Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) joins Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Don Lamb, Indiana State Poultry Association President Rebecca Joniskan, and Indiana’s poultry producers during the 76th annual Indiana State Poultry Association’s recognition event at the Indiana Statehouse. Photo courtesy of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.
200,000 pounds of turkey, chicken, and duck—and 172,000 dozen eggs! That’s how much Indiana poultry farmers and businesses have donated over the past year to Hoosiers in need.
Representatives of Indiana’s poultry industry were at the Indiana Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis on Monday for the 76th annual Indiana State Poultry Association (ISPA) recognition event, which highlighted the generosity of Indiana’s poultry producers.
“It’s a great chance for us to talk about how the poultry industry gives back to their communities,” says Dan Krouse, co-CEO of MPS Egg Farms, which is based in North Manchester, Indiana.
Krouse says he and other poultry producers across Indiana have been working to address food insecurity in their communities by providing protein to their local food banks.
“It is really an honor and a privilege to work with the other poultry producers within the Indiana State Poultry Association. With all the companies, we have duck, turkey, eggs, and broilers all represented. All of our companies have a long history of giving back to local food banks and churches in their communities,” says Krouse.
“MPS Egg Farms has been working for several years now with HATCH For Hunger, which is an amazingly effective organization that moves protein into food banks all over the state and even out of the state,” Krouse says.
In addition to the 200,000 pounds of poultry protein that have been donated, Indiana farmers and businesses have also donated $340,000 to organizations fighting food insecurity.
The 445 pounds of poultry items displayed during Monday’s event at the Indiana Statehouse were donated to Second Helpings, a hunger relief agency, in Indianapolis.
The strength of Indiana’s poultry industry was also recognized during the ceremony, as Indiana is one of the top poultry producing states in the country. According to the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service, Indiana ranks No. 1 in duck production, No. 2 in egg production, No. 4 in turkey production, and is home to high quality broiler chicken production as well.
Krouse says Indiana is one of the top two egg producing states for a reason.
“MPS Egg Farms has been based in Indiana for over 50 years now. Indiana is a wonderful place to do business and there aren’t a lot of states where the regulators, the legislators, and the business people all work together. They are all here to serve Hoosiers and make our economy thrive. The ethos here is to support business and make sure it happens effectively—and Indiana pulls it off really well,” says Krouse.
Indiana’s poultry industry employs more than 12,500 Hoosiers and contributes more than $15 billion in total economic activity to the state.
And with Thanksgiving in just a few days, remember the importance of turkeys to Indiana agriculture. More than 20.5 million turkeys were produced in Indiana in 2021 alone.
Also joining Indiana’s poultry producers during the ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse were Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Don Lamb.
“Hoosier generosity is second to none, and our poultry producers are always quick to assist their neighbors,” said Gov. Holcomb. “It was an honor to be a part of this annual donation event and to recognize these outstanding businesses going above and beyond in their communities.”
“Indiana’s poultry farmers show their care and concern for the communities within which they operate and to all Hoosiers through their generous donations,” said Joniskan. “Whether through direct financial contributions or donations of eggs, duck, turkey, or chicken products, they model the spirit of giving throughout the year, and especially at Thanksgiving.”
The Indiana State Poultry Association’s recognition event is an annual tradition that dates back to the late 1940s. Organized by ISPA, one of the oldest poultry organizations in the nation, it was designed to recognize the strength of Indiana’s poultry industry, as well as the annual donations made by its members, who are responsible for more than 95% of the chicken, duck, turkey and eggs produced in Indiana.
Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) poses with the team from Perdue Farms holding a Perdue Farms frozen turkey that will be among the food items donated to Second Helpings. From left to right: Mike Maroney, Brandon Bottorff, Gov. Holcomb, and Colby Rigg. Photo courtesy of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.