The annual Beck’s Hybrids Beyond the Fence Awards were presented Monday at the Indiana Livestock Forage and Grain Forum, and the founder of Hoosier Ag Today was honored with the ag media award. Gary Truitt has been serving Indiana farmers for 3 decades, and his HAT network is almost 9 years old. Indiana Farm Bureau president Don Villwock calls Truitt a great servant-leader for Indiana agriculture.
“His vision for developing the ag network has just been just a blessing for all of Indiana agriculture to keep up on the latest technology, the latest ag news all across literally the world. His effort to put that network together and be an advocate and friend of agriculture, he truly deserved that award. He really thinks like a farmer and has a passion in his heart for agriculture,” Villwock added.
The ag education outreach award was given to Purdue’s Bob Nielsen, Extension corn specialist. Villwock says he’s been a blessing to Indiana farmers since he arrived in the state in 1983.
“He’s always present in the minds of Indiana corn farmers and as we get ready to go to the field this spring, there’s not a farmer that Bob Nielsen hasn’t touched. He has increased the profitability of Indiana farmers not only in the yields that we obtain, but also reducing our costs. He has a passion for service and he’s a great communicator with a lot of common sense which is a true blessing.”
The Indiana Director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency was also honored. And service really is what motivates Julia Wickard.
“Every morning I get up it’s not about going to work,” she told HAT. “It’s about going to serve and I don’t look at it as a job. I look at it as an opportunity to represent the industry that I love. I get to work for farmers every day, and it’s an appointed position that I have but I don’t look at it as a Republican or a Democrat. I look at it as an agriculturalist trying to do the very best I can do.”
Livestock and crop farmer Stephen Head of Spencer County was honored with the Community Betterment Beyond the Fence Award.
(Pictured left to right: Dave Lowe-ISA President, Stephen Head, Julia Wickard, Gary Truitt, Herb Ringel-Indiana Corn, and Bruce Kettler-Beck’s Hybrids)