Women in Agriculture honorees for 2014 are, from left, Elisha Modisett Kemp of Marion County, who received the Leadership Award, and Kerry Dull of Boone County, who received the Achievement Award.
Purdue Extension honored two women for their dedication and service to agriculture with the Women in Agriculture Achievement and Leadership awards Wednesday evening (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 Kerry Dull of Boone County. Dull was chosen for her integral part on the management team of Dull Family Farms, a 2,000-acre corn and soybean operation, and Dull's Tree Farm, a 30-acre choose-and-harvest Christmas tree operation that is also an agritourism venue.
The Leadership Award, given to a woman in an agribusiness or policy-making position, was awarded to Elisha Modisett Kemp of Marion County for leadership in her position as government affairs manager at Dow AgroSciences and for her work formerly at the Indiana Department of Agriculture, where she represented Indiana agriculture before the state Legislature.
"The Purdue Extension Women in Ag team is committed to providing educational opportunities, resources, and a network of support for all women in the agriculture industry," said Danica Kirkpatrick, engagement program manager for Purdue Agriculture and Women in Agriculture awards co-chair. "These awards allow us to recognize the women who lead by example and continue to help Indiana agriculture grow."
Dull became involved in Dull Family Farms when she married into the family in 1982. She has a detailed approach to problem-solving and opportunity exploration, which was an asset to the family business in 1985 when the farm expanded to include Dull's Tree Farm. Dull Family Farms now has a petting zoo and bed-and-breakfast that teaches guests about how food gets from the farm to the table.
Dull has promoted agriculture over the years in several ways, including in her position on the Boone County Farm Bureau board, teaching "Ag in the Classroom" programs in local schools and hosting tours of the family farm for schools. She is also involved in several nonprofit programs involving agriculture
Dull has served the 4-H in Boone County in many volunteer roles, including on 4-H council, fair board and leadership training committee and as a club leader and project leader.
Modisett Kemp, a native of Windfall, began her career in agriculture and has been an advocate for the industry ever since. In 2005 she became the first legislative liaison for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Her work included advocating for bioenergy, livestock production, diversified agriculture, international trade and pursuing innovative opportunities in environmental stewardship and conservation.
Modisett Kemp has shown devotion to agriculture also in her work at Dow AgroSciences, where she serves multiple states. She oversees state advocacy strategies necessary for the company to obtain product approvals. She identifies opportunities for innovation and engages with government officials to reconcile potential issues, and she advocates for appropriate science-based solutions.
Nationally, Modisett Kemp chairs the State Affairs Committee of the crop protection trade association CropLife America, where she leads her peers to anticipate, analyze and act on legislation that could harm modern agriculture.
The Women in Agriculture awards program is one of many programs sponsored by the Purdue Extension Women in Agriculture team. For more information, visit https://ag.purdue.edu/extension/WIA/Pages/default.aspx.