Graham Toft, perhaps the stateâ??s most experienced economic development expert, has traveled a lot in the past couple of years, consulting to state governments worried about rebounding from their doldrums.
The experiences convince him more than ever that heâ??s been right all along. Indiana has an extremely bright future â?? if the state can capitalize on its core strengths of manufacturing and agriculture.
If anything has a ring of the past, itâ??s manufacturing and ag. Yet Toft, who led the former Indiana Economic Development Council from 1988 to 2001, insists the industries that carried the state for the past century can be its bread and butter in the next one.
The world is hungry not only for food products derived from the stateâ??s fertile soil but also for equipment and machinery made in Hoosier factories, he says. And donâ??t forget the prosthetics crafted in Warsaw.
Indiana has the know-how in its factories and universities to make the state prosper for a long time, he says.
â??A Midwest state that scopes out that territory is going to shine in 10 years or so,â?? Toft says.
Do you agree?