Indiana finally has a department of agriculture. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed HEA1008, creating the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the separate Office of Rural Affairs.

A number of existing agencies will be folded into the new agriculture department. Among those will be the soil and conservation functions within the former Department of Commerce, the Land Resources Council and the State Fair Board.

“Our agriculture department is the vehicle to comeback for Hoosiers in this important sector of our economy. There’s so much more that we can do to develop the untapped potential we have in Indiana agriculture, such as expanding production of bio-based fuels and food processing,” says Daniels.

Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman was named secretary of agriculture and rural affairs. Andy Miller was appointed the department’s first director.