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Julia Wickard Begins Second Day of New Challenge

Julia Wickard Begins Second Day of New Challenge
Former beef leader now heads up FSA in Indiana.

Microsoft Word - KS Edited Final Version, Risher, 4-28-09

The Greenfield farmwife loves her young children, and she loves beef cattle. SO executive director at the Indiana Beef Cattle Association seemed like the perfect job for her. And according to many, she did her job well. But as of yesterday, Monday, August 3, she is now executive director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Indiana.

Obviously, she likes a challenge. She takes over from Don Hunton, a career-FSA employee, who steered the ship handily after Kendell Culp left his post earlier in the year. Culp recently attended the Master Farmer awards ceremony, in good health, having survived his two-year stint as FSA director very well, or so it seems.

Now it's Julia's term. Rodney Hager, one this year's Master Farmer recipients, and former president of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association, couldn't hold back form having a bit of fun with his former boss when he got the microphone during his awards presentation.

"She may be the only one in the audience who's officially unemployed today," he quipped. This was during the ceremony last Thursday. "She's no longer executive director of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association. But come Monday morning, she will be employed again, taking on the role of heading up FSA in Indiana.

"She certainly did an excellent job for Indiana cattlemen. She was great to work with, and helped me immensely while I was president," Hager notes. "She will be missed by cattlemen."

For Wickard's part, it wasn't obvious she no longer had ties to the cattleman's association. When Hager received his award from Purdue Dean Jay Akridge, Wickard was up front, snapping photos, and telling Hager, "This one's for the magazine." The Indiana Beef Cattle Association publishes its' own magazine during the year.

Still, she found time to feel out reporters on what they thought farmers were thinking about government sign-up. And she pledged to help supply as much information as possible.

Rest assured that Indiana FSA is in good hands during tumultuous times.

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