Kosciusko Leadership Academy met at Creighton Brothers to learn about agri-business in Kosciusko County.
Ron Truex, president, Creighton Brothers, began the session by welcoming the KLA class to Creighton Bothers, a family farm in operation since 1925. With the decline in family farms, there is a need to educate people about where their food comes from, cadets heard.
Creighton Bothers produces eggs in the shell. Crystal Lake produces a variety of other egg products, such as liquid, frozen and hard cooked.
Rick Van Puffelen, sales and marketing manager for Milford-based CTB Inc., spoke on the equipment provided for the agriculture industry. His growing global company has $1 billion in sales annually, cadets heard. With 2,700 employees, the goal is to efficiently produce protein while helping to keep down the price of food.
In the United States, according to Rick Van Puffelen, 6 percent of income is spent on food. This is the lowest percentage internationally.
Kelly Heckaman, Purdue Extension educator, explained the definition of a farm has not changed in many years. Any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products are produced is considered a farm.
The average age of a farmer is currently 54.3 years, and 34 percent of those in the farming industry are over the age of 65. The high cost of entering this industry is one reason there aren’t more young farmers. Volatility in production and in pricing is another reason. 2015 prices for grain are expected to be low, cadets heard.
KLA is a not-for-profit organization serving Kosciusko County by encouraging leaders and future leaders to dream and create a better community through white paper projects.
(Story By The Times Union)