On Equal Footing
Farm Women Make Waves
The new program would ensure wider and more active interest among the farm women. The state committee recommends that at least half of the committee on membership in each county and township be farm women.
The state committee also recommends that a survey is done on the conditions of the community relative to their social, education and economical welfare, and that the community program be made so that these phases of welfare may be improved.
A Seat at the Table
Edna Sewell is elected as second vice president and is later named head of the women's department in 1929.
Her philosophy, “you can't be loyal indefinitely to a fertilizer bag, an oil drum or an insurance policy," injects moral and spiritual values into Indiana Farm Bureau.
Not Stuck in Committee
Verna Hatch of Allen County is chosen as department head.
Gross Takes the Wheel
Under Lois Gross’s leadership, the governing body of the Women's Department is renamed the State Women's Committee.Gross serves Indiana Farm Bureau first as a volunteer, but her position as director of the Women's Department becomes a part-time, paid staff position following the formation of the State Women’s Committee.
A Full Time Duty
Carley coordinates work in the many areas of the women's activities, including health, safety, farm product promotion, public relations and legislation.
She is the first full-time staff director of the Women’s Department. The position previously was part time.
The Hegel Effect
She assumes the duties of Director of the Women’s Department at Indiana Farm Bureau in 1993. Hegel becomes the Midwest Region Representative on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s National Women’s Committee, a member of the AFBF net farm income study committee, and is appointed by former Governor Robert Orr to serve on the Great Lakes States Development Committee.
Hegel is quoted as saying that Indiana Farm Bureau’s Women’s Department, “has never worked on ‘women's programs’ but on programs that affect the bottom line in farming.”
Sowing Seeds in the Future
Outstanding in Their Field
This award is given annually to one "outstanding" woman and is announced at the state Farm Bureau convention. The purpose is, “to recognize a farm woman for her achievements and contribution to the farm family, home, business, Farm Bureau, agriculture and community and service programs.”The award also recognizes the 8.2 percent increase in the number of women farm operators and the 12.8 percent increase in acreage operated by women since 1982.
"ACE" in the Hole
The ACE Ambassador program funds foreign trips to various parts of the world for 10 farm couples. Upon their return, couples present programs at district meetings to share with others what they had learned.
The program is created following Carolyn Hegel’s trip to Western Europe with AFBF’s National Women’s Committee, where Hegel is surprised to be learning from the European farmers and not teaching American farming techniques.
Chism Takes Charge
Isabella Chism of Galveston also serves on the Indiana Farm Bureau’s board of directors and its affiliated companies, including Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.Isabella Chism helps Indiana Farm Bureau’s Women’s Committee advance in the development of female leadership skills across the state. She oversees the appointment of the state education coordinators to ensure the farm voice in the classroom aligns with current curriculum. Chism also oversees the name change of the Farming in the Classroom program to Ag in the Classroom to align with the established USDA program.
New Name, Same Vision
A Proper Title
This recommendation follows letters from county leaders asking Indiana Farm Bureau to standardize the title across the state.