INDIANAPOLIS — To honor the outstanding efforts, sacrifices
and strides that women are making in agriculture in Indiana and around the rest
of the world, Purdue Extension recognized two ladies for their commitment to the
The Celebration of Agriculture Award Ceremony was held at
the recent Indiana State Fair to honor some of the individuals who have made
significant contributions in making Hoosier agriculture what it is today, which
included handing out the Purdue Women in Agriculture Awards.
“More young women are entering the industry,” said Jay
Akridge, the Glenn W. Sample dean of agriculture at Purdue, adding that the
award ceremony shows young ladies entering the workforce how the agriculture
community lifts up its women leaders.
The Leadership Award, which is presented to a woman in
agribusiness or a policymaking position, was given to veterinarian Marianne Ash
of Lafayette, who serves as the director of animal health programs for the
Indiana State Board of Animal Health.
Jason Henderson, the director of Purdue Extension, noted
that Ash has contributed greatly to the agriculture sector through her work
pioneering disease traceability and biosecurity in Indiana, as well as serving
as a member of the U.S. secretary of agriculture’s advisory committee on swine
Ash mentioned that she followed a career in veterinary
medicine because the agriculture industry is not only about producing an
abundant and wholesome food supply, it’s also about creating a caring life for
Receiving this year’s Achievement Award, which recognizes
women who work directly with a home farming operation, was Deborah Jordan of
Jordan Farms, a 3,000-acre family-owned grain farm and farrow-to-finish swine
operation in Richmond.
Henderson noted that Jordan’s involvement around the farm
includes keeping records for the 1,200 sows, helping wean more than 500 piglets
a week and administering vaccines to the herd.
When she’s not busy lending a hand around the farm, the
mother of five also serves as the District 6 women’s leader for Farm Bureau,
promoting the importance of agriculture and helping supervise educational
activities for women’s programs in eight Indiana counties, along with serving as
a 4-H volunteer and leader.