Ellspermann is the Republican candidate for Indiana Lt. Governor, running with Mike
Pence, candidate for governor. If elected, Ellspermann would be Indiana's Secretary of
down with Representative Ellspermann and the Democratic candidate,
Senator Vi Simpson, to ask them similar questions about Indiana agriculture. This is part of our series interviewing the two ladies
vying for the position, which includes the title of Secretary of Agriculture. Look for the rest of the series today and tomorrow on the Indiana Prairie Farmer website.
Ellspermann represents District 74 in the House, covering
parts of Dubois, Spencer, Warrick and Perry Counties. She served one term in
the House. Previously, she spent 20 years helping groups complete strategic
planning. Her career includes stints doing projects for the University of
Southern Indiana and the Lt. Governor's office. She is trained as an industrial
is the first portion of our exclusive interview. (See Simpson's interview here.)
important do you view being secretary of agriculture as well as lt. governor in
your list of responsibilities?
Agriculture and rural development would be my two top priorities. You almost
can't separate one from the other. They are the underpinnings of our economy.
important is agriculture to the overall state economy? Is there room for
economic growth due to agriculture?
Agriculture is a $25 billion industry in Indiana, with about 20% of the jobs
connected to agriculture. Agriculture is very important. It produces the food,
fuel, feed and fiber we need, and helps support the world.
IPF: How would
you rate the value and performance of the new Indiana State Department of
Agriculture so far?
believe ISDA got off to a good start. It hit the track running. Indiana has
reaped about $4 billion in investment over time from some of the things ISDA
started. These include overseas mission trips. Like any new agency, I'm sure
there are ways to strengthen it.