Retiring State Representative Don Lehe was presented with the “Friend of Farmer Award” by the Indiana Corn Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance during their Ag Policy Summit on Thursday.
When asked what the award meant to him, Lehe joked, “Well, the main thing I guess I would say is it means I didn’t waste all my time there.”
But in all seriousness, Lehe was humbled to receive the award from the corn and soybean policy organizations for which he has great respect. He says their involvement over the years has made a huge impact on Indiana agriculture and he’s grateful for the opportunity to work with them and other commodity groups in the state.
“It shows the importance and the impact of those organizations: corn, soy, pork, beef, all the different commodity groups. It’s been my pleasure to have a little bit of possible influence and help the needs of those organizations. So, I’ve appreciated their help, appreciated their input, and what little bit I can do to help out, it was great to be able to do that.”
Steve Howell, Indiana Corn and Soybean Senior Director of Industry Affairs, presented the award to Lehe.
“Representative Lehe has just been a solid, strong leader in the General Assembly and primarily for ag and rural issues. He’s obviously a farmer, so that’s where his passion is. His district is a rural district. So, obviously he comes to Indianapolis and advocates for the constituents in his district and, as chair of the ag committee, he was always a leader on agriculture issues and rural issues advocating for Purdue and the agencies that can have a connection to agriculture. He’s always been there for us.”
Howell adds that they wanted to present Lehe with the award specifically for his leadership on the grain indemnity bill from two years ago, but it made sense to honor him for all his work for Indiana agriculture with his pending retirement from the statehouse.
Lehe, a White County farmer, was elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 2002.