Women in Agriculture award recipients honored

Two Indiana women were recognized for their commitment and contributions to the agriculture industry during Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch’s Celebration of Agriculture, held at the Indiana State Fair.

Selected by the Purdue Extension Women in Agriculture team, the two honorees were Jamie Schilmiller, who farms in Floyd County, and Jane Ade Stevens, who has served for eight years as the chief executive officer of the Indiana Soybean Alliance, the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and the Indiana Corn Growers Association.

Schilmiller won the Women in Agriculture Achievement Award, which recognizes women who are directly involved in a home farming operation. She and her husband, Tom, farm near Floyds Knob, and she is actively involved in Farm Bureau, serving in several capacities on her county board. She was nominated by her county president, Mike Johnson.

“I didn’t think a whole lot about it,” she said, even after she found out she’d won, until she got to the ceremony and realized the caliber of other winners of the award.

The word that best describes her reaction, she said, is “speechless.”

Schilmiller joined a farming family about 15 years ago when she married the third son of five boys.  Schilmiller has consistently stepped up to help with all aspects of farm life, whether that includes bottle feeding calves, digging potatoes, selling at produce stands or promoting the family farm.

She also is involved in Floyd County’s My Little Farm program, which provides a learning-based program to teach children and adults about farm life, hard work, education and jobs in Indiana during the Floyd County Fair, reaching over a thousand participants annually.

Schilmiller is planning to expand the program’s outreach to thousands of 7th grade students exploring agricultural careers and their own higher education options.

In January 2019, Schilmiller will launch her own chemical, fertilizer and seed company for Floyd County that will be called Homestead Ag Supply.

Jane Ade Stevens is the winner of the Purdue Extension Women in Agriculture Leadership Award, which recognizes a woman in an agribusiness or policymaking position who has made a difference in Indiana agriculture. As the chief executive officer of the Indiana Soybean Alliance, the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, and the Indiana Corn Growers Association, Stevens is responsible for overseeing all corn and soybean checkoff programs as well as membership and policy activities.

She also had a key role in the development of the Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center, which opened at the Purdue Agronomy Center for Research and Education in 2016.