Indiana’s Celebration of Ag recognizes industry leaders

The Celebration of Agriculture at the Indiana State Fair recognizes leaders in the industry.

The AgriVision Award, the state’s highest agricultural honor, was established by the Lieutenant Governor and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

Cindy Hoye, executive director of the Indiana State Fair, and Beth Archer, executive director of AgrIInstitute are this year’s recipients.

Archer says receiving the award is humbling.

“It’s not necessarily something that I would ever have expected to receive, so it really truly is an honor when I think of individuals who have led our state and have provided vision and innovation to make Indiana so strong in agriculture,” she says. “I certainly don’t feel worthy next to them, but what an amazing honor and it is greatly appreciated.”

Now in its 17th year, the AgriVision Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the agriculture industry and their communities.

Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch presented the award today in the Normandy Barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

“Indiana agriculture continues to grow and is driven by the remarkable contributions of visionary Hoosiers, like Cindy Hoye and Beth Archer,” Crouch said. “With their exceptional leadership and knowledge, the State of Indiana continues to prove itself as a leading force in the agricultural sector. It is my pleasure to award the state’s highest agricultural honor to such deserving individuals.”

According to an ISDA news release, Hoye joined the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center as a marketing director in 1988. She was appointed to executive director in 2004 by former Governor Mitch Daniels. In this role, she oversees year-round operations of the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center, as well as the annual Indiana State Fair.

Ensuring the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center is a year-round gathering place that maximizes its resources to host a wide range of diverse activities is a top priority for Hoye. As executive director, she has overseen projects that enhance and preserve the fairgrounds to better meet the vision of the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center.

Along with ensuring the facilities are equipped for an array of activities, Hoye strives for the Indiana State Fair to be recognized as the best in the country and one that showcases Indiana agriculture and youth in an educational, entertaining, and safe environment.

She has spent countless hours ensuring various barns and exhibition halls receive the proper renovations to better serve and showcase youth livestock projects. Most recently, a $50 million renovation took place on the Indiana Farm Bureau Fall Creek Pavilion.

For 35 years, Hoye has made the fairgrounds a premier gathering place that is committed to hosting diverse activities and showcasing Indiana agriculture and youth across the state. 

Since 1992, Archer has been the executive director of AgriIInstitue, an organization that prepares leaders to advance agriculture. Under the umbrella of AgriInstitue is the Indiana Agriculture Leadership Program (ALP), which fosters leadership and personal development in agriculture leaders.

For the past 31 years, she has been a driving force behind the development of future agriculture leaders through her oversight of the ALP program. In this role, she has facilitated workshops and discussions, all while challenging the conventional thoughts of participants.

“I really truly think the Indiana Ag Leadership Program is one of the most powerful kinds of experiences for those involved in the industry. It gives them the opportunity to not only grow their own leadership capacities but also expand their knowledge about a whole lot of issues beyond just our agriculture industry,” she says. “The program began in 1983 and so we have lots of years of building a network of individuals and I think that’s another thing that makes it really special. We have over 500 people who are part of this network and it’s a network that strengthens each and every person and it builds up the industry. We have individuals who have been serving in leadership roles across the state and our trade and commodity organizations, state governments, and local governments all are making a major impact for helping agriculture stay strong in Indiana.”

Archer says it’s important to support the agriculture industry because it feeds the world.

“We feed the world. We also provide energy for the world. We’re doing things that help society continue to be strong, and I know that sounds a little idealistic perhaps but agriculture is the foundation of all economies,” she says. “For our ability to keep that industry strong, to grow good businesses, to advance the technology and innovation that makes the industry strong is so critical.”

The Celebration of Agriculture also highlighted other award winners.

Purdue Extension announced the Women in Agriculture Awards.

Indiana Farm Bureau and Indiana Landmarks awarded the John Arnold Rural Preservation Award to the Evers Family of Planview Farms.

ISDA Summer Photo Contest winners were also recognized.

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