Kettler takes over for Ted McKinney, who took a position within the USDA
By Diego Flammini
Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch has named Bruce Kettler as the new director of the State Department of Agriculture.
Kettler is currently the director of public relations with Beck’s Hybrids. Prior to joining Beck’s, he spent 17 years with Dow Agrosciences.
"His experience and dedication for agriculture development makes him an excellent choice as director of ISDA,” Crouch said in a statement Friday. “I look forward to seeing what Bruce does in maintaining food and agriculture as a driving force in Indiana’s economy."
He officially assumes the director role on Jan. 8, 2018.
Kettler will take over for Ted McKinney, who accepted a position with the USDA as the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.
And Indiana’s farm community is eager to get to work with the new state leader.
“We’re happy to have Director Kettler take this position,” Randy Kron, president of the Indiana Farm Bureau, told Farms.com Friday. “He has a great background to move into this job.”
Once he assumes office, Kettler will have to consider some of the issues facing Indiana producers.
One issue farmers are managing is the blurred line between rural and urban Indiana, Kron said.
“Cities are trying to creep out into the rural areas,” he said. “If (the cities) are doing that, (we need) to make sure those existing farms can continue to operate and expand.”
Another item Kron would like the incoming agriculture director to focus on is broadband.
“If we want to take agriculture to the next level, we’ve got to get these farms the broadband and bandwith capacity to operate,” said Kron, who farms 2,000 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat near Evansville, IN. “We’ve got a drone that we fly to look at vegetative growth. We have to sew those maps together and there’s a company that will do that for you.”
“But you have to send them the maps and they send them back a few hours later. That takes a great amount of bandwith capacity. Where I live, we can’t do that so I have to go to a friend’s house.”