Vance York is truly a Pioneer. After graduating from Purdue in 1952, York began a 42-year career with Pioneer Hi-Bred International as district sales representative in Mt. Vernon, Ind. York retired in 1996, but not before accumulating a resume full of professional achievements.
From 1957-63, York was the editor of KERNELS magazine. From 1963-73, the Odon, Ind. native was Pioneer’s manager of agronomy services, conducting 30-50 meetings per year with farmers to discuss corn growing techniques.
Until his retirement, he was manager of Pioneer’s product management group (1989-96) in Des Moines. “Vance was a very dedicated Pioneer employee for 42 years. Besides his contributions to Pioneer, Vance made considerable contributions to Indiana agriculture and to the seed industry,” according to Pioneer vice president Bob Wichmann.
Indeed. York is past president of three agricultural organizations. York has directed the Indiana Future Farmers Association (FFA) Foundation, Indiana Seed Trade Association, and the American Forage and Grassland Council. He is also a past board member of the Indiana Crop Improvement Association and co-chair of the Indiana 4-H Foundation Corporate Development Council.
York received the Merit Award from the American Forage and Grassland Council. The FFA honored his dedication and service with the Honorary American Farmer and Honorary Hoosier Farmer awards, as well as the Distinguished Service Award.
Currently the treasurer and manager of York Farms Inc. of Worthington, Ind, York is active in the Pioneer Village held annually at the Indiana State Fair.
“Vance York is one of my most effective volunteers,” says Mauri Williamson, Pioneer Village director. “He is there almost every day. He expects nothing in return, except the opportunity to be an ongoing force in the agriculture that he loves so much. You can absolutely count on Vance York when there is a job to be done.”
As a member of the Des Moines Choral Society, York fulfilled a dream in 1995 of singing in New York’s famed Carnegie Hall. He currently sings first tenor in the Indianapolis Scottish Rite Chorus.
York married Reba Strickler in 1951. They currently live in Zionsville, Ind., and have three children and seven grandchildren.