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This young farmer capitalizes on opportunities to grow offered by farm groups.

May 11, 2023

3 Min Read
Rachel Hyde standing on John Deere tractor
YOUNG LEADER: Rachel Hyde is an ag businesswoman, farmer and young leader in agriculture. She develops interpersonal skills through participating in farm group programs. Courtesy of Indiana Farm Bureau

by Colleen Settle

Rachel Hyde has always loved agriculture. She works at Beck’s as a field sales marketing coordinator, serving as a liaison between the field sales team and the marketing department.

Hyde is also a seventh-generation farmer on her family’s corn, soybean and sheep operation in Noblesville, Ind. She grew up working the farm just like her older brother.

“My dad made sure that my brother and I had the same opportunities on the farm,” Hyde says. “It was important that his son and daughter were able to both have the skills to operate the farm. I’ve never been afraid to get my hands dirty and do the work.”

Hyde is committed to using her skill set and background to develop the next generation of farmers and paint agriculture in a positive light. She is a member of the Hamilton County Farm Bureau board, a member of the local FFA Boosters leadership team and an avid 4-H volunteer at the county level. Hyde also judges sheep and goat shows across Indiana and neighboring states.

Displaying interpersonal skills

Hyde won the 2022 Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet. In this competition, contestants participate in a group discussion that simulates a committee meeting and solve issues currently impacting agriculture. Hyde advanced to the national discussion meet, held during the 2023 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention, where she was the only female finalist who placed in the top four of the competition.

“To me, it really wasn’t about winning the competition; it was about making connections with other farmers and professionals in the industry,” Hyde says. “At the end of the competition, a few female FFA state officers from Tennessee came over to me and mentioned how they had looked forward to watching me speak and admired how I represent ag. Those interactions made me realize I’m inspiring the next generation and made the whole competition worth it.”

Hyde participated in the AFBF Women’s Communications Boot Camp in April. The workshop, which takes place in Washington, D.C., is an intensive training opportunity for women in agriculture. It helps them advance their communications skills to share their farm stories, sharpen skills for ag advocacy efforts, engage with consumers and lead in their communities.

Opportunity to grow

“Attending the boot camp helped me grow and develop my communication skills,” Hyde says. “I was able to participate alongside 14 other women from all around the U.S. from different types of farms and ranches. It was a blessing to get to network and develop relationships with other women in agriculture.

“It was encouraging, but also challenging, and helped me gain skills that are useful in my professional career and on the farm.”

Hyde’s advice to young women entering the ag industry is to be fearless.

“Ag is not a man’s world anymore, so be bold, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there,” she says. “We all have unique skill sets to make our own impact in ag and leave a lasting legacy in the industry.”

Settle is public relations manager-brand for Indiana Farm Bureau Inc.

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