Campbellsport, Wisconsin, resident and Dairyland Seed employee Karlene Lindow Krueger will have the unique distinction of being recognized in a new Smithsonian exhibit opening in July 2015.
As the first female member of Future Farmers of America (FFA) to earn the prestigious American Star Farmer Award, Krueger’s iconic blue FFA jacket will be on rotational display with four other notable FFA alumni, including former President Jimmy Carter. Krueger’s story of entrepreneurship, determination and her record of accomplishment will be highlighted alongside her FFA jacket.
“I was certainly surprised when I got the call from the Smithsonian Institution,” recalls Krueger. “I feel truly honored they want to display my jacket, in part, to acknowledge women’s role in shaping agriculture.”
Krueger received the award of FFA American Star Farmer in 2002. The distinction is the most prestigious award an FFA member can earn for their agricultural entrepreneurship project or Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE).
“I put a lot of heart and soul into my SAE and never thought in a million years that I would win,” Krueger said about her dairy, beef and swine project. She attributes her success to her work ethic and is thankful that her project brought her and her father closer together.
The FFA jackets will be featured in an exhibit titled, “American Enterprise,” which is designed to document America’s business history and showcase America’s business heritage over the past 240 years.
“Agriculture is a critical part of American history and there is no better example of youth preparation for the challenges of the field than participation in FFA,” Smithsonian Curator Peter Liebhold said. “With growing interest in environmental stewardship, food security and an independent life, agriculture is an increasingly attractive profession for a diverse group of Americans, as exemplified by our donors.”
Krueger’s donated jacket will rotate on display with the jackets of former President Jimmy Carter; Corey Flournoy, the first African American national FFA president; Jesse Goldbold, a dedicated supporter of agriculture for over 50 years; and Mary Louise Reynnells, a pioneering FFA chapter leader from California who was one of the first women to hold leadership roles such as treasurer, president and FFA delegate at the state convention.
“We are so proud of Karlene,” says Tom Strachota, General Manager of Dairyland Seed. “Her deep roots in agriculture and work ethic represent the values that we and our customers hold dear.”
Krueger, along with her husband and children, farm in Campbellsport raising hogs they sell to youth in their community for use in FFA and 4H projects. At Dairyland Seed, she offers support and guidance to farmers and sales managers who work with them as they make their seed purchases.
About Dairyland Seed
Dairyland Seed began its seed business in 1907 and has built an established dealer network throughout the Midwest, with international sales in more than 20 countries. The business experienced great success under the leadership of Orville and Marie Strachota, entering the field of plant breeding in 1977. Now part of Dow AgroSciences, the family leadership continues through their son Tom and grandson T.J. Dairyland Seed is headquartered in West Bend, Wis.