As a Purdue student, Mr. Hardin spent his junior year participating in the International Farm Youth Exchange in New Zealand. After graduation, he worked as a research associate with the Indiana Regional Medical Program while farming part-time. He began farming full-time in 1971 and has gradually expanded his operation to its present size of 1200 crop acres and 5500-head farrow to finish hog operation located in Hendricks and Marion Counties.
Mr. Hardin has served U.S. and Indiana agriculture in many leadership roles. Under former Governor Otis Bowen, he was a member of the Rural Policy Commission, serving as chairman of its committee on preserving Indiana's agricultural resource base. He has also served as chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade Advisory Committee. Mr. Hardin is currently the President of the National Pork Producers Council and is recognized as a national leader on commodity issues, serving as an advisor to the international trade negotiators in the current GATT Round.
He has received numerous awards for his service and achievements, including Indiana's Pork All-American and the Indiana Prairie Farmer Master Farmer Awards. Gamma Sigma Delta honored him with its Alumni Award of Merit in 1985. Mr. Hardin was named a Purdue Old Master in 1986. He is a current member of the Dean of Agriculture's Advisory Council. In January of this year, Mr. Hardin received the highest award given by the Purdue of Ag Alumni Association, its Certificate of Distinction.