(Posted Tue. Feb 7th, 2012)

Tolman (third from right) and his fellow Certificate of Distinction HonoreesFeb. 7:  Last week, the Purdue University Agricultural Alumni Association awarded National Corn Growers Association CEO Rick Tolman a Certificate of Distinction, the highest honor it bestows.  The association conferred this award in recognition of his exemplary and longstanding service to both the agricultural industry and his community. 


"Purdue Ag Alumni is honored to present such a distinguished group of professionals with our highest award, recognizing the many ways they have gone beyond the normal call of duty to perform their jobs and to serve others," said Donya Lester, the association's executive director. "Recipients represent the highest degree of achievement and commitment to our industry. Their leadership and their values of citizenship and service have transformed businesses, organizations and communities, and they are an inspiration to all of us who work in agriculture and natural resources."


Under Tolman's leadership, NCGA has grown in membership, checkoff funding and has increased its annual meeting in both size and stature.  These accomplishments allow the organization to more fully achieve its mission of increasing opportunities for corn growers across the nation.


During Tolman's tenure, the NCGA Corn Board set a vision for production of 15 billion bushels of corn, a third of which could be used for production of 15 billion gallons of ethanol by 2015. This plan subsequently became a part of energy legislation that President George W. Bush signed in 2007.


Prior to his tenure at NCGA, Tolman served farmers as executive director of the U.S. Grains Council, marketing planning manager for the Advanced Harvesting Systems Group at International Harvester Company and a market research analyst for the farm equipment maker Gehl Co. He earned a master's degree in agricultural economics from Purdue in 1978.


Along with seven of his peers, Tolman accepted the certificate during the annual Ag Alumni Fish Fry at the Marsh Blue Ribbon Pavilion on the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.