Hardin, a 1967 graduate in agricultural economics, was cited for providing leadership for animal agriculture while operating a 1,400-acre swine and grain farm in Hendricks and Marion Counties that is a "model of efficiency and incorporation of technology." His 6,OOO-hog farrow-to-finish operation was the winner of the 1982 Pork All-American Award.
Hardin was selected Indiana's Pork All-American, and was named an Indiana Prairie Farmer Master Farmer.
Hardin is president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and chairman of the Legislative and public policy committee of the Indiana Pork Conference, and has served on the executive board of the Indiana Pork Producers. He was instrumental in adopting the slogan, "Pork-The Other White Meat." He was the first president of the Hendricks County Pork Producers Association, and serves on the organization's board of directors, and on the county's Cooperative Extension Service board of directors.
Hardin is a former chairman of the Agricultural Advisory Committee of the Chicago Board of Trade, and represents the NPPC on the Board's Advisory Committee. He is a member of the executive committee of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, and chairman of its Pork Committee. Hardin has testified before Congress, and has hosted numerous foreign dignitaries, including Secretary of Agriculture Edward Madison and Russian president Boris Yeltsin.
He served as president, vice president and national affairs coordinator of the Hendricks County Farm Bureau, and as chairman of its Young Farmer Committee. He also served five years as Indiana's representative on the American Farm Bureau Swine Committee: He served as chairman of the Advisory Committee to the Hendricks County Plan Commission, and as a trustee of the Hendricks Community Hospital.
Hardin has served as chairman of Ag Committee 208 Water Pollution Control Plan for the eight-county area around Indianapolis, and was a member of the Governor's Rural Policy Commission. He is also a director of the Indiana Institute of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition.
Hardin has been an Indiana representative on the National Council on Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching. He is a member of the Dean of Agriculture's Advisory Council and Dean's Club, and the Purdue President's Council. He received the Gamma Sigma Delta Alumni Award of Merit, and was named a Purdue University Old Master. He is a member of the Bridgeport Masonic Lodge, the American Soybean Assn., and the National Corn Growers' Assn.