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m.krema / https://www.flickr.com/photos/m_krema/11177246293/

 

A new report from Purdue University says the Internet connectivity gap is widening between the state's rural and urban counties.

Indiana already ranks among the bottom 10 states for Internet access. In 2014, only 71 percent of Hoosiers had access to broadband internet, according to census data.

 

About 12 percent had no Internet access at all, and about one percent were still using dial-up.

Guy Montag / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mapper-montag/1290056869/

A Purdue University study may have big impacts on the dairy supply chain.

Purdue researchers confirmed that a new process, similar to pasteurization, adds weeks to the shelf life of milk.

 

To pasteurize milk, you heat it up to 72 degrees Celsius for 15 seconds. That kills enough bacteria for the milk to last about two weeks before it goes bad.

 

The new process heats pasteurized milk in droplet form -- for less than a second, to about 60 degrees.

Ron Nichols/NRCS

Indiana's Farm Service Agency has officially run out of loan money for everyday farm operating costs. But Congress is stepping in to keep the FSA's real estate loans afloat.

The Farm Service Agency predicted it would run out of loan money by this month.

That was after low commodity prices and wet weather in 2015 made it tough for some farmers to pay their operating costs, or pay back their banks -- and more banks, in turn, asked the FSA to help with the debt.

Dow AgroSciences / Glassdoor

Fifteen-hundred workers in Indianapolis could know by the end of the month if they're likely to become part of the biggest agribusiness in the world.

 

The Dow AgroSciences employees are awaiting regulatory approval for their parent company's plan to merge with DuPont, then split into three parts, including one for agriculture.

 

If the $130 billion deal goes through, the ag division's corporate HQ and corporate workers would move to Wilmington, Del.

Joe Brunner / YouTube

Global trade's impact on Indiana jobs has made headlines this election season -- and so far this year, high numbers of Hoosier workers have also qualified for federal benefits due to trade-related layoffs.

 

Estimates from the Department of Workforce Development show that, in the last six months, more Indiana workers have qualified for federal benefits due to trade-related layoffs than in any of the past five years -- more than 3,200 since Jan. 1.

 

LIFT

Today's manufacturers are using lighter materials -- and less of them -- to make products cheaper and more efficient. That's transforming many Indiana manufacturing jobs.

Now, the Indiana Manufacturers Association, or IMA, is teaming up with a federal group to train more workers in what's known as lightweighting.

Phil King / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pkingdesign/4897188234/

 

Indiana livestock producers and lobbying groups are objecting to a possible higher standard for animal treatment on organic farms.

Some worry the proposed federal regulations could be a gateway to higher costs for all farmers -- organic or not.

 

The proposed changes aim to make sure certified organic cows, chickens, pigs and other animals are raised and killed more humanely.

Bob Nielsen / Purdue University

They say that Indiana corn should be knee-high by the fourth of July.

With changes in how we farm, that isn't really true these days -- but agronomists do say the crop is on track for a strong 2016 harvest.

The self-titled "corn guy" of Purdue University, Bob Nielsen, says the Cass County cornfield where he was scouting a few days before the holiday looked green and healthy -- though:

"It's not knee-high by the fourth of July -- it's head-high," he says.

Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana is adding more large-scale hog farms every year. They're good business for farmers, but some neighbors say they can be bad for property values.

It’s an argument people are having across the state, especially in small towns, like Hope -- population: 2,200 -- in Bartholomew County.

 

It's where Nancy Banta's family has lived for almost 200 years. She heads up the gravel driveway to her farmhouse, where rocking chairs on a white-washed wood porch look out over a cornfield, and a wind chime hangs over the creaky screen door.

At this weekend's U.S. Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, leaders from cities big and small are brainstorming ways to collaborate on economic growth, rather than competing.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says that approach is already catching on in Indiana.

Outside a session with the mayors of Boston and New York, Buttigieg said his city of 100,000 is just big enough to have all the problems of a major metro area:

 

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