The man who helped pull together Indiana's new strategic plan for agriculture didn't get to enjoy the fruits of his labor, as it were, due to family commitments. Instead, Lt. Governor Skillman and Governor Daniels pitch in for him at various locations around the state as the new plan was released, some three months ahead of schedule.
Andy Miller, named in December to head up what is now ISDA, received unfortunate news recently when doctors discovered that his daughter, Elizabeth, had a brain tumor. Elizabeth is only six years old.
Unconfirmed reports say that the little girl underwent extensive surgery in Indianapolis late last week. No other details about her condition or prognosis are available.
ISDA's Beth Bechdol says it's important for people to support Miller and his family at this time. And she assures Hoosiers that the new department will move forward as scheduled. The only unknown at this point is how much Miller will or won't be able to contribute to the cause in the short term.
Naturally, family takes precedence in times of crisis. Who better than farmers to understand that sentiment?
Miller is expected to take responsibility for the Food Processing strategy, one of the seven key strategies unveiled by new ISDA this week. He is expected to appoint and convene a task force on this goal soon.
Task Forces will be set up for each of the seven target goals, Bechdol adds. She expects a small handful of people competent in each target area will be asked to serve. Those task forces are expected to begin meeting this summer.
In fact, Bechdol insists action plans will be ready for unveiling at the Indiana State Fair.