INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 13, 2018) –Purdue Extension recognized a lifetime of dedication and achievement by awarding Jane Ade Stevens, CEO of the Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Corn Growers Association the Women in Agriculture Leadership Award on Aug. 16 at the Indiana State Fair.
The Women in Agriculture Leadership Award recognizes a woman in agribusiness or in a policymaking position who has made a difference for Hoosier farmers. For the past eight years, Stevens has overseen Indiana corn and soybean checkoff programs as well as membership and policy organizations.
“Jane Ade Stevens has been and will continue as a mentor, model, counselor and friend to many leaders in agriculture both now and in the future,” said Mike Beard, who is a farmer from Frankfort, Ind. and president of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council. “She has served with expertise in a multitude of disciplines. Jane is deserving of an award for women in agriculture, but her accomplishments rank her high among Indiana’s ag leaders regardless of gender.”
Stevens grew up on a grain and livestock farm near Purdue University and earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from Purdue. Prior to working with Indiana’s corn and soybean programs, she was president of Stevens & Associates, Inc., a public relations and association management company. Stevens has also worked for Indiana Farm Bureau, Elanco and worked for the Under Secretary for the USDA’s Natural Resources and Environment agency.
In 2011, Stevens received the Purdue University Agriculture Alumni Certificate of Distinction. She has served on many boards, including Qualisoy, the Center for Food Integrity, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, the Center for Agricultural, Science and Heritage and Purdue University’s College of Agriculture Dean’s Advisory Council.
“From the construction of the Glass Barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds to the new Corn & Soy Innovation Phenotyping Center at Purdue, Jane has been a guiding force for Indiana farmers,” said Tom Griffiths, a farmer from Kendallville, Ind. and chairman of the Indiana Soybean Alliance board of directors.
Jason Henderson, associate dean of Purdue University’s College of Agriculture and director of the Purdue Extension, presented the award. He hailed Stevens’ many contributions to Indiana agriculture throughout her career.
“Jane often says that farming is in her blood,” Henderson said. “She has demonstrated that personal commitment from her days as an agriculture student at Purdue through her current leadership in seeking new markets for corn and soybeans, advocating for government policies to better serve Hoosier farmers, and contributing to education and research.”
Stevens’ passion for both agriculture and communications has made her a prominent voice for Indiana farmers for more than 30 years. “It’s been my honor and privilege to work with Hoosier farmers for as long as I have during my career,” she said. “This award is very nice, but it is more of a reflection of who I have worked for and worked with for many years.”
Stevens was lauded by Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of the Purdue College of Agriculture, for her role in directing the vision of the Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center, which opened at the Purdue Agronomy Center for Research and Education in 2016.
“Jane’s leadership was a critical factor in making this new venture a reality in supporting corn and soybean innovation and providing a pivotal opportunity for faculty researchers and students,” she said.
The Purdue Extension Women in Agriculture Achievement Award recognizes women who are directly involved in a home farming operation, and Jamie Schilmiller of Floyd County, Ind. earned that honor. Both winners were honored during Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch’s Celebration of Agriculture program.
The Indiana Corn Growers Association board, which works with the state and federal governments to develop and promote sound policies that benefit Indiana corn farmers, consists of 9 farmer-directors who provide leadership to the organization on behalf of the nearly 800 ICGA members statewide.
The Indiana Soybean Alliance works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the effective and efficient investment of soybean checkoff funds and the development of sound policies that protect and promote the interest of Indiana soybean farmers. The ISA is working to build new markets for soybeans through the promotion of biodiesel, livestock, grain marketing, aquaculture, new soybean uses, and research. ISA is led by an elected farmer board that directs investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 28,000 Indiana soybean farmers and promotes policies on behalf of the ISA’s 800 dues-paying members. Visit www.indianasoybean.com for more information.
This communication was funded with checkoff dollars.