Penn State Ag Council honors agricultural leaders


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s secretary of agriculture, a college student from Carlisle and a statewide youth organization were honored when the Penn State Ag Council presented its 2010 Leadership Awards at the council’s fall delegate meeting Oct. 28.

The awards are given annually in three categories to acknowledge individuals and groups in Pennsylvania’s agricultural industries who innovate and inspire, said Mary Wirth, council executive director and director of college relations in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.


Recipients must demonstrate outstanding communication and advocacy skills; exhibit the highest levels of professionalism, performance and innovation; encourage personal development, partnerships, collaboration and respect; and serve as role models, mentors, diplomats and inspirations for others in the state.

They receive a Penn State Nittany Lion statuette from the council, and their names are engraved on a permanent display on the University Park campus.


This year’s recipients are:

Russell C. Redding, recipient of the Leadership Award, was confirmed as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Dec. 16, 2009. He previously served as executive deputy secretary for the department.

Sarah Wickard, a Penn State senior majoring in animal sciences with a minor in agribusiness management, received the Youth Leadership Award.

Wickard has served as a state FFA officer and as a Pennsylvania Alternate Dairy Princess. She is currently the president of the Dairy Science Club at Penn State and an officer in the Collegiate Farm Bureau.

Wickard has completed internships with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Dow AgroSciences and AgChoice Farm Credit. A Carlisle native, she owns 15 head of cattle with her younger sister, Kerri.

The Pennsylvania FFA Association was recognized with the Leadership in Action Award for helping its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways.

Nationwide, there are more than 520,000 FFA members, aged 12-21, in 7,487 chapters. Pennsylvania members number more than 7,600 in 148 chapters. Accepting the award was Clifford Wallace, president of the Pennsylvania FFA Association.

The Penn State Agricultural Council is an independent association of more than 90 organizations that represent agricultural or related interests in Pennsylvania.

For more information, contact Rhonda Demchak at 814-867-1816 or by e-mail at


Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!



Receive emails as this discussion progresses.