A local bank has been honored for its farm lending.

The American Bankers Association this week unveiled its Top 100 Farm Lender list for the nation and it included First Bank of Berne.

The list is determined by farm loan value.

“It is an honor to be recognized as one of the nation’s leading ag lenders for the second year in a row,” said First Bank of Berne agribusiness manager Rick Gentis in a press release. “I am proud of our team and the knowledge, experience, and expertise they offer our customers. Their service and commitment is paramount to the continued growth and success of our area.”

First Bank of Berne, which operates a branch in Portland, serves communities in northern Indiana and northwest Ohio.



BSU names

Ball State University announced this week that it has selected Rashida Willard as its new associate vice president of inclusive excellence.

Willard, who will start in the new position Sept. 19, previously served for about seven years at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, most recently as vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion.

“We are excited to welcome Willard, whose compassion and enthusiasm make her an excellent fit to lead our Office of Inclusive Excellence,” said BSU chief strategy officer Charlene Alexander in a press release. “Inclusiveness is one of the enduring values that guides our University to a bright future, and with Willard’s leadership, we will continue the hard work necessary to overcome barriers in diversity, equity and inclusion …”



Hospitals honored

IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital of Muncie was among 37 hospitals in the state that were honored through the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines initiative.

The effort is designed to improve outcomes for Americans who experience heart disease or stroke.

IU Health Ball received the Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll, Gold Plus and Target Stroke Honor Roll stroke awards.

“Every 40 seconds, someone in America has a stroke or heart attack,” said Dr. William Gill, a cardiologist on the American Heart Association’s Indianapolis Board of Directors. “Access to high-quality care is something that everyone should have …”

Other area hospitals that received honors included Reid Hospital in Richmond, Community Hospital in Anderson and Parkview Health and Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne.



Purdue awarded

International Data Corp.’s inaugural IDC Future Enterprise Best in Future Connectedness North America Awards program named Purdue Research Foundation’s private wireless project in Discovery Park at Purdue University as its overall winner.

The project at Purdue uses a private mobile network to provide connectivity to enable commercial and smart city uses.

“With the rise of unlicensed cellular spectrum and private mobile networks, communities like Discovery Park District now have the power to chart their own course in terms of what advanced services and applications they can deliver to their members,” said Purdue Research Foundation chief innovation and collaboration officer David Broecker in a press release.



Tyson provides

Tyson Foods this week announced $1.5 million in grants to 63 non-profit organizations in support of hunger relief and community assistance programs.

Those receiving grants included Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, which provides service in Jay County.

Tyson operates Tyson Mexican Original in Portland.

“We’re committed to relieving hunger and are honored to support organizations that work hard every day to help communities impacted by food insecurity,” said Tyson senior director of business operations, sustainability and strategy Tim Grailer in a press release. “These grants will support hunger relief agencies across the country increase their capacity and provide greater access to protein.”



Walmart partnering

Walmart this week announced a partnership with health and wellness hospitality company Getaway as part of an effort to “make traveling to nature even easier and convenient.”

The result will be new shopping options including The General Store by Walmart at some Getaway Outposts. The first will open in Wimberley, Texas, next month. Others are planned for Connecticut, California, New York and Missouri.