, | Certificate of Distinction: 2000
Harry Pearson is described as “a quiet, unassuming leader of people who has dedicated his life to the betterment of agriculture” by Thomas Reed, Vice President of MLE Marketing. As president of Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc. for more than 12 years, Pearson has been in an ideal position to pursue this noble goal, and he has succeeded on a number of fronts.
Pearson graduated from Purdue University in 1959 with a B.S. in Animal Husbandry. His first job after graduation was working as a herdsman on Purdue's beef and dairy farms and as an administrative assistant in the Animal Sciences Department. In 1968 Pearson became a regional field assistant for the Farm Bureau organization, a position he held until 1974. He served as a director of Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc. from 1975 to 1982. In 1983 he was elected vice president of Indiana Farm Bureau, and he became president in 1987. A native of Grant County, Pearson is involved in his family's Blackford County farm in partnership with his brother Joe.
“Harry spends endless time serving the profession he loves,” says Larry Tyler, retired Blackford County extension educator. “He works tirelessly helping agriculture at the local, state and national levels.”
Pearson, as president of Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc., also serves as president of the United Farm Family Mutual Insurance Company of Indiana, the United Farm Family Life Insurance Company, and the Indiana Farm Bureau Service Company.
He is a member of the board of directors of both the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Michigan Livestock Exchange. He is a past member of the board and executive committee of the National Producers Livestock Association. Pearson also was a member of USDA's Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee.
At the state level Pearson serves on the boards of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association and Milk Promotion Services of Indiana. He is also a member of the Indiana State Fair Commission and the Citizens’ Tax Commission. He is a past member of the Indiana 4-H Foundation Sponsors Board; the board of the Indiana Institute of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition; the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee; and the Purdue University President's Advisory Council.
In his home county, Pearson was appointed a Blackford County Commissioner in 1979. He served as commissioner until 1983, when he resigned to assume the vice presidency of Indiana Farm Bureau, inc. Pearson is a member of Gideons International and is an active member of the Oak Chapel United Methodist Church, where he serves on the board of trustees.
In 1993, President-elect Bill Clinton recognized Pearson’s agricultural expertise when he invited Pearson to be one of 100 participants, and the only one from Indiana, at his Economic Summit at Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1993 Governor Evan Bayh named Pearson a Sagamore of the Wabash. Purdue University's School of Agriculture honored Pearson as a Distinguished Agricultural Alumnus in 1993.