The 2014 class of Indiana Master Farmers have a number of things in common, and it goes beyond farming. They are all involved in their communities, both local and agricultural. David and Danita Rodibaugh of Jasper County have kept busy through the years by serving on the local school board, the Indiana Pork Producers, various Purdue boards, and as officers of national pork organizations. The Rodibaugh’s say it’s important to play a role in the industry.
“Many people have said the decisions are controlled by those that show up to participate,” said Danita, adding they get involved “especially to interface with the people involved in agriculture and those that have a passion for agriculture. Our hope is always just to make a difference.”
Husband David added, “Both our fathers and families were involved and so it just seemed natural that we be a part of the industry helping to learn from others, our cohorts, and also helping to shape the information and the industry as it moves forward.”
Carl Schmitz in Posey County farms 4 miles from Kentucky and 7 miles from Illinois. He is a Posey County Commissioner and served on the National Dairy Board. He is also one of 4 who started the Partners in Food program about 10 years ago.
“We’ve got 4 food pantries in the county and we provide all the sausage and ground beef so that each person that comes through the door receives one pound of each, each time they come through,” he told HAT. “The first year was 10 farmers and after 10 years we’re up to 76 farmers in Posey County who all donate 1 acre, crops of their choice.”
He said last year they provided Posey County food banks over 20 tons of meat and 7-8 tons of potatoes.
“We’re known as a meat and potato people and we feel we’ve done some good there in the county.”
See more with both Master Farmer honorees in the HAT video.