Last updated: August 25. 2013 4:45AM - 59 Views

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Purdue Extension honored two women for their dedication and involvement in agriculture with Women in Agriculture Achievement and Leadership awards Aug. 13 at the Indiana State Fair.

The Achievement award, which recognizes women who are directly involved in a home farming operation, was given to Louise Beaman of Johnson County for her work on her familyís large farrow to finish hog operation and grain farm and for her efforts in working with legislative issues affecting Indiana agriculture.

The Leadership Award, given to a woman in an agribusiness or policy-making position, was awarded to Carolyn Hegel of Wabash County for her involvement in the agriculture industry for the last 20 years.

"Traditionally, agriculture has been thought of as a manís industry," said Stacy Clupper, Purdue Extension educator in Blackford County. "Our award program is designed to help illustrate the importance of women in the industry. Over the last several years we have been able to award and recognize individuals who have made very significant contributions to agriculture in Indiana. We hope this recognition will encourage other women to consider agriculture as a career choice or lifestyle and proved them with positive role models."

Winners are chosen based on the application and letters of reference submitted on their behalf, Clupper said. "We look for applicants who have committed themselves to Indiana agriculture either through agribusiness, positive legislation efforts, direct involvement in farming operations, or community service," she said.

Beaman, along with her husband and son, own and operate Beaman Farms near Franklin. In 1998, the family was awarded the AgriNews Farm Family of the year in Johnson County.

Beaman has been involved with Purdue Extension through the 4-H program and the Extension Board, where she has served as president. She also served as representative for the Purdue Council for Agriculture Research, Extension and Teaching and secretary for the national Council for Agriculture, Extension and Teaching for the north-central region.

Beaman also has received the Johnson County Rural Life award and the county and state Friend of Extension Award for her work and devotion to Indiana Agriculture.

Hegel owns and operates Hegel Homestead Farm and is part owner with her siblings of their parentsí farm with her siblings. She owns a small beef cow/calf herd and provides calves to 4-H members for the County Born and Bred project.

Hegel is a public speaker on agriculture issues and provides agriculture statistical information to local farmers.

Hegel has served as an Indiana Farm Bureau state officer. Traveling about 50,000 miles a year and attending and speaking at events. She also was a columnist for Hoosier Farm Magazine for 26 years.

She also served as Indiana Farm Bureauís second vice president, in which she was an advocate of and worked to increase public awareness of agriculture.

The Women in Agriculture awards program is one of many programs sponsored by the Purdue University Extension Women in Agriculture team. For more information, visit www.extension.purdue.edu/wia.

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