INDIANAPOLIS — Elisha Modisett Kemp and Kerry Dull were both
surprised when they found out they were honorees of this year’s Women and
Agriculture Achievement and Leadership awards.
The program, sponsored by the Purdue Extension Women in
Agriculture team, honors women for their dedication and service to agriculture.
The team, made up of Extension educators and specialists,
formed to address educational needs for women in the agricultural industry
through networking, resources and opportunities such as the award program.
Jay Akridge, Purdue University dean of agriculture,
presented the award during the Celebration of Agriculture event at the Indiana
Akridge spoke of the increasing role women are playing in
the agriculture industry. He said that women make up 55 percent of the college
of agriculture at Purdue.
“It’s not just about quantity (of women), it’s about the
quality and leadership they bring to agriculture,” he said.
The achievement award, which recognizes women directly
involved in a farming operation, was awarded to Dull of Boone County.
Dull and her husband, Tom, along with their children run
Dull Family Farm, which consists of a 2,000-acre corn and soybean operation and
Dull’s Tree Farm, a 30-acre Christmas tree operation.
In addition to helping the farm expand over the years, Dull
promoted agriculture and taught “Ag in the Classroom” programs through her
position on the Boone County Farm Bureau board. She also served as a volunteer
for Boone County 4-H in different roles including 4-H council, fair board and
leadership training committee.
Dull was surprised to hear she had been nominated. For Dull,
the award program shows other woman they have a big role in agriculture.
“Tom and I work closely together,” Dull said. “It is very
much our farm.”
The leadership award, given to a woman in an agribusiness or
policy-making position, was presented Modisett Kemp, Marion County. She is a
government affairs manager at Dow AgroSciences where she oversees state advocacy
strategies necessary for the company to obtain product approvals.
She previously worked at the Indiana State Department of
Agriculture, where she represented Indiana agriculture before the Legislature.
The Windfall native chairs the State Affairs Committee of crop protection trade
association CropLife America, where she leads peers to act on legislation that
could harm modern agriculture.
Modisett Kemp said she felt humbled to be nominated by her
co-workers. With her at the award ceremony were her husband, Reed, and
8-month-old son, Alex.
“Agriculture is the backbone of our society,” Modisett Kemp.
“It’s a great feeling to be recognized.”