Purdue Extension showed its appreciation to two farm women for their leadership and achievements by honoring them with its Women in Agriculture awards. The annual awards, presented Wednesday (Aug. 15) at the Indiana State Fair, recognize women who make a positive contribution to Indiana agriculture. “We look for nominees who have gone above and beyond in their dedication to Indiana agriculture,” said Christa Holloway, a health and human sciences Extension educator in Fulton County and an organizer of the awards program. “We look at the positive impacts they’ve had on the industry, community and personal lives, their potential for future success, and their passion for agriculture. We certainly found those qualities in the recipients.”
The Leadership Award, given to a woman in an agribusiness or policymaking position, was presented to LuAnn Troxel, co-owner of Troxel Dairy Farm in LaPorte and Starke counties. She and her husband, Tom, also operate an animal veterinary business, South County Veterinary Service, of which LuAnn Troxel is office manager, and own the Heifer Hill neonatal heifer-raising facility, where they raise about 200 head of calves until 6 months of age.
Troxel has been president of the Indiana Professional Dairy Producers since 2009. Under her leadership, the group developed a website (https://www.IndianaDairy.org), hired the organization’s first executive director, developed leadership and organizational strategies, increased support levels by 500 percent, and increased dairy farmer membership.
Her leadership has involved participating in AgrIInstitute’s Indiana Agricultural Leadership program and being a leadership team member of the American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology. She was president of the LaPorte County Purdue Extension Board in 2008-09 and still serves on the board. She is chair of the Ways and Means Committee of the Porter County Master Gardeners Association and is an Advanced Master Gardener.
Her work has included being woman’s leader of the Cass-Dewey Township Farm Bureau, assistant secretary of the LaPorte County Farm Bureau and a member of the Indiana Farm Bureau State Dairy Advisory Committee.
The Achievement Award, recognizing women who are directly involved in a home farming operation, was presented to Tammi Unger, who has been a full partner and co-owner of Del Unger Farms in Carlisle since 1984. Since then, the operation has grown from 1,200 acres to 4,500 acres. While Del Unger Farms is the grain operation, Unger Farms, formed in 1990, is the entity that encompasses the 75-head beef cattle operation.
The Ungers have worked to include their children in the family farm operations, creating Unger Farms Precision with their daughter, Adair, in 2008, and Unger Farms Grain with their son, Lance, in 2011. Tammi Unger has been the driving force in positioning Unger Farms to bring the next generation into the farming operation.
She is secretary-treasurer of each entity and an equal partner with her husband in all decisions. With a degree in agriculture economics from Purdue University, she uses the latest technology to manage Unger Farms.
Among her activities, Tammi Unger is involved in Sullivan County 4-H program and has served on the Sullivan County Extension Board. She was a presenter for Annie’s Project in Sullivan County, sharing her recordkeeping knowledge with the participants. She also took the lead in coordinating efforts for the first stop of the 2011 Farm Management Tour, which was at Unger Farms.