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Indiana Dairy Producers presents awards

News and Notes: Check out these updates from various agriculture groups around Indiana.

Tom J. Bechman, Midwest Crops Editor

May 29, 2023

3 Min Read
Margaret and Charles Carter receive award
DAIRY PRODUCERS OF THE YEAR: Charles and Margaret Carter operate Carterly Dairy, Thorntown, Ind. They were named Producers of the Year for 2023 by the Indiana Dairy Producers. Courtesy of Indiana Dairy Producers

Here are names and happenings making news in Indiana agriculture. If you know of something noteworthy happening in Indiana agriculture, send information to [email protected].

Carters lead parade of dairy winners

Charles and Margaret Carter, Carterly Dairy, Thorntown, were recognized as Producers of the Year by the Indiana Dairy Producers. Steve and Abbie Herr, Kendallville, were tapped as Young Producers of the Year.

Meanwhile, Sophia Bollenbacjer, Argos, took home the Alan Kuehnert Memorial Scholarship. Her grandparents, Mike and Jan Heckaman, were named Master Farmers in 2015 by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue College of Agriculture. Jacqueline Mudd, Berne, captured the Indiana Dairy Producers scholarship.

IBCA selects executive VP

Brian Shuter, Frankton, is the next executive vice president of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association. He fills the void left by Joe Moore retiring in March.

Shuter is no stranger to the beef cattle industry and IBCA. He worked alongside his dad, Mike, growing up, and is co-owner of Shuter Sunset Farms in Madison County. Mike was named a Master Farmer in 2010.

The younger Shuter is also co-owner of Smith Family Farms Custom Meats in Pendleton. He has experience in the cow-calf, feedlot and show sectors of the industry. In addition, he has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University, previously worked for IBCA as producer communication manager and has served as the Hoosier Beef Congress coordinator since 2014.

Learn more at or call 317-293-2333.

New award announced

The Indiana State Fair Foundation and the Clifford family will offer the Terry Clifford Memorial Leadership Award. Clifford, Putnam County, former president of the Indiana State Fair Board, died last year.

The award will be given to one Indiana high school student who has been enrolled in Indiana FFA or Indiana 4-H for a minimum of two years and has actively participated in the Indiana State Fair within the past four years. Application deadline is July 1. See details at

Hoosier wins national scholarship

Reagan Koester, Wadesville, Ind., received the $7,000 Soy Scholarship award for 2023-24, sponsored by the American Soybean Association and BASF. She is active in FFA and 4-H. Her parents, Dale and Lisa Koester, and Dale’s family hosted the Purdue Farm Management Tour in 2021.

When asked what drives her, Reagan quoted her grandmother’s philosophy: “If you have two apples, give the better one away.”

New leaders named at IANA

The Indiana Agriculture Nutrient Alliance chose new leaders for 2023. They include Josh Trenary, Indiana Pork executive director, as chairman; Mike Dunn, The Nature Conservancy’s director of freshwater conservation, as vice chairman; Andy Tauer, Indiana Farm Bureau executive director of public policy, as treasurer; and Jerod Chew, assistant state conservationist, as USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service adviser.

New IANA directors include Bruce Kettler, Agribusiness Council of Indiana CEO and president, and Liz Rice, Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts executive director.

Ben Wicker is executive director of IANA. He notes that IANA expanded its Keep It Midwest campaign and Cover Crop Premium Discount Program for ’23. The latter provides a $5-per-acre decrease on insurance premiums and is available in 29 counties.

Indiana company grows

Intelinair, based in Indianapolis, acquired Aker Technologies Inc., a digital ag company based in Effingham, Ill.

Spokespersons for Intelinair say products coming from Aker will help them do a better job of high-resolution crop imaging and data analysis, providing more meaningful results for growers.

About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Midwest Crops Editor, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman became the Midwest Crops editor at Farm Progress in 2024 after serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer for 23 years. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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