Wayne Dillman is the retired Legislative Director of the Indiana Farmers Union, now serving as a lobbyist with Indiana Farm Bureau. A native of Morgan County, Dillman graduated from Purdue University in 1951 with a B.S. in Animal Husbandry. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, returning to Green Township in Morgan County to operate his family farm.
Dillman has dedicated his life to serving agriculture as a public affairs advocate, a career that spans 40 years. As one nominator said, “During that time, there has not been any significant agricultural legislation passed in Indiana without his review and counsel.” He represented both state and national interests during his long career with Indiana Farmers Union. He served as the organization’s lobbyist for 34 years, and also served as President, 1st Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer. He served on the National Farmers Union Executive Board and as Chairman of the Audit and Budget Committee.
Dillman is also an accomplished storyteller, humorist, author and historian, and is a member of the National Association of Storytellers. He has published a book, Growing Up Country, about rural life around Banta, Indiana.
Dillman has been tapped for service by many public boards and commissions, including: Indiana Commission for Agriculture and Rural Development (ICARD); the Indiana Governor’s Citizen Commission on Taxation; and the Hoosier Farmland Preservation Task Force. He is a charter member of the Center for Agricultural Science and Heritage, which relocated and refurbished the Normandy Barn on the grounds of the Indiana State Fairgrounds. He has also served as a member of the board of the Indiana FFA Foundation and the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association (1992-2006).
After his retirement from Indiana Farmers Union, Indiana Farm Bureau hired Dillman to join their state lobbying team. In addition, he is a key volunteer for the Pioneer Farm and Home Show, a project of the Purdue Ag Alumni Association at the Indiana State Fair. During the fair, he is one of Pioneer Village’s senior historical interpreters and serves as the announcer for the daily antique farm machinery exhibitions. During the month preceding the fair, he cooks for the dozens of volunteer workers who set up the show’s exhibits. In 2009, the Indianapolis Star published a feature about Dillman’s lunches, and the dignitaries he hosts alongside the volunteers each day.
In his local community, he has served as a member of the Martinsville School Corporation Board; Morgan County Veterans Memorial Committee; and the Green Township Trustee Advisory Board. His civic memberships include the Masonic Lodge, Shrine Lodge and the American Legion. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Martinsville.
In recognition of his professional service and accomplishments in rural and agricultural public policy, Dillman has been honored by the Indiana General Assembly and he was named a Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Joe Kernan.