Deborah Jordan (left) of Richmond and Marianne Ash of Lafayette were honored with Purdue Extension’s Women in Agriculture Awards during a ceremony at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis. Jordan received the Achievement Award and Ash the Leadership Award.
Deborah Jordan (left) of Richmond and Marianne Ash of Lafayette were honored with Purdue Extension’s Women in Agriculture Awards during a ceremony at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis. Jordan received the Achievement Award and Ash the Leadership Award.

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 farming industry.

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 health production.

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 others.

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.