Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann presented the 2015 AgriVision Award today to Dr. Don Orr of JBS United and Don Villwock (pictured) of Indiana Farm Bureau at the Celebration of Agriculture event at the Indiana State Fair.
The award, now in its ninth year, is given to a Hoosier who has demonstrated exemplary leadership to maximize the potential of Indiana agriculture. This year marks for the first time the award has been given to two individuals.
“The passion and commitment Don Orr and Don Villwock bring to Indiana agriculture exemplifies the spirit of the AgriVision Award,” Lt. Governor Ellspermann said. “Through their leadership, Indiana agriculture is recognized as a global leader in technology and innovation.”
“This award recognizes a deep commitment and vision for Indiana agriculture, two items that both Don Orr and Don Villwock embody,” said Ted McKinney, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA). “They are outstanding examples of the drive it takes to further promote and advance the best of Indiana agriculture.”
Dr. Orr is the president of Sheridan, IN based JBS United, a worldwide company known for its research farms, genetic and technological advancements, and farm management practices. As the landscape for agriculture in Indiana has changed over time, it’s hard to find an area where he has not been involved. His passion for animal nutrition and the industry as a whole has led him to serve on many boards and committees within the agricultural industry. Dr. Orr serves as the Director of Texas Tech Swine Research Center and as Chairman for the American Feed Industry Association. His dedication to the improvement of technology and nutrition within the livestock industry exemplifies precisely why he is receiving this award today.
Dr. Orr has risen as a leader not only in the Midwest or the United States, but globally in the area of animal nutrition and technology. Through his leadership skills, willpower and passion for animal science and research he is leading Indiana agriculture to become a global leader.
Mr. Villwock is another excellent example of the best of Indiana agriculture. He is the president of Indiana Farm Bureau and Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance and owns a farm in Knox County that produces white corn, soybeans, seed soybeans and seed wheat.
A recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash, Mr. Villwock’s passion for agriculture has also taken him to the national stage; from being appointed by President George H.W. Bush as State Executive Director of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation to serving as the state agricultural liaison for U.S. Senator Richard Lugar. His willingness to help is boundless. He currently serves as the National Vice President for the Farm Bureau Bank, American Agricultural Insurance Company and American Farm Bureau Insurance Services.
Mr. Villwock has become a leader for both Indiana agriculture and agriculture across the United States. Because of his leadership, dedication and passion for agriculture he is helping make Indiana one of the top agricultural states in the nation.
The Purdue Women in Agriculture Awards were also presented at the Celebration of Agriculture. This year’s recipients are:
- 2015 Leadership Award Winner: Beth Archer
Beth Archer is the executive director of AgrIInstitute, where she helps to advance and promote leaders in agriculture on local, state, national and international levels. She will soon celebrate 25 years at AgrIInstitute, starting as the coordinator of the Agricultural Leadership Program (ALP). This program helps those in agriculture develop leadership skills for their business and communities.
Over the past several years, Beth has served on the Indiana Rural Development Council and the Indiana Cooperative Development Center as Chairperson for both organizations. She volunteers to help with the National FFA Convention as well as other organizations that focus on agriculture, youth development, leadership and rural development. Beth’s tireless belief in agriculture allows her to help prepare the future leaders of the agriculture community.
- 2015 Achievement Award Winner: Linda Baird.
Linda Baird is an owner and operator of Cornucopia Farm, an agritourism destination and grain operation in Washington County. Linda is an integral part of the day to day activities at Cornucopia Farm, caring for livestock, financial work, marketing, and overseeing all details for the 5,000 visitors their farm hosts each fall. She manages this all while working part-time off the farm.
Linda is also one of the five women who founded SWAG (See What Ag Gives) for Washington County in 2014. Through her efforts, over 31 local agribusinesses and farmers supported this event. In its first year, 625 farm and non-farm community members participated, highlighting the need for agriculture education in the community. Linda has a talent for finding new and innovative ways to promote agriculture.
(ews Release from ISDA)