Indiana State Department of Agriculture

Indiana’s top agricultural official will become the nation’s first undersecretary for foreign agricultural trade.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Ted McKinney to the newly-created Department of Agriculture post Tuesday.

In a statement, USDA secretary Sonny Perdue says McKinney will “wake up every morning seeking to sell more American agricultural products in foreign markets.”

Indiana’s top agriculture official has been tapped to oversee global farm trade for the Trump administration.

Indiana Department of Agriculture director Ted McKinney now faces a Senate confirmation to become the USDA’s first-ever trade undersecretary.

He says he’s grateful for the support he’s received since getting the news.

“I am so honored to be nominated by the president, and I look forward to serving if confirmed,” McKinney says.

Indiana’s state-run local food label hopes a new influx of cash from the legislature will help to court more businesses that sell local products.

It’s the first direct state funding the Indiana Grown program has received.

The state Department of Agriculture scraped the program together from existing funding the last two years, says commissioner Ted McKinney.

They recruited 800 members, he says. Nearly all of them are local producers.

Corey Templeton / https://www.flickr.com/photos/coreytempleton/

The creation of food hubs, which connect local producers and buyers, could help boost Indiana’s economy and fulfill demand for local food products, according to an Indiana State Department of Agriculture a study released Monday.

Food hubs can be a broad term, but Agriculture Department Director Ted McKinney says people should think of the word “aggregation.”

It’s a way for farmers and food producers, often via a website, to connect with buyers.