Wabash Heartland Innovation Network is launching an ag tech pilot in
southwest Indiana. WHIN says it will partner with AgriNovus Indiana
and business incubator The Pantheon in Knox County to expand into
southern Indiana, including Sullivan County.
The organization says the expansion pilot study will allow for WHIN’s
work to benefit an additional region by developing the multi-county
region as a "living laboratory for agricultural-directed technology."
“WHIN’s strategy of connecting innovators and entrepreneurs with
progressive local farmers aligns perfectly with The Pantheon’s mission
of fostering a community that develops and supports entrepreneurs and
businesses in Knox County," said Nichole Like, president of The
Pantheon. "The collaboration between WHIN and The Pantheon will serve
as a connection between local producers who are ready to test new tech
on their farms and the strong innovation network of WHIN to drive
access to that new technology."
The organization says Knox County ranks No. 1 in melon and vegetable
crop production in Indiana and is in the top 3% of all counties
nationwide that grow these specialty crops. According to the United
State Department of Agriculture, Knox County farmers grow over 4,300
acres of melons and nearly 9,000 acres of other specialty crops
WHIN says the area's ecosystem is a "great opportunity for technology
startups searching for early customers in the specialty crop sector."
“Southwest Indiana’s strength in diverse agricultural production and
its community of progressive producers make it an ideal destination
for this multi-organization pilot,” said Mitch Frazier, chief
executive officer of AgriNovus Indiana. “Together this pilot creates
an opportunity for us to work with local producers and innovators to
connect and inspire the
solutions needed to accelerate growth.”
The pilot study will be a one-year partnership beginning in 2021. If
successful, WHIN says an expansion to Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Perry,
Pike, Posey, Spencer, Sullivan, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties is