In the second part of his series with Becky Skillman, Gary Truitt looks at what is next for the retiring Lt. Governor.
Becky Skillman will leave office with no regrets, but she does regret leaving an office she has come to love very much, “Serving as the state’s first Secretary of Agriculture has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.” It is obvious that the Hoosier agricultural community recognizes this, as they have showered her with accolades and honors over the past few months. When Indiana Farm Bureau presented Skillman with their President’s Award, IFB president Don Villwock broke into tears on stage and the audience of over 1500 gave her a standing ovation.
Just a few weeks ago, Skillman announced she would accept a position as the head of Radius, an economic development organization in her home area of Southern Indiana. She told HAT she had turned down many offers and that this position came about very suddenly, “This was not even on the radar 30 days ago.” The sudden death of R.J. Reynolds, the President of Radius and long time friend of Skillman, opened up the position. She said this position will allow her to combine two of her passions: rural development and international relations.
Skillman is confident that incoming Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann will pick up where Skillman left off, “Sue gets it, particularly regarding the agricultural industry. She knows it is the backbone of our state’s economy, and I think she will pick up where we leave off and take our state to greater heights.” She said the biggest challenge facing Indiana agriculture is “Educating the average Hoosier on contemporary agriculture, what it is today, and what it means today.”
Never before has Indiana agriculture had a champion like Becky Skillman. The leadership and passion she has brought to her position as Secretary of Agriculture and second in command of the state elevated agriculture to a position of power and prominence it had never before enjoyed. In addition, her boundless energy and infectious smile endeared her to farmers and farm leaders alike.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/12/finalskillman2.mp3|titles=Skillman Talks About Her Future and the Future of Indiana Agriculture]