Spirit of Ruth

2019 Spirit of Ruth Recipients

The Spirit of Ruth Award recognizes Sigma Alpha Alumnae who embody the spirit of Ruth through active involvement, leadership, and commitment to the field of agriculture.

Recipients of this award demonstrate the ideals of Sigma Alpha by living the four pillars: Scholarship, Leadership, Fellowship, and Service in their personal and/or professional lives.

Join us in congratulating the 2019 recipients!

Jennifer Chandler Gish (nominated by Amy Fishback) – Oklahoma City

Jennifer graduated in 2005 from Murray State University with her BS in agriculture. She was a leader of the Beta class at the Alpha Upsilon Chapter. She volunteers her time with her local chapter to provide professional development programs for current Alpha Upsilon actives through resume building, career readiness and interview prep sessions. She also participated on a career panel for jobs in Agriculture at alumnae meetings for current active sisters.

Since 2008, she has been a regional manager for Indiana Farm Bureau, where she serves seven counties in Southwest Indiana and works with the grassroots members. She spends a lot of time on the road with her job, but because she believes in the organization and loves working with her volunteers and members, it is very rewarding.

She and her husband, Joe, and two children reside on their farm in Poole, Kentucky. She loves spending time with her family, singing in church and coaching her daughter’s softball team.

Michelle Wall (nominated by Molly Lass) – Salt Lake City

Michelle graduated in 1995 from North Dakota State University with her BS in communications and agriculture. She was a founder of the Upsilon Chapter and was the 1st inductee into the chapter’s Hall of Fame. She is an active alumna within the NDSU Sigma Alpha Alumnae Chapter and has traveled to many national conventions. She has participated at a national level by presenting at the 2017 National Convention in Columbus, Ohio and opens her arms to any sister.

She is a Certified Dale Carnegie business coach who works with organizations, teams and individuals to boost performance, implement change and develop and execute strategy.

In 2015, she was named a Prairie Business Top 25 Women in Business, is a founding partner in CTB Women’s Leadership Program and volunteers on several planning committees.

Michaele Wiegert (nominated by Rebecca Dobbins) – Indianapolis

Michaele graduated in 1987 from Purdue University with her BS in animal science. She was an active member of the Beta Chapter, served as the National Board Treasurer from 1993 – 1995 and is an active member of the Purdue University Alumnae Chapter. Her 90 year-old mother is a strong supporter of Purdue, Sigma Alpha and Michaele. Michaele and her Sigma Alpha candidate class celebrated her mom’s 90th birthday in October.

She is a farm loan officer and marketing coordinator for the USDA/Farm Service Agency where she has 31 years of service with the USDA. In her spare time, she continues to foster a program she started with the Beta Chapter. The program pairs a Beta alumna or a Sigma Alpha alumna who has moved into the area to provide a 60-90 minute talk with the Beta Chapter sisters.

She loves photography, gardening, working out in the yard, attending Purdue men’s basketball games, watching Nascar races and Purdue football on TV, and being involved with her mom’s activities.

Elizabeth Pugh Farrell (nominated by Laura Parker) – Richmond

Beth graduated in 2002 from North Carolina State University with her BS in animal science. She is an alumna of the Alpha Theta Chapter.

She joined the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in 2010 and is currently serving as an agricultural programs specialist. She is making contributions to a broad range of activities to strengthen and enhance agriculture in the state that directly impact farmers and agribusiness. She also works with North Carolina tobacco farmers and tobacco industry.

She has held numerous leadership positions in the agricultural industry and is an active North Carolina State alumna. She has also had the opportunity to serve on short term mission trips to India and Haiti. Beth and her husband, Kevin, reside in Cary, NC and recently planted 150 blueberry plants on Kevin’s family farm and are establishing Pack House Farm, a pick-your-own operation near Jordan Lake, NC.

  • I love Sigma Alpha because of the wide network of women in agriculture that is available to me.

    Kim Stassen
  • I LOVE Sigma Alpha because it has provided me with opportunities, experiences, and sisters that I will cherish my entire life!

    Jessica Graham
  • I love Sigma Alpha because it’s given me opportunities I didn’t know existed and has been a key player in shaping me into the professional I am today!

    Jordan Bonham
Ann MollSpirit of Ruth Recipients