Home Indiana Agriculture News A Visionary for the Dairy Industry Honored

A Visionary for the Dairy Industry Honored

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A longtime leader in the Indiana dairy industry was honored with the AgriVision award. Now in its 15 year, the AgriVision Award is the State’s highest agricultural award.

Doug Leman was honored by Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch with the the award, presented annually to  recognize leaders who have dedicated their lives to enhancing the agriculture industry.

Leman recently retired as Executive Director of  Indiana Dairy Producers. He told HAT that, despite challenges, he remains optimistic about the future of the dairy industry.

“Technology will continue to have a bit impact on the industry and energy is becoming a major factor. Yet I think there are opportunities for producers to profit it they do things differently and think outside the box.”

Leman was instrumental in crafting two different state dairy strategic plans which have set the framework for continued growth in our state’s dairy industry.

The award was presented at the Indiana State Fair by Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture Bruce Kettler.

“The Indiana State Department of Agriculture saw a need for a dairy strategy to attract dairy processors and businesses and bolster our dairy economy, so in 2015 the agency created the Indiana Dairy Strategy. The agency then re-worked the dairy strategy and gathered new data in 2019 to create the Indiana Dairy Strategy 2.0. Both of these strategies were instrumental in attracting new dairy businesses and keeping fluid milk inside Indiana’s borders for processing, therefore creating a stronger economic impact. Both strategies would not have been as effective or well received without the leadership and assistance from Leman. He was an outstanding partner on all agency dairy projects and always willing to share his knowledge for the betterment of the industry,” said Kettler.

A former dairy producer himself, Leman says there is opportunity for dairy producers both large and small.

“There is room for everybody, but farms are going to have to think differently. There is opportunity for farms large and small if they are willing to change.”

“The State of Indiana and our agribusinesses are better because of the devoted leadership of Doug Leman,” said Lt. Governor Susanne Crouch.

Dr. Robert Waltz also received an AgriVision Award. Dr. Waltz recently retired after 14 years as State Chemist and Seed Commissioner. Over the course of Waltz’s last 14 years as Seed Commissioner he spearheaded multiple events and projects that benefited many agricultural industries as well as everyday constituents alike. He partnered with industry organizations and Purdue Extension to offer numerous workshops and meetings each year to highlight the regulations and regulatory programs Office of the Indiana State Chemist oversees.

Under Dr. Waltz’s leadership, the Office of the Indiana State Chemist successfully administered regulatory programs and laws pertaining to products like, pesticides, animal feeds, pet foods, seeds and fertilizers. Dr. Waltz also participated in a variety of projects that benefited Indiana, the State’s farmers, agricultural industries, and broader communities.

Dr. Waltz played a key role in the implementation of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules for the State’s animal feed and pet food industries. He was influential in the creation of FieldWatch, a communication tool for specialty crop growers and pesticide applicators. Dr. Waltz was also instrumental in the creation and launch of Indiana’s pilot and commercial hemp production program.

In addition to his work and careers, he also sat on several boards. Dr. Waltz is a fellow and past president of the Indiana Academy of Science and was the chair of the Indiana Hemp Advisory Council. At the national level, Dr. Waltz served as president of the Association of American Food Control Officials and was on the governing Council of the Food and Drug Administration’s Partnership for Food Protection.

“Both individuals have legacies filled with service, thoughtfulness, and collaboration. We thank them for their service to Indiana and our constituents and congratulate them on being awarded the state’s highest agricultural honor,” stated Crouch.