Skillman Names New Advisory Board

Fifteen ag leaders selected to serve. Tom J. Bechman

Published on: May 6, 2005

A rolling stone gathers no moss…that should be on a placard in Lt. Governor Skillman's office. The Secretary of Agriculture and her Director of the new Department of Agriculture, are wasting no time in implementing new plans for agriculture in Indiana.

The ink was barely dry on the bill creating a Department of Agriculture when Lt. Governor Skillman announced members of the new Ag Advisory Board. The board, a quasi replacement for ICARD, was established in the language of House Bill 1008 that created the new Indiana Department of Agriculture.

Some farmers were tapped for the board, but not as many farmers as agbusiness leaders. Skillman went for heavy hitters, folks in the grain and forestry industries within the state. These folks should be in a good position to advise Skillman and Miller as to not only trends in Indiana agriculture, but as to what the state could do to make value-added agriculture closer to reality. Those functions were established as the role of the new Ag Advisory Board through the legislation that created it.

New members include:

  • Sonny Beck, Atlanta, Beck's Superior Hybirds
  • Jo Ann Brouilette, West Lafayette, Demeter Grain, LP
  • Harold Cooper, Columbus, Premier Ag Co-op
  • Phillip Gramelspacher, Jasper, Jasper Desk Company
  • Richard Halderman, Wabash, Agricultural Real Estate Investors LLC
  • Danita Rodibaugh, Rensselaer, Rodibaugh & Sons, Inc.
  • Linda Schanlabu, Rochester, Macy Elevator, Inc.
  • Jim Schriver, Montpelier, farmer/ Indiana Soybean Board
  • Roger Seger, Jasper, Wabash Valley Produce, Inc.
  • Charlie Smith, Indianapolis, Countrymark Cooperative LLC
  • Steve Smith, Elwood, Red Gold Inc
  • Mark Townsend, Hartford City, Townsend Farms
  • Howard Unger, Carlisle, Unger Farms
  • Richard Wertz, Franklin, Amos Hill Associates (Veneer)
  • Mike Yoder, Middlebury, The Udder Guys Co. LLC and Crystal Valley Dairy Farms.

Two ex-officio members will also serve. They include Randy Woodson, Dean of the College of Agriculture at Purdue University, and Kip Tom, Leesburg, a farmer and recent appointee to represent agriculture on Governor Daniels' Indiana Economic Development Corporation Board.