The long-time editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom Budd, passed away just a bit past one year ago. But his memory will now live on through a scholarship established for a student in ag communications at Purdue University.
Budd grew up on a livestock farm near Lebanon, Ind. His father, Durbin, Tom and his twin brother, Dave, retired but still living on the farm, were well-know on the 4-H circuit and in the Shorthorn cattle business for many years.
Budd began covering agriculture with Prairie Farmer around 1960. At that time there was only an Indiana edition. Budd wrote Perspectives in Ag Research, the forerunner to the long-running Hi-Tech Farming column now appearing in Indiana Prairie Farmer and several other Farm Progress Companies state farm magazines, including Prairie Farmer in Illinois. He became the first editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer once it was spun off as a magazine on its own in the '70's.
Budd later became editorial vice-president for all of Farm Progress Companies. At one time he managed the editorial staff for 35 state and national magazines. In addition, he also was responsible for farm shows, and helped begin two new farm shows.
The award will be known as the Tom Budd Indiana Prairie Farmer Freshman Purdue Ag Communications award, and will be awarded each year to a student in the first year of the Purdue ag communications program.
This year's winner is Amanda Blakely, Oakland City, Ind. She's active in her local FFA Chapter, and is now pursuing ag communications as a freshman student in the Purdue College of Agriculture.
Natalie Federer, counselor and instructor for ag communications students, and Tom J. Bechman, current editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, presented the award to Blakely earlier this year. Federer says that it is extremely helpful to have an award to offer incoming freshmen who are interested in ag communications.
Amanda Blakely will be the first name appearing on a permanent plaque denoting the award. It will hand in the Ag Administration Building in the College of Agriculture at Purdue.
Congratulations, Amanda, and thanks once again, to Tom Budd and his dedication to Indiana farmers and aspiring ag writers.