New leader for state’s agriculture economic development division

INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 31, 2023) —The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) has promoted David Coates as the new director of the economic development division. He was previously the agribusiness engagement director for the department.

Coates is a graduate of Wheeling University in Wheeling, West Virginia with a degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology. He has an extensive background in healthcare, workforce development and entrepreneurship through experience in sales, management and marketing. 

“We are excited to promote David to this elevated role within the department,” said Jordan Seger, ISDA deputy director. “The expertise he brings in workforce development and training and in sales will greatly enhance our economic development division and we are excited to see how he supports our existing programs and what new initiatives he builds under this division.”

As the director of economic development for the department, Coates will be responsible for managing staff and overseeing economic focus areas, such as, agritourism, biofuels, hardwoods, the Indiana Grown program, international trade and livestock. He will manage a variety of projects and will encourage agribusiness expansion, attraction and retention for the state.

This role will also lead ISDA in mirroring Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) strategies and support initiatives in key areas of agribusiness, agbiosciences and agriculture workforce development.

“I was honored to be selected as economic development director for ISDA,” said Coates. “I am eager to hit the ground running and support those on my team to make Indiana agriculture the best it can be. I am looking forward to the continued success of our agriculture industry for years to come.” 

David grew up with many fond memories from his grandparent’s small farm in West Virginia. He has a passion for agriculture and has raised cattle, horses, swine, hay and cover crops. During his free time, you can find him and his wife, Lisa, working on their small farm in Scott County, Indiana. Together they operate a seasonal flower, sunflower and wildflower u-pick operation during summer weekends. They enjoy sharing their love of flowers while educating gardeners, beekeepers and the public on regenerative farming, seed saving and agritourism. David and Lisa have six children.

Visit for more information on the Economic Development Division.

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