Lebanon farmer named Division of Agriculture director | Throughout Indiana


Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday named Lebanon farmer Don Lamb as the Department of Agriculture executive director.

Lamb, vice president of the Boone County Council, resigned that seat Tuesday. His seat is expected to be filled by Republican caucus before the March 14 council meeting, Boone County Republican Party Chairwoman Debbie Ottinger said.

“We’re going to miss him tremendously, but I can’t think of a better reason for him to resign,” Council President Elise Nieshalla said Wednesday. “It’s really a day of celebration for Boone County and the whole state to have him at the helm of the department of agriculture.”

Holcomb said he sought “someone who would be a strong steward of our land and all that it produces. Don truly cares about the Hoosier ag community and securing Indiana’s place as a global leader in the agricultural industry for generations to come.”

“It’s a big lifestyle change, but the season seems right,” Lamb said.

Lamb graduated from Purdue University in 1989 with a degree in agricultural economics. He co-owns and operates Lamb Farms Inc., northeast of Lebanon, with his father and brother.

Lamb’s older brother, Dean Lamb, has two sons who are now old enough to farm in Don’s place.

“I have to give a lot of credit to my brother, because he’s definitely going to pick up more of a load on the farm for me to do this job,” Lamb said. “I feel grateful for my family because I couldn’t do this if they didn’t do it with me as a team.”

Lamb and his wife, Jodie Lamb, will celebrate their 31{sup}st{/sup} anniversary this month. They have four daughters, the youngest of whom is completing her final year of college.

“I get a chance to give back to an industry that’s been very good to me for my entire life,” Lamb said. “The average age of a farmer in Indiana is 55.5 and I’m 56. It’s interesting to think about being an ‘average’ farmer in Indiana and to know the challenges and blessings of agriculture and then have a hand in how that’s shaped.

“There’s a really strong staff here,” he added. “The best thing I can do right now is learn as much as I can and do everything I can to support them.”

Still, getting used to office life will require an adjustment period.

“I’m standing in my office in a coat and tie, which is very weird for me,” Lamb said via telephone Wednesday, the first day of his new role. “I had to do some shopping.”

Lamb is known for being soft-spoken and humble in his dealings with others on the county council and usually attends meetings dressed in casual pants and a plaid shirt, sometimes with a sport coat.

Leaving county government is bittersweet, and Lamb said he will miss completing projects that were begun during his tenure, but he has confidence in Boone County’s elected officials.

“There’s so much going on in Boone County right now that it’s important that we all work together,” he said. “I feel like people are focused on getting things done and on the good of the county.”

Lamb Farms produces popcorn, corn, soybeans and wheat. The Lamb family also owns AgRecycle, a composting and recycling business, and Lamb Farms Agronomy, which provides soil management and crop production products, Holcomb said.

Then Vice President Mike Pence visited Lamb Farms in April 2019 to talk about President Donald Trump’s agricultural trade plan with farmers and agri-business leaders.

Lamb previously served on the Purdue School of Agriculture Board of Directors, as a Western Boone School Board member, as a Boone County Farm Bureau member and as an elder of New Hope Christian Church.


Add a Comment