We love recognizing our friends of agriculture. Join us as we recognize the 2021 class of Certificate of Distinction winners.


Bruce Bye

Beech Grove, Indiana
Purdue University, BS, Agricultural Economics, 1968 

Mr. Bye received his BS in Agricultural Economics in 1968, and enjoyed a successful career with Elanco as a market researcher. After his retirement, he has worked tirelessly to develop a vocational agriculture program near Indianapolis, which engages underrepresented students in agriculture.  He also started a community garden through his church with 71 volunteers and produced over 5000 pounds of fresh produce to local food banks.


Vic Lechtenberg

West Lafayette, Indiana
Ph.D., 1971, Purdue University, Agronomy

Dr. Lechtenberg received his PhD from Purdue in Agronomy in 1971.  He progressed through his career entirely at Purdue, starting as an Assistant Professor in 1971 and becoming dean in 1994.  He also served Purdue in numerous university-level roles.  He is recognized for his leadership by many international organizations and as for serving on many local community boards.


Barry Flinchbaugh

Formerly of Manhattan, Kansas
BS, Animal Science, 1964; MS, Agricultural Economics, 1967, Pennsylvania State University; PhD, Agricultural Economics, 1971, Purdue University

Dr. Flinchbaugh passed away after his nomination was received, thus making him the first posthumously-awarded Certificate of Distinction winner. He received his PhD in Agricultural Economics in 1971 and worked for Kansas State University for his entire career.  Dr. Flinchbaugh was highly regarded for his work in public policy and led trade missions and People-to-People tours around the world.

Head shot of Jim Baird

Jim Baird

Greencastle, Indiana
BS, Animal Sciences, 1967, MS, Animal Sciences, 1969, Purdue University; PhD, Animal Sciences, 1975

Current US Representative in the 4th District, Mr. Baird served on the front lines of the US Army, worked as an Extension Educator in Parke, Putnam and Vermillion Counties, and started his own business.


David Hyink

Rapid City, South Dakota
Purdue University, PhD, 1979, Forest Biometrics

Dr. Hyink received his PhD from Purdue in Forest Biometrics in 1979 and worked in academia before becoming a Forest Scientist at Weyerhaeuser Company.  Using his scientific and technical expertise, and his leadership skills, he created value for his employer, for regional and national forestry research, and for the national forest inventory.

Certificate of Distinction criteria and nomination deadline is available here.