call (219) 866-3080 or visit www.jaspercountyin.com.
REGIONAL COORDINATOR: Stephen Eastridge
Jasper County Economic Development
PH: (219) 866-3080