He was in Argentina one day, arrived in Indianapolis at 5 a.m. EDT, and was at the Indiana State Fairgrounds by 10 a.m. EDT the same morning. Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman had asked him to be at what she called a celebration of agriculture on Farmer's Day at the Indiana State Fair.
Who is he? Kip Tom of Syracuse, and he wasn't in Argentina just for a vacation—he farms about 4,000 acres there.
Besides farming a large number of acres in two countries half-a-world apart, Tom serves on several boards, including the Indiana Economic Development Council representing agriculture.
When it was Tom's turn at the podium, he thanked Lt. Gov. Skillman and Gov. Mitch Daniels for all they had done to get agriculture up and running again.
"They have given us a framework to work with in Indiana agriculture," Tom says. "We should all be very thankful for what they did for Indiana agriculture."
Tom Farms consists of 16,000 acres in Indiana besides the acreage in Brazil. Tom is heavily involved in the seed industry and has also served on the advisory council for the Indiana Department of Agriculture.
Since he also grows tomatoes for Red Gold, Tom is aware of the value-added and specialty crop business as well.
Skillman first presented the award in 2007. She wanted it to hold up someone who had gone above and beyond to show exceptional leadership and vision in Indiana agriculture. The first winner of the Agrivision award was Sonny Beck, of Beck's Hybrids, Atlanta. Another recipient was Vic Lechtenberg, Dean of the College of Agriculture at Purdue University, and now a provost for the university.