Linton, IN | Certificate of Distinction: 2006
Earl Robertson is a retired Professor and Department Chair of Agribusiness at Vincennes University, where he founded the Agribusiness Department and taught for 25 years. A native of Sullivan County near Dugger, Robertson received his A.S. degree from Vincennes University, then went to Purdue where he earned his B. S. in Agricultural Education in 1956. In 1970 he received his M.S. in Agricultural Education from Purdue.
After receiving his undergraduate degree from Purdue, Robertson worked for three years as a quality control manager for Naas Foods in Portland, Indiana. In 1959 he became a farm chemical salesman for Armour, later Texaco, fertilizer company in Southern Indiana. In 1970, with assistance from Purdue, Robertson developed the Agribusiness program at Vincennes University (VU). In his 25 years as a professor he impacted the lives of hundreds of students, many from other countries. While at VU he was advisor to the Distributive Education Club of America (DECA) chapter, setting up competitions for several years for local high school students. The VU DECA students won many district, state and national awards, and his leadership ass DECA advisor was recognized at the state and national levels. He conducted on the job training programs at VU and taught many night classes at Vincennes, Jasper and Washington. Robertson made it a point to stay connected to, and current with the trends, in agriculture so that he could best prepare his students for the workplace. As one nominator said, “With limited resources he built a well respected program for VU students that served the needs of the agriculture community. . . . His passion for helping students was unmatched.”
Outside the classroom Robertson gave frequent presentations to vocational agriculture classes, Farm Bureau meetings, ag chemical sales meetings and DECA meetings. He served as president of the Valley Management Association from 1991-92, and he was a 4-H leader and served as a judge of 4-H projects at several county fairs. Robertson is a member of tehe Indiana Retired Teachers Association where he currently serves on the Legislative Committee. He served a 4-year term on the Switz city Central School board, and is a member of the Green County Retired Teachers Association where he has served as vice president. Robertson is active in Hickory United Methodist Church, having held every office and taught Sunday School for many years. He has represented the church as a Conference Delegate for many years and, until becoming active with Gideons, was a Lay Speaker. As a member of Gideons International, Robertson has served in several district and state offices and has spoken at churches throughout Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.
Robertson has been recognized for his accomplishments throughout his career. In 1963 he was the Regional Sales Winner for Vertigreen fertilizer. In 1994 Vincennes University honored him with its Big Apple Award which is presented annually to faculty and staff who demonstrate dedication to student success. And in 2000 he received the Outstanding Service Award from the Vincennes University Business Area. In addition, the home countries of several of his international students have presented Robertson with Distinguished Service awards.