INDIANAPOLIS — The Singles in Agriculture program, a social
club devoted to creating new friendships and networks, is seeking new members.
The program is nationwide, but the Indiana chapter provides
local activities for people to meet and make new memories.
At the heart of SIA is an interest in and connection to
agriculture. Some members are farmers, and others involved in agribusinesses.
Some simply love country life. All have the common ground of
agriculture to talk about at social events.
“We’re a social and educational group that promotes
agriculture,” said Judy Droddy, president of the Indiana chapter. “A lot of our
activities are focused on agriculture and education. We have three annual
national get-togethers a year.”
The program began more than 20 years ago as a pen pals
section of a publication. Several pen pals decided to meet. Over time, they
formed the SIA organization.
Now, members can tour cities, take in the sights and gain
new experiences while participating in events. With 14 states involved and each
chapter holding events, there always is an opportunity to meet new people.
“Back in September, we were in Cheyenne, Wyo.,” Droddy said.
“We toured a buffalo ranch and did a historic buffalo tour. We get to know the
area a little better. The state that hosts us sets up the activities and plans
In February, Droddy and other members will head to Norman,
Okla., to see the National Weather Service headquarters and other area
Droddy said that, through the program, she has made many
connections. She now has friends across the country to visit while
“It’s probably been one of the most fun things I’ve done in
single life,” Droddy said. “I didn’t anticipate forming such great friendships.
I thought I’d get to travel, but didn’t anticipate the wonderful friendships I
Without the program she would never have met her best
friend, a woman who lives 12 miles away, Droddy said.
So far, SIA has more than 300 members. While it is not an
online dating service, sometimes friendships made in the program evolve into
One example is engaged couple Donna Chumney and Gerald Dorn.
Dorn, a farmer from Nebraska, and Chumney, a retired chemistry professor from
Texas, met at an SIA event in Kansas in 1999.
Although Dorn was a member, he was there on business and had
no idea an event was being held that weekend.
“We spoke in the lobby of the motel and later on he asked to
go shopping around with me, but we connected at the dance and exchanged phone
numbers,” Chumney said. “Slowly, a relationship evolved. We are engaged.”
When he proposed at the dinner table, Dorn was so excited
that he put the ring on the wrong finger. Chumney gladly said yes. They have yet
to set a date, but are looking forward to married life.
“She’s my tall, Texan, blue-eyed blonde,” Dorn said,
Both Chumney and Dorn are more than 6 feet tall.
Some 770 miles separate Chumney and Dorn, but they make it
work by staying in touch and visiting each other every chance they can. After
the harvest, Dorn stays with Chumney in a home they purchased together in Texas.
“We’ve seen and done things you could never imagine because
we don’t know some of these things exist,” Chumney said about her SIA
experiences. “We spend a lot of events touring the area, whatever might be
“We have seen incredible things most people don’t know
about. We turn to each other and say ‘only in SIA would we have seen this.’ The
people, it’s like family. Every time you go to an event, it’s like a reunion.
You get to meet new people, and it’s really awesome.”
Droddy encouraged interested people to visit
singlesinagriculture.org for more information and a calendar of events.