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Fair Oaks Farms co-founder named to IEDC board

Fair Oaks Farms co-founder named to IEDC board


A co-founder of Fair Oaks Farms will help steer economic development across the state of Indiana.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb named Suzanne McCloskey, of Demotte, to the board of directors of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. McCloskey and her husband Mike started Fairlife Milk and Fair Oaks Farms, the agritourism destination just off Interstate 65 in Newton and Jasper counties.

Founded in 2004, the "escape to the country" at 856 N County Road 600 E in Fair Oaks attracts more than 600,000 visitors per year. The "agricultural Disneyland" features attractions like The Dairy Adventure, The Pig Adventure, The Crop Adventure, the farm-to-table Farmhouse Restaurant and the new, barn-shaped, 99-room Fairfield by Marriott. Educational in nature, the working farm seeks to teach visitors, including buses full of schoolchildren of field trips, about modern agricultural practices.

The McCloskey's Fairlife company also struck a deal with Coca-Cola for national distribution of its high-protein, low-fat milk.

McCloskey will serve until April 30, 2023 on the board of the IEDC, which is responsible for economic development across the state. Formerly the Indiana Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. lures jobs and investment by recruiting new companies and encouraging existing companies to expand with tax breaks and other incentives. 

The board consists of business leaders from across the state, including Schererville resident Joel Gorelick, who had served as president and chief administrative officer of Peoples Bank before retiring in 2012.

Fair Oaks has experience with the IEDC. Last year, it offered Select Milk Producers Inc., the McCloskey's dairy production company, $1 million in incentives for job creation, according to state records.


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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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