Rensselaer, IN | Certificate of Distinction: 2007
Danita Rodibaugh is office manager and stockholder in Rodibaugh & Sons, a Jasper County farrow-to-finish and seedstock pork producer. Rodibaugh & Sons has 1,800 acres producing corn, soybeans and wheat. And the 400-sow operation markets 7,000 pigs annually. Rodibaugh received a B.S. degree in Consumer and Family Sciences Education from Purdue University in 1975.
Rodibaugh is responsible for all the financial records, herd records and the customer database for the family farm corporation. During her more than 30 years as part of the family partnership, she has amassed a distinguished record of industry service and advocacy. She is recognized within the pork industry as an expert on environmental issues. One nominator said, “Few people have been fortunate to leave such a leadership legacy for animal agriculture as Danita. She is a leading American agricultural spokesperson.”
Locally, Rodibaugh has been active in her church and has served as a 4-H leader, and she has been an active member of the Jasper County Pork Producers. At the state level, she has served as a member or officer of numerous agricultural commissions and organizations. She was a charter member and one of the longest serving members of the board of the Indiana Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development (ICARD) where she assisted in drafting the initial strategic plan for Indiana agriculture and served on the Environment Committee. In 2005 she became a charter member of the advisory board of the newly formed Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Rodibaugh is active in Indiana Farm Bureau where she serves on the Livestock and Poultry Policy Committee. She is a member of the Purdue Animal Sciences Advisory board and the Purdue Agricultural Policy Group. She is a past president of the Indiana 4-H Foundation and currently serves as a board member. Rodibaugh is also a board member of the Indiana Agricultural Leadership Institute.
Her pork industry leadership at both the state and national levels has been extensive. She has served on the board of the Indiana Pork Producers Association Board for 10 years and is past chairman of their public policy committee. In 2001 the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture named Rodibaugh to the National Pork Board (NPB) that administers research, promotion and consumer information projects supported by the Pork Checkoff. She is past chair of NPB’s Budget Committee and the Budget & Plan of Work Task Force. She is a former member of both the Producer & State Relations and the Foodservice Advisory Committees. While Vice President of NPB in 2004-05, Rodibaugh championed the board’s Operation Main Street project that trained 200 producers to communicate with their neighbors and their communities about pork production in the 21st Century. In 2005 Rodibaugh was elected President of NPB. During her presidency she was a leading spokesperson for the industry, frequently cited in media reports on environmental and nutrition topics. Currently the NPB immediate past president, she is chair of the board’s Nominating Committee and serves on the Administrative Committee, Nutrition Committee, Environment Committee and Trade Committee.
Rodibaugh has been recognized for her leadership with the Meritorious Service Award from the Indiana Pork Producers and the Spirit of Extension Award from the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialists Association. In 2003 she received a Special Boilermaker Award from Purdue President Martin Jischke for her efforts in coordinating Purdue Day in Jasper County. In 2001, Purdue’s School of Consumer and Family Sciences honored her with its Hidden Diamond Award, given to those who are “unsung heroes” who have been instrumental in building families and communities.