Caroline Patrick was appointed director of the Indiana Grown program.
She will lead the organization’s nearly 2,000 members, said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler.
The program has 183 participants from Lake, Newton, Porter, Jasper, La Porte, Starke, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Marshall and Elkhart counties.
Patrick’s background focuses on culinary arts and local food procurement. She most recently was director of food nutrition at Community Hospital East in Indianapolis where she started a bistro in the hospital focused on local foods.
Patrick’s education includes a culinary arts degree from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
“As its new director, I am excited to see where Caroline will take the Indiana Grown program,” said Crouch, who is also Indiana’s secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “Caroline will lead the charge in elevating the Indiana Grown program while continuing to provide value to its members and Hoosier consumers.”
In this role, Patrick will ensure Indiana Grown members find and secure new opportunities and work to help consumers shop for local products. She will also meet with elected officials statewide to help them better understand the program and the need to support local food-based businesses and artisans.
Additionally, Patrick will oversee the Indiana Grown team and work with them to set and realize a strategic vision and complete other operational needs.
In her previous role, Patrick was instrumental in COVID-19 care and precautions for the Community Health Network- East region. She focused on securing local, fresh ingredients from nearby agri-businesses and farmers to give the Community Hospital East guests, caregivers and patients the best food and nutrition possible, while overseeing a department budget and team of nearly 80 staff members.
“This program is near and dear to my heart, and I have tried to source local and shop local for years in my previous roles,” said Patrick. “I am looking forward to connecting with members and encouraging entrepreneurship, awareness and expansion for local businesses in our great state.”