Jane Hardisty, a 1974 natural resources and environmental management alumnus who has served as Indiana’s Natural Resources Conservation Service state conservationist since 2000, has received the Award of Distinction from the Ball State University Natural Resources and Environment Management Alumni Society. According to James Davis, President of the BSU NREM Alumni, the organization presented Hardisty this award to recognize her lifetime achievements.“We wanted to honor Jane for her leadership and many contributions in serving natural resources agencies and organizations in Indiana and beyond over her career,” Davis said.
Hardisty received the award during the college’s annual awards recognition celebration in Muncie on April 20th, at which students, staff, and colleagues were recognized for achievements during the academic year. Hardisty was the first woman to receive the NREM Award of Achievement in 2000, and she is the first woman to receive the NREM Award of Distinction. She also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from BSU in 2006. Recipients of the Award of Distinction must hold a position of distinction in education, business, government, or academia with a demonstrated history of success in his or her field as related to natural resources. He or she also must be a recognized civic leader who displays extraordinary service to human kind and a commitment to environmental quality.
As Indiana’s state conservationist Hardisty oversees programs that help protect the environment and preserve our natural resources through voluntary, private working lands conservation. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is the premier private land conservation agency in the world working hand-in-hand with farmers to use voluntary conservation practices and programs. Jane leads a staff of 255 employees across Indiana and manages a budget of more than $44 million. Because of her expertise in policy development and implementation Jane has also served on numerous national work teams. She is currently leading the agency’s development of the National Healthy, Productive Soils Systems Campaign.
Hardisty expressed her gratitude for the recognition by the alumnus and the foundation provided by her Ball State education. She states, “There is no greater privilege than working in natural resource conservation and protection and no greater honor than to serve the public each and every day.” Hardisty encouraged students attending Friday night’s ceremony to consider a career in agriculture or natural resources, adding, “I have the best job getting to work every day with the best farmers in the world!”
“I can think of no one more deserving of this award than Jane Hardisty,” said Emily Kress, long time friend and BSU NREM Alumni Board member. “Jane is a respected and integral leader in natural resources and agriculture in Indiana. She is committed to improving Indiana for all Hoosiers and her work is making a positive difference in the life of our state.”