Down on the farm: Noblesville resident continues family passion of agriculture


Farming isn’t a man’s world anymore, and one local resident isn’t afraid to get dirty working in agriculture.

Noblesville resident Rachel Hyde is continuing her love of agriculture as a seventh-generation farmer at Flanders A-Maizing Grain, the name of her family’s corn, soybean and sheep operation in Noblesville, where she grew up working on the farm alongside her older brother.

“My dad made sure that my brother and I had the same opportunities on the farm,” Hyde said. “It was important that his son and daughter were able to both have the skills to operate the farm. I’ve never been afraid to get my hands dirty and do the work.”

Hyde is committed to using her skill set and background to develop the next generation of farmers and raise awareness for the importance of agriculture. She is a member of the Hamilton County Farm Bureau board, a member of the local FFA Boosters leadership team, and an avid 4-H volunteer on the county level, while also judging sheep and goat shows across Indiana and neighboring states.

Outside of the family farm, she works at Beck’s Hybrids as a field sales marketing coordinator, serving as a liaison between the field sales team and the marketing department.

Hyde said as a child, she always knew she wanted to work in agriculture and noted that her mom and grandmother were also involved on the farm. However, she said more women are getting involved in the industry as organizations such as FFA and 4-H have equal or slightly more females than males.

“It’s definitely becoming more and more commonplace, and with actual farming as an occupation, it is male dominated, but in agri-business, the numbers are skyrocketing for women,” Hyde said. “For me, I never thought of it as a man’s world. I grew up doing everything my brother did, so I saw my mom, my grandma and my cousins really active, too.”

According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s latest Farm Census from 2017, more than 31,000 farmers in Indiana are women. In addition, 62 percent of undergraduate students in Purdue University’s College of Agriculture are female, according to the Indiana Farm Bureau. 

Hyde said her favorite part about being so involved with her family farm is the connections and the relationships that have been built along the way. She has done that by talking with others who have visited the farm or by being active at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds, she said.

“My biggest passion is sharing the story of farming and agriculture with others,” she said. “Agriculture is really special because it’s the only industry that really touches every single person on the planet.”

Other women, such as Isabella Chism, who is second vice president of Indiana Farm Bureau and chairs the American Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee, also play an important role in the industry. The leadership committee helps women realize their potential in the agriculture industry and take advantage of leadership opportunities.

“It’s always my goal to empower women to never be afraid of investing in themselves and support them in roles both on and off the farm,” Chism said. “There is no doubt that women make a difference in Indiana agriculture, whether they are driving the combine, running their own business, educating their community or advocating for agriculture on the local, state and even national level.”

Hyde also stays busy outside the farm. She won the 2022 Indiana Farm Bureau YF&AP Discussion Meet, where contestants participate in a group discussion that simulates a committee meeting and solve issues that impact agriculture.

In addition, she advanced to the national Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet held during the 2023 American Farm Bureau Federation annual convention, where she was the only female finalist to place in the top four of the competition.

“To me, it really wasn’t about winning the competition, it was about making connections with other farmers and professionals in the industry,” Hyde said. “At the end of the competition, a few female FFA state officers from Tennessee came over to me and mentioned how they had looked forward to watching me speak and admired how I represent ag. Those interactions made me realize I’m inspiring the next generation and made the whole competition worth it.”

Hyde’s advice to young women entering the agriculture industry is to be fearless.

“Ag is not a man’s world anymore, so be bold and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there,” she said. “We all have unique skill sets to make our own impact in ag and leave a lasting legacy in the industry.”

Hyde wants to continue impacting the young men and women she meets along the way, whether it’s at the county fairgrounds or through organizations such as FFA or 4-H.

“The thing that I want to instill in future generations is that working in ag and farming is a noble calling and it’s a great industry to be in,” she said. “I always tell people if you have any interest in helping others, agriculture is the spot to be.”

IMG 8323
Rachel Hyde, 25, talks about her involvement in agriculture and farming at her family farm March 27 in Noblesville. Hyde is a seventh-generation farmer who said she enjoys being able to touch lives and build relationships, especially in agriculture. (Photo by Adam Seif)

Meet Rachel Hyde

Age: 25

Husband: Michael

Occupation: Field sales marketing coordinator at Beck’s Hybrids and is also a seventh-generation farmer on her family farm in Noblesville

Education: Graduate of Hamilton Heights High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications with a minor in agronomy from Purdue University