When Mr. Roney was ten years old, he launched his career on his family's farm, today known as Tuttle Orchards Incorporated. By 1977, he was president of the 140-acre fruit, vegetable, and greenhouse production operation and on-site farm market. For decades, farm markets have been a staple of many rural communities across the heartland. Under Mr. Roney's direction, Tuttle Orchards has continued to improve this American tradition by providing greater Hancock County residents with fresh apples, strawberries, sweet corn, pumpkins, bedding plants and much more.
Mr. Roney has benefited his community more widely than by merely filling its pantries. He has held office in numerous councils affiliated with Resource Conservation and Development programs for improving communities. He is also Past Member of the Hancock County Planning Commission and the Hancock County Council. In an effort to improve agriculture, he was appointed member of the Deans Advisory Council for the School of Agriculture at Purdue University, the Indiana Pesticide Review Board, and the Area 6 Council for Agricultural Research, Education, and Teaching (CARET) Committee.
Mr. Roney has continually distinguished himself as a progressive individual in the fruit and vegetable industry. He is President of the Indiana Vegetable Growers Association and an active Past President of the Indiana Horticulture Society. As a producer, he received the Indiana Prairie Farmer Master Farmer Award in 1997 and the Indiana Horticulture Society's "Golden Apple Award" in 1995.
Today, Mr. Roney continues to use Tuttle Orchards as a teaching instrument. Inviting both college students and elementary schoolchildren alike to tour the orchards, he demonstrates to younger generations the significance of the family farm in today's society.
For contributions to his profession and community, and for bringing distinction to his alma mater, Purdue University School of Agriculture is proud to present the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Mr. Thomas E. Roney.