Bruce Kettler stepped down to become CEO of the Agribusiness Council of Indiana
By Diego Flammini
An Indiana ag organization is waiting to see who will replace the outgoing state director of agriculture.
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch’s announcement in December that Bruce Kettler (pictured above) would be leaving his post as director the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) to become president and CEO of the Agribusiness Council of Indiana took the ag community by surprise, said Andy Tauer, executive director of public policy with Indiana Farm Bureau.
“I think we were all shocked that he was vacating the position,” Tauer told Farms.com. “But it’s not like he’s leaving Indiana agriculture, we’ll just be working with him in a different capacity.”
Bruce Kettler’s last day as director of the ISDA was Jan. 6.
With the position vacant, time is of the essence for State leadership to name a replacement.
The next legislative session begins next week and 2023 is a budget year in Indiana.
“Having a director who could be over at the State House advocating on behalf of Indiana agriculture is going to be very important,” Tauer said. “The director can testify at committee and advocate for some of the dollars to go to ISDA instead of another agency.”
One request, for example, is additional funding for the Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency.
The director also works with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch will be tasked with choosing the next director.
And that search is underway.
“As Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, appointing a new director at the Indiana State Department of Agriculture is certainly a priority and we have begun that process,” she told Farms.com in an emailed statement.
Indiana Farm Bureau is ready to work with whomever takes over for Kettler.
“There’s a lot of overlap between the agency and the Farm Bureau,” Tauer said. “We’ll continue to work with the agency and whoever slides into that role and continue those partnerships.”