Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture hosted a Turkish hardwoods trade mission to the Hoosier state last week. This visit was timely as a proclamation from Gov. Eric Holcomb announced it is Forest Products Week across the nation and in Indiana.
Indiana’s hardwood industry exports were valued at over $167 million in 2022. Eight Turkish companies were excited to experience this robust industry firsthand.
“Indiana’s hardwood industry annually contributes over $10 billion dollars to our state’s economy,” said Don Lamb, Indiana State Department of Agriculture director. “I was so excited to welcome this group of hardwood buyers to the state to see our great agricultural industry firsthand. The hardwoods sector provides over 70,000 jobs to Hoosiers and ranks us as the number one producer of wood office furniture and second in kitchen cabinet manufacturing.”
The goals for the Turkish delegation visiting the Hoosier state were to:
Introduce Turkish buyers to Indiana suppliers.
Generate sales and establish long-term customer relationships.
Expand market access and foreign business for Indiana forest products: logs, lumber and veneer.
Turkish businesses are using Indiana hardwoods in regional construction projects in the Middle East where Turkey is a hub for manufacturing and products that are produced and sent to Europe.
“The visit to Indiana was a great experience for myself and for the Turkish delegation,” said Dila Ikiz, Istanbul based Agricultural Specialist with the USDA Foreign Ag Service. “Every person in the delegation thanked me after we left. I am confident in our efforts to create productive and long-term business relations with Turkey and the State of Indiana. The trip was very energic, positive and productive.”
The trade group visited hardwood manufacturing facilities from across the state, from loggers in Paoli, to timber buyers in Spencer, to hardwood manufacturing in Logansport, Akron and Columbia City. Their trip began in Louisville, Kentucky and ended in Chicago.
Participating Indiana business stops that welcomed the Turkish group were:
Andis Logging- Paoli
Land of Indiana – Bedford
Tri-State Timber – Spencer
Cole Hardwoods- Logansport
Pike Lumber – Akron
Holmes & Co. Inc. – Columbia City
The Turkish businessmen and women were interested in seeing and purchasing a variety of Indiana hardwood materials like logs, lumber, and veneer in multiple species like white oak, hickory, ash, tulip, and more.