Eleven former Purdue University graduates were honored recently as Distinguished Agricultural Alumni. Four are well-known Hoosier farmers and business leaders. The awards are presented annually to a select group of former alums nominated by other Purdue alums and selected on the basis of their achievements since graduation, and contributions to society.
Amongst the four Hoosier residents honored are Roger Hadley, II, Woodburn, a farmer and active promoter of soybean research and checkoffs both in Indiana and nationwide. He already holds the Indiana Prairie Farmer/Purdue University College of Agriculture Master Farmer award.
Hadley is also active in Purdue Ag Alumni, the Indiana FFA Foundation and serves on the Agriculture Dean's Advisory Council. He's a 1975 graduate of Purdue in ag economics.
David Howell, Middletown, owns Howell Farms, producing crops besides corn and soybeans. His operation also includes watermelons, tomatoes, pumpkins and apples. His orchard consists of 3,000 trees. He earned his BS and MS from Purdue, graduating in ag economics in 1971.
Roy Riggs resides near North Salem. He's director of Global Specialty Business for Elanco Animal Health. His career with the company spans 28 years. He's also served on the President's Council and College of Agriculture Dean's Advisory Council at Purdue. Riggs received his BS in animal science in 1979.
Last but not least, Thomas R. Wiltrout, Plainfield, is general manager of North America and Europe Seeds for Dow AgroSciences Biotechnology Platform. He is in charge of marketing agronomic seeds and biotechnology traits through the company's branded seed businesses. Wiltrout graduated with a BS in 1975 and MS in 1976 from the Purdue School of forestry and natural resources.
Congratulations to all the winners. The eleven overall winners join a distinguished group of alumni who have earned the award over the past several years. The number that can receive the award each year is not pre-determined. Instead the selection committee has input on how many candidates it believes is worthy of the recognition in any one year.
Others not residing in Indiana who received the Purdue Ag Distinguished Alumni award this year include Akinwumi Adesina, New York, New York; Jeffrey Arnold, temple, Texas; Tuajuanda Jordan, Chevy Chase, Maryland; Michael Kanost of Manhattan, Kansas; Caula Beyl, Knoxville, Tenn, Dean of Ag at the University of Tennessee; Yonas Gizaw, Cincinnati, Ohio; and Claire Sawyers, Media, Pennsylvania.