WHIN

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

annually.

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

likely.

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