Skip to Main Content

Steven E. Smith Memorial Scholarship honors alumnus

I

n memory of Steven Smith, a distinguished alumnus and former senior director of agriculture for Red Gold, Red Gold and Purdue University College of Agriculture recently announced the creation of the Steven E. Smith Memorial Scholarship.

“Steve was a tremendous partner to Purdue Agriculture as well as with everyone with whom he worked,” said Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture. “He was an innovative thinker and contributor who always looked out for and worked on behalf of growers.”

Smith, a 2009 Purdue Distinguished Agriculture Alumni award winner, was a founding member of FieldWatch and its first registry, DriftWatch, developed in collaboration with Purdue’s department of agricultural and biological engineering.

Steve Smith portrait

Smith spent over 32 years with Red Gold, the world’s largest privately-held tomato canner. He directed the company’s agricultural activities from variety development through harvesting.  Smith was co-chair for Red Gold’s sustainability initiative and served on the Sysco Corporation National Sustainability Advisory Board.

“I am so proud of Steve’s accomplishments and I’m so grateful for the opportunity for an annual scholarship to grow future agricultural leaders like him,” said Brian Reichart, President and CEO of Red Gold. “Steve was so proud of the growers, the industry, and suppliers and was genuinely admired by all who had the pleasure to meet or work with him including my own parents Fran and Ernie Reichart.”

Smith was an advocate for the processing tomato industry in areas of research, federal crop insurance and product labeling. He served in several capacities with the Mid-America Food Processor Association who named him the H.D. Brown Person of the Year in 2015. Smith was also the founder and chairman of the Save Our Crops Coalition.

Red Gold has contributed $50,000 to fund the annual scholarship. Industry friends, growers, employees of Red Gold and suppliers have given an additional $42,000. Donations can be made here

The scholarship recipient will be announced annually at the Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry. Ideal candidates will have major and career interests aligned with specialty crops and a strong desire to be involved in state and federal agriculture policy.

In addition to a $5,000 scholarship, the awardees will take part in the Red Gold “Washington D.C. Fly-in” and other events to learn about agricultural policy and meet Midwestern tomato crop growers.

Featured Stories

Shopping cart in store
Consumers see food prices as rising more than other goods and services, find ways to adapt

More than 80% of consumers perceive that food prices have increased a little or a lot over the...

Read More
beets-student-farm
Registration is now open for upcoming Purdue Small Farm Education Field Day

Register for the Purdue Small Farm Education Field Day, an event featuring an array of...

Read More
Chris Wirth holding bug specimen
Behind the Research: Chris Wirth

Many people are involved in the remarkable range of programs, services and facilities that...

Read More
Purdue College of Agriculture.
Farmer sentiment recovers in May; interest in solar leasing rising

U.S. farmers’ outlook improved in May as the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy...

Read More
Ken Fuelling leans against a brown pole in an empty classroom. Empty chairs and a blank projector screen fill the background.
Promoting acceptance in agricultural education

Ken Fuelling (he/they) had already been accepted into graduate school to work with Sarah LaRose...

Read More
The 2024 Ecology of Natural Disturbances course students and faculty on a bridge in Smoky Mountain National Park
Smoky Mountain Spring Break Trip Brings Disturbance Ecology Coursework to Life

While some students headed to tropical locales for Spring Break excursions, those in the FNR...

Read More
To Top