Lt. Gov. Ellspermann Speaks At Ag, Business Breakfast

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann spoke this morning at the Kosciusko County Community Foundation and Country Farm Bureau breakfast about agriculture and business.
The breakfast was attended by 250 agriculture and business leaders at Rodeheaver Auditorium in Winona Lake.
Dr. Ron Manahan, former Grace College president, gave the invocation, and Bob Bishop, Kosciusko County Farm Bureau president, introduced Ellspermann.
Future Farmers Of America from Whitko, Warsaw and Triton led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ellspermann, who also serves as secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, spoke about the agriculture and business communities.
She also led a moment of silence for Dr. Dane Miller and said she attended the memorial service.
“What a pillar of the community Dane Miller was,” she said.
Ellspermann said she took a 92-county agriculture tour around the state two years ago and spoke about the connections between agriculture and business. 
“One of the most significant interests has been the rapid increase in technology that we see being used in agriculture and business,” Ellspermann said.
She said she had not been in a combine harvester until a few years ago since she had been in high school, and the combine’s interior looked like the cockpit of a jet.
“All of the great technology tools are being used such as aerial mapping and data to analyze markets,” Ellspermann said.
She said she learned from the tour how important it is for business and agriculture to have broadband Internet access.
“Thirty years ago the Internet didn’t play a role in businesses. but today you can’t imagine operating our businesses without broadband,” Ellspermann said.
Ellspermann also spoke about the importance of transportation for agriculture and business.
“If you’re in agriculture you are about how to get your product from field and the farm into the hands it needs to be, your customer,” Ellspermann said.
She said former Gov. Mitch Daniels and current Gov. Mike Pence have put so much emphasis into developing a transportation system.
“You can’t be nicknamed ‘Crossroads of America’ and not make that happen, you’ve got to take transportation seriously,” Ellspermann said.
She said she co-chaired the Blue Ribbon Panel on Transportation Infrastructure and discussed where to invest taxpayer dollars to make sure the state has a world-class transportation system.
“Making Indiana a business-friendly state is incredibly important,” Ellspermann said.
She said it is important to have a trained workforce for business in agriculture.
“We have an even greater need for a qualified, trained workforce and whether it is in the office, laboratory, production plant or the farm we’ve heard how important it is to have a workforce that is ready to go to work,” Ellspermann said.
She said the Indiana Career Council was developed to discuss how to align the workforce with young people.
She said it is important for youth to participate in internships and co-op programs and receive Science, Technology, Education and Math education.
“Programs like FFA are wonderful because agriculture really does introduce you to STEM at a whole ‘nother level and we will work to increase, encourage and motivate those kind of programs,” Ellspermann said.
Bishop presented Ellspermann with a glass plate from Warsaw Cut Glass.
Sponsors included Creighton Brothers, Farmer’s State Bank, 1st Source Bank, Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, Lake City Bank, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Maple Leaf Farms and Old National Bank.

(Story By The Times Union)