News Release: Women in Ag

August 13, 2010

Purdue Extension honored two women for their dedication and involvement in agriculture with Women in Agriculture Achievement and Leadership awards Friday (Aug. 13) at the Indiana State Fair.

The Achievement Award, which recognizes women who are directly involved in a home farming operation, was presented to Louise Beaman of Johnson County for her work on her family's large farrow-to-finish hog operation and grain farm and for her efforts in working on legislative issues affecting Indiana agriculture.

The Leadership Award, given to a woman in an agribusiness or policy-making position, was awarded to Carolyn Hegel of Wabash County for her involvement in the agricultural industry over the last 20 years.

"Traditionally, agriculture has been thought of as a man's industry," said Stacy Clupper, Purdue Extension educator in Blackford County. "Our awards program is designed to help illustrate the importance of women in the industry. Over the last several years we have been able to award and recognize individuals who have made very significant contributions to agriculture in Indiana. We hope this recognition will encourage other women to consider agriculture as a career choice or lifestyle and look to our award recipients as positive role models."

Winners are chosen based on an application and letters of reference submitted on their behalf, Clupper said. "We look for applicants who have committed themselves to Indiana agriculture either through agribusiness, positive legislation efforts, direct involvement in farming operations or community service," she said.

Beaman, along with her husband and son, own and operate Beaman Farms near Franklin. In 1998, the family was awarded the AgriNews Farm Family of the Year in Johnson County.

Beaman has been involved with Purdue Extension through the 4-H program and the Extension Board, for whom she has served as president. She also served as representative for the Purdue Council for Agriculture Research, Extension and Teaching and secretary for the national Council for Agriculture, Extension and Teaching for the north-central region.

Beaman also has received the Johnson County Rural Life award and the county and state Friend of Extension Award for her work and devotion to Indiana Agriculture.

Hegel owns and operates Hegel Homestead Farm and, with her siblings, is part owner of their parents' farm. She owns a small beef cow/calf herd and provides calves to 4-H members for the county Born and Bred project.

Hegel is a public speaker on agricultural issues and provides statistical information to local farmers.

Hegel has served as an Indiana Farm Bureau state officer, traveling about 50,000 miles a year and attending and speaking at events. She also was a columnist for Hoosier Farm Magazine for 26 years.

She also served as Indiana Farm Bureau's second vice president, working to increase public awareness of agriculture.

The Women in Agriculture awards program is one of many programs sponsored by the Purdue University Extension Women in Agriculture team. For more information, visit

Women in Ag Award recipients
From left: Chuck Hibberd, associate dean of Purdue Agriculture and director of Extension; Carolyn Hegel of Wabash County, recipient of the Leadership Award; Louise Beaman of Johnson County, recipient of the Achievement Award; and Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture.
(Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Keith Robinson)

Writer: Jeanne Gibson, 765-496-7481,

Source: Stacy Clupper, 765-348-3213,