Nominations sought for Women in Agriculture awards

May 16, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue Extension Women in Agriculture Team has begun accepting nominations for the 2013 Women in Agriculture Awards.

The two awards - the Leadership Award and Achievement Award - are presented annually to women who demonstrate leadership and innovation and make positive contributions to Indiana agriculture, through their work in agricultural enterprises, agribusiness, farms or commodity organizations.

The Leadership Award honors women who serve Indiana agriculture through agribusiness or policymaking, while the Achievement Award is given to women who are directly involved in a home farming operation. Both awards consist of a recognition plaque and registration and lodging at the 2014 Women in Agriculture Conference.

Women may nominate themselves or be nominated by peers. Nominations are due by May 31, and the awards will be presented Aug. 14 at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis as part of the lieutenant governor's Celebration of Agriculture ceremony. Nomination forms are available at

"Purdue University is proud to recognize the leadership roles of women in agriculture," said Jeanette Merritt, marketing director for Purdue Wine Grape Team & Indiana Wines and a member of the Purdue Women in Agriculture Team. "Women play a vital role in the agriculture sector in Indiana. From leadership roles in commodity groups, working to educate children about farming, to actual work on a farm, agriculture would not be as strong as it is without women playing a leadership role."

The 2007 Census of Agriculture showed that women's presence in agriculture is continuing to grow. In 2007, more than 1 million farm operators were women, comprising 30 percent of all farm operators in the U.S. Additionally, the number of women serving as principal operators, responsible for making most of the daily decisions on their farms or ranches, grew by 29 percent between 2002 and 2007 to more than 300,000 nationwide.

Writer: Jessica Merzdorf, 765-494-8402,

Sources: Jeanette Merritt, 765-496-3842,

Kelly Heckaman, 574-372-2340,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page

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