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Harrison, Crawford part of EDA grant

Harrison, Crawford part of EDA grant Harrison, Crawford part of EDA grant

The Indiana Economic Development Association Foundation recently announced that the U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded a $100,097 grant to assist four regions in Indiana in creating a strategy to leverage each region’s agricultural assets. The grant will fund implementation of the Rural Economic Development Model, a first-of-its-kind process developed in Indiana to assist rural communities in creating new economic development opportunities for Indiana’s farmers.

The EDA grant will enable 14 counties in southwest central Indiana — Harrison, Crawford, Washington, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, Perry, Pike and Spencer — 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 Harrison County economy was primarily agricultural and wood working 100 years ago and that is still making a big impact today,” said Darrell Voelker, executive director of the Harrison County Economic Development Corp. “We are excited about this study and the idea of continuing our Agricultural-Economic Development Communities partnership.”

The Rural Economic Development model was created as a collaboration between the Indiana Economic Development Association, Indiana State Dept. of Agriculture and the Purdue Center for Regional Development with support from the Indiana Farm Bureau, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

The 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 24-month process will be completed in the summer of 2023.