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The White House spent July 17 through 21 celebrating “Made in America” week.

“Made in the U.S.A.” labels have been placed on products for decades, and more recently states got into the “home-grown” promotion game by starting their own initiatives.

Indiana joined in two years ago when it launched “Indiana Grown,” an effort to highlight products grown, produced and processed in the Hoosier State.

“We do have a lot of products available here,” Suzi Spahr, program manager of Indiana Grown for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture explained Tuesday while speaking at Jay County Chamber of Commerce’s networking luncheon at Jay County Hospital. “And we do export a lot, and that’s great … But it would really help our economic industry as a whole if we were able to keep that a little bit closer to home.

“We actually have a lot of agricultural products even beyond the corn, soybeans and livestock that everyone tends to know we do.”

Spahr noted that $16 billion is spent each year in Indiana on food products alone. About 90 percent of those products come from outside the state.

Indiana Grown, which is advised by a 12-member commission, focuses on increasing the percentage of Hoosiers purchasing Hoosier products.

To that end, Indiana Grown provides four logos for identifying business or products:

•100% Indiana — For products that are completely grown and produced in the state.

•Prepared in Indiana — For products that are made in the state but get some or all ingredients from elsewhere.

•Partner — For companies that help market Indiana Grown products and members.

•Indiana Grown — A more generic label that applies to members who do not fall into the other three categories.

In its first two years, the program has grown to about 850 members. Most of the focus has been on Indianapolis and the surrounding region, but now the effort is expanding its reach.

“We really do want to take the mission of Indiana Grown and the awareness of it outside the central Indiana area,” said Spahr.

Membership in Indiana Grown is free of charge. In addition to the logos provided, the organization also offers promotional and marketing support, helps facilitate connections with potential partners and retailers and provides visibility via its website.

In addition, Spahr said, she has noticed that members have come together to create new opportunities. One example she offered is that of a blackberry farmer who had a larger-than-expected crop and found new customers in a bakery and a winery, both of which were fellow members.

There are currently no Indiana Grown members in Jay County. Nearby participants include Sycamore Valley in Deerfield, Russell Sheep Company in Eaton, Minnetrista Farmers Market in Muncie and Blue Barn Shrimp near Cowan.

“There’s a really thriving local community of artisans and local producers that honestly, before I had this job, I never knew,” said Spahr. “I knew some of them, but I did not know the extent to which it was really statewide and running the gamut really across anything you might buy.”