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KLA Cadets Learn About Agri-Business In Kosciusko County

Pictured (L to R) during the “Agri-Business in Kosciusko County” presentation are: KLA cadets Mitch Hall and Kim Strawbridge; Kassi Rowland, Mindy Truex, Kelly Heckaman and Allyn Decker, KLA moderator. Photo provided.
TIMES UNION REPORTS – Sept. 7, the Kosciusko Leadership Academy cadets visited Creighton Brothers headquarters where Mindy Truex, president of Creighton Brothers LLC and Crystal Lake LLC, Kassi Rowland from Tom Farms and Kelly Heckaman from Purdue Extension presented “Agri-Business in Kosciusko County.”

Truex explained Creighton’s process through a video that depicted harvesting, cleaning, inspecting and packaging “shell eggs” and liquid egg products. A “live hen” video also demonstrated how the birds are fed and cared for. She discussed the farm’s overall operations and the challenges of raising livestock and growing feed corn.  Truex also referenced the new additions to the farm – the Crazy Egg Café and The Roost, a banquet facility just adjacent to the headquarters.

Creighton Brothers’ family farm employs 250 people and is in its 96th year of business.

Rowland represented Tom Farms and explained the history of Tom Farms and how it has grown to be a leader in crop production. Tom Farms started with 200 acres and has grown to 18,000 acres. Tom Farms produces 30 million pounds of seed corn, 100 million pounds of corn and 13 million pounds of soybeans each year. Rowland’s father, Kip, recently returned from an ambassadorship in Rome, where he helped influence global food policy under the Trump administration.

Heckaman, from Kosciusko County’s Purdue Extension, gave an overview of the county’s agriculture and the economic impact of agriculture on the local economy. Kosciusko County is ranked fourth in Indiana for total agricultural products sold. Also, 94% of farms in Kosciusko county are family farms.

The next KLA session will cover water resources in Kosciusko County at The Lilly Center for Lakes and Streams, Grace College, Winona Lake, on Tuesday.

The Kosciusko Leadership Academy is in its 40th year of service to the county. As an independent 501-3(c) organization, KLA conducts bi-weekly morning sessions around the county to expose leaders to a wide variety of local topics and experts.  The annual whitepaper projects have yielded many benefits to the citizens of Kosciusko County. For more information, visit www.kocsciuskoleadership.org.