August 7, 2023
Indiana agriculture leaders honored by Purdue Extension
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Three Indiana women were recognized by the Purdue Women in Agriculture Team for their dedication and leadership during a ceremony at the Indiana State Fair on Thursday (Aug. 3).
“Each year, Purdue Extension has the honor of awarding three Indiana women who contribute to the success of agriculture in Indiana. It is a pleasure to highlight each of these women and their many accomplishments,” said Angie Abbott, interim director of Purdue Extension and associate dean in the College of Agriculture.
Purdue University rising senior Kassidy Oliger received the Emerging Women in Agriculture Leadership Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of a high school or undergraduate student who has made a positive impact on agriculture. Oliger is studying agribusiness management and is involved in multiple student organizations, including Purdue Dairy Club, Sigma Alpha professional agricultural sorority and Purdue Agricultural Council. She serves as one of 16 Ag Econ Envoys who represent the department to prospective students and parents, alumni and industry representatives.
Oliger has further developed her connections and skills in agriculture through her internships with Farm Credit Mid-America, Merck Animal Health in Western Pennsylvania and Purdue Extension – Wayne County. She was a 10-year 4-H member and a six-year FFA member, earning her Hoosier Degree in 2019. Oliger served as the national ambassador for the National Brown Swiss Youth Association and Indiana ambassador for the American Dairy Association in 2020-21.
The Purdue Women in Agriculture Leadership Award recognizes a woman in an agribusiness or policymaking position who has actively influenced Indiana agriculture. Katrina Hall, Indiana Farm Bureau senior director of policy strategy and advocacy, was honored with the 2023 award. Hall has extensively shaped Indiana agricultural policy, including by being a driving force behind large and small tax changes that support Indiana farms. She spearheaded the effort to create the Indiana Broadband Strategic Partnership to help bring broadband to underserved communities and continues to help farmers and landowners gain control in local decision-making to reduce extraterritorial jurisdiction and involuntary annexation.
Hall has also helped Indiana local governments understand local tax policy changes and school referendums. She is a reliable source for partners in the agriculture industry because of her expertise in state tax and budget issues. Prior to joining Indiana Farm Bureau, Hall worked at the Indiana State Board of Tax Commissioners as the director of the budget division.
Bethany Gremel, Beck’s Hybrids director of culture and brand experience and a member of the Beck’s leadership team, is the 2023 Women in Agriculture Achievement Award winner. This award recognizes women who are directly involved in a home farm operation. Gremel remains active in her parents’ farming operation in Howard County by assisting with strategy, operations and finances. She is the seventh generation to be involved in farming on the Kingseed side of her family and the third generation on the Cates side. Gremel recounts learning to shuck sweet corn and riding tractors from a young age, with her farm responsibilities only growing from there.
Off the farm, Gremel uses her passion for helping others in the agriculture industry through her efforts at Beck’s Hybrids. She created an industry-leading onboarding program for employees, a talent management program and helped create a leading education and training department for Beck’s. Gremel also has oversight of the human resources and education departments as well as the commitment rewards department, safety department, agronomy/research/practical farm research department, and the travel and events department. Gremel is a graduate of the 2012-14 Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program cohort and a member of the Agribusiness Council of Indiana.
The Purdue Women in Agriculture awards committee was co-chaired by Beth Vansickle, an Extension educator in Madison County, and Bec Wicker of Rushville, Ind. The Purdue Women in Agriculture Team provides educational opportunities and resources for women in the agriculture industry and coordinates the Ag Women Engage Conference.
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