Indiana State Fair

Indiana is set to have unexpectedly big corn and soybean harvests this fall. That means continued tight profit margins for farmers and more low food prices for consumers.

Purdue University agronomists made their annual announcement of the state’s crop production forecast at the State Fair Thursday.

They say yields should better than expected, after weeks of wet, patchy weather. But economist Chris Hurt says that extra supply for the same demand will mean bad prices for Hoosier farmers.

And, no, we’re not talking about Sonic the Hedgehog.

An exhibit at the Indiana State Fair allows visitors to hear how the Hoosier State has changed over the last two centuries, thanks, in part, to a new branch of science —soundscape ecology.

“We use sounds to tell us about landscapes and the animals that reside there and how places change over time,” says Ben Gottesman, an ecologist at Purdue University.

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) says he’ll join fellow Republicans in Congress to make tax reform his priority this fall.

Young addressed the benefits of potential cuts Tuesday after an appearance with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue at the Indiana State Fair.

“Tax reform is probably the best bang we can get for our policy buck,” Young says.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue wrapped up a Midwest road trip at the Indiana State Fair Tuesday.

Perdue met in private with state lawmakers about their goals for the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization.

That’s the $800 billion package of laws governing the nation’s agricultural and nutritional assistance programs.

The Indiana State Fair, starting Friday, provides a nearly month-long showcase for Hoosier agriculture. As that industry has changed, its role at the fair has stayed much the same.

Every year, Hoosiers get to try Indiana-grown wares of all kinds at the State Fair. They get to see 4-H participants show off their small flocks and exhibition animals.

What’s interesting, says Indiana State Poultry Association executive vice president Paul Brennan, is that it’s all evolved and modernized far less than the state’s major agriculture sectors themselves.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/anotherpintplease/

The Indiana State Fair sold alcohol for the first time since the 1940s in 2014 – but only at a beer and wine exhibition closed to anyone under 21. And patrons couldn’t carry alcohol out.

The second year, the Fair added sales at concerts in the Coliseum.

This year, alcohol is sold at Free Stage concerts. Representative Ed Clere (R-New Albany) co-sponsored the 2014 bill and says he trusts Fair officials to balance higher revenue with the right atmosphere.

“The balance is making sure that it stays family-friendly," Clere says.

Lauren Chapman / Indiana Public Broadcasting

 

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) spoke about farming's past -- and where it's heading -- with farmers and fairgoers at the State Fair on Thursday.

The Senate Agriculture Committee member said he'll work to help farmers adapt to new technologies and market demands -- and that farmers and the public should talk to each other about those changes, too.

But first, he tried out some old-fashioned farm equipment at the Fair's Pioneer Village -- shucking corn, baling hay and sawing logs with a steam engine.

Ben Loehrke / https://www.flickr.com/photos/benloehrke/

Things are looking up for the quality of this year's corn and soybeans in Indiana and around the Midwest.

That's according to the latest numbers from the USDA, which could be good news for farmers in a year with a bumper harvest in the forecast.

That would mean more supply for the same demand, which might cause lower prices at the grocery store -- but could also mean less money for farmers.

State Fair 2016: More Tech, Room For Pigs

Aug 4, 2016
Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Friday morning kicks off the opening ceremonies for the 2016 Indiana State Fair.

A new smartphone app for Apple and Android devices will help State Fair-goers find their favorite food vendors, animal competitions, and even their own car. Media Manager Leslie Gordon said she thinks it will change how visitors interact with the fair.

“It gives you a personalized itinerary, so you can schedule that, share it with your friends," she said. "I think the coolest thing is gonna be being able to drop a pin where you park, so you don’t get lost.”

Rich Evers / https://www.flickr.com/photos/richevers/6042201042

The Indiana Solicitor General Wednesday told the State Supreme Court that if the State Fair is held liable for victim settlement payouts of a private company involved in the 2011 stage collapse, the state could be liable for untold amounts of money. 

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