Think global! It's a global economy. What happens to a train track in Russia coming out of a potash mine affects potash prices in Argos. Whether the Asian economy rebounds so more people can afford meat affects hog producers in Carroll County.
And even in Indiana, it's all about consolidation and going bigger, away from doing things locally - doing away with local township government and maybe eliminating county commissioners in favor of a hired county executive. And any schools that don't have at least 500 students in their corporation should close and get bigger!
I attended a spaghetti dinner fundraiser the other night where the conversation before the night ended reminded me that maybe the world, and especially Indiana, isn't quite so large yet that we can't run into acquaintances and share relationships that remind us of simpler times.
Danny Greene was at my table. He runs a local ag consulting business, Greene Ag Consulting, LLC, in Franklin. Doug Abney was seated next to Danny, both seated across the plates of spaghetti from me.
They had seen each other before, but had never really talked. I knew Danny worked at Purdue after graduation, although I didn't know for how long. I also knew Doug had ties to Lafayette and Purdue through his father. But neither Doug nor Danny knew about any of this until I fed them just enough information to help them strike up a conversation.
As it turns out, Doug grew up in the Lafayette area because his dad, Scott Abney, was and still is a well - known researcher for USDA, who has spent his career working on soybean diseases at Purdue. And as luck would have it, Danny worked at Purdue for 12 years, working first with forage testing with Keith Johnson in Purdue's Agronomy Department, and then running the Purdue Corn Hybrid Testing program for three years. I first met Danny about 20 years ago, and I didn't even know all of that.
What made this conversation small and cozy was that Danny's eyes really lit up when Dough talked about his dad. Apparently Danny and Doug's dad had crossed paths many times, often at the Purdue Agronomy Farm.
That subject alone was good for a half hour of discussion. Doug recalled story after story of working there while growing up, helping his dad, and getting involved in one caper or another.
Before the evening ended, they parted friends, like they had known each other for years, all through a common connection – Doug's father. Considering there are six million Hoosiers, 35,000 students and thousands of faculty on the Purdue campus, and that their stories cover three decades, to make this connection sitting across from each other at a spaghetti benefit was rather amazing.
And by the way, some of those proposals to consolidate government, close small schools and do away with township leadership aren't faring so well half way through this session of the Indiana General Assembly.
Maybe the world, especially Indiana, isn't so big and bent on getting bigger after all.
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