Indiana Grown :: Heather Tallman in the Momlight

///Indiana Grown :: Heather Tallman in the Momlight

If it is packaged, grown, or raised in the state of Indiana, chances are that Heather Tallman was involved in getting it to your table. That delicious corn you wait for all year, that killer kombucha you rave about to all of your friends, that artisan soap that makes the perfect gift… You would be amazed at how many hours of work go into making you aware of these local products, but Heather Tallman isn’t. She is busy pouring her heart and soul into these local makers and farmers and putting some serious miles on her car in the process. As the Membership Development Program Manager at Indiana Grown Heather is the expert and advocate for all things Hoosier-made.

Indiana Grown Heather Tallman - theCityMoms

Indiana Grown was created in 2015 as a promotional arm of the Department of Agriculture.

Just shy of four years since its inception, the organization boasts over 1500 members with a diversity of backgrounds ranging from generational farmers to new immigrants to single mothers; and a wealth of talents and trades such as produce, artisanal products, and other local wares. It is Heather’s job to not only find these members but also to make membership worth their precious time. She does this by staging some pretty epic events around town and working tirelessly to connect Hoosiers to the bounty of their own state.

Heather was born and raised in the state of Indiana, so she comes by her passion naturally. But her path to leading Indiana Grown has been a lesson in determination, resilience, and adaptability. Heather worked in public education but always felt a pull from her creative side, so she began writing about her family’s adventures and about food. When an opportunity arose for her to retire from education and pursue her dream full time, she went for it. “The hustle is hard,” Heather said about creating a successful food marketing and branding business from scratch. Heather is self taught and decided early on that she would do whatever she could to differentiate herself in the business. So she hosted a podcast, did cooking demonstrations, created a blog, wrote a column for The Daily Journal in Greenwood, appeared on television and radio, did ribbon cutting ceremonies… all while juggling her family life including her two sons; Jacob {now 16} and Noah {now 20}.

Through her own merit and sheer determination, Heather became an expert on all things Hoosier food.

When the Department of Agriculture began developing Indiana Grown, Heather became a natural consultant for the project given her knowledge of the industry. “The food world in Indiana is very much a part of me and my family,” Heather said, so she was proud to become the Membership Development Program Manager, “It is so immensely rewarding to do so many good things for farmers and producers. It’s pretty awesome to help someone make a sale when they know you are not personally getting anything from it,” she said. Heather describes her daily work as saving farms and small businesses, helping them prosper, and ultimately keeping the consumer aware of the great things happening in Indiana.


WE’RE ALL ABOUT LIFTING UP MOMS: Last month’s Momlight was shining on Stephanie Drewry, owner of Sprouts Cooking School


There are some big things happening for Indiana Grown right now thanks to the hard work of Heather and her colleagues. If you are traveling in or out of Indiana by the way of the airport you will soon see the fruits of their labor. In 2020 The Farmer’s Market Featuring Indiana Grown will be the first partnership between agriculture and an airport in the country. This restaurant and market will feature fresh food and products from Indiana growers and makers. Heather put countless hours of work into this groundbreaking project and is so excited for Indiana Grown members.

Can’t wait until 2020? Well, you are in luck because this summer Indiana Grown will sponsor its third Monumental Marketplace in downtown Indianapolis. Only June 28th, 150+ members of Indiana Grown will bring their wares to Monument Circle. Heather expects more than 6,000 people to visit this event, which represents the heart of Indiana Grown’s mission: Connecting Hoosiers to local products.

Heather and her team are just getting started.

They were awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in partnership with the Department of Health and Purdue Extension to create a farm to school network. After two years of hard work “Indiana Grown for Schools Network” will roll out in every school in Indiana, providing schools with guidance for nutrition, best practices for produce, and a county by county guide of who can sell to a school. You can follow the movement on social media at INgrown#4schools.

“I have been able to fly under the radar in the food world,” Heather says, but she thinks it’s important for consumers to realize just how many people are involved in getting products on the shelves at the local grocery store. Heather may not be a household name – yet! – but her influence on the food scene in Indiana is undeniable. Her ability to create a place for herself in business while also prioritizing her sons and her marriage of 23 years is also commendable. Although her children are grown now, Heather says the mom guilt is still real and comments on how challenging it can be to juggle four adult’s schedules, especially when her job keeps her on the road and on the go. Being a woman in a traditionally male dominated industry has also posed some unique challenges for Heather. “I do still feel sometimes like I have to walk into a meeting like I am holding a resume,” she said, but “It is getting a lot better.”

Heather’s tireless work for Indiana Grown has a real impact on the lives of countless Hoosiers. Her commitment to her cause and to the organization’s members is remarkable. There are big things on the horizon for Indiana Grown, and Heather Tallman will be there making a name for herself.

/////////

Megan Bohrer - theCityMoms

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

As a transplant to the Midwest, Megan Bohrer still got excited by the first snow flurries of the season. Although her husband’s job as a private school administrator brought them to the area, Megan recently moved ‘home’ to Atlanta. And damn, we miss her.

When she isn’t chasing after her three children or putting herself through nursing school, Megan enjoys drinking craft beer, photography, playing soccer, and fantasizing about all of the Pinterest projects she will one day complete.

2019-06-20T07:05:00-05:00June 20th, 2019|
Newsletter Sign up
Get up-to-date info about theCityMoms
Never display this again
Skip to toolbar