Northeast Indiana Regional Food Network receives Milestone Grant

November 2, 2015

Elgin, IL – The Northeast Indiana Regional Food Network, led by Wells County Revitalization, Inc., reached a milestone Wednesday, Oct. 28 as the program received a grant to help launch and develop the growing and dynamic food economy in the region. Manheim Solutions, Inc. has been selected as the economic development consultant to complete this economic development strategic study.

The regional food network received a $43,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The funding will help develop the Northeast Indiana Regional Food Network plan to cultivate new and expanded opportunities for existing businesses, nurture entrepreneurial growth and expand quality of life assets.

“The funding represents the ongoing efforts to create economic and job opportunities in rural areas by ensuring that strategic investments are made in our small towns and cities. Rural businesses drive community revitalization by providing products and services to local residents as well as throughout the country and world. Projects like this spur important economic development and strengthen communities across Indiana,” said USDA Rural Development Indiana State Director Philip Lehmkuhler.

The food network is dedicated to the mission of supporting and growing businesses that add value to agricultural and food products grown and produced throughout the greater Northeast Indiana region.

“Northeast Indiana is home to a network of food businesses that provide a vibrant economy and enhance the quality of life in the region. By developing a collaborative regional approach to the food network together, we will capitalize on the region’s agricultural strength and create opportunities for future growth,” said Tim Ehlerding, executive director of Wells County Economic Development.

Current and planned regional food network projects include regional food hubs, incubators, farm-to-fork initiatives, farmers markets, food festivals, cooking education, urban agricultural production, community kitchens and neighborhood spaces.

By supporting local food businesses, Northeast Indiana will be able to attract and retain entrepreneurial talent, as well as support the development of new and unique businesses in the region.

Last year, the Northeast Indiana Regional Food Network received $15,000 in initial funding from the Regional Opportunities Council, the investor board of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. The funding was granted to support the partnership’s entrepreneurial pillar.

To find out more about the Northeast Indiana Regional Food Network study, contact Chris Manheim at


About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership creating business investment by generating business leads, developing product and fostering regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The 11 counties of Northeast Indiana include Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit



About the Wells County Economic Development Corporation

Located in the heart of Bluffton, the Wells County Economic Development is committed to attracting and retaining the best businesses and workers, and dedicated to coordinating community-wide efforts to facilitate economic growth. For more information, visit


About the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation

The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation is a nonprofit organization that serves as the central point of contact for economic development efforts in LaGrange County. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for the citizens of LaGrange County through the enhancement of employment opportunities resulting from the responsible growth and retention of business and industry. For more information, visit