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DAA: Julio A. Penna

Julio A. Penna

Buenos Aires, Argentina | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 1998

After a wealth of global experience, Dr. Penna has traveled full circle and settled in his native land of Argentina.   As head of the Department of Economics in the School of Agricultural Sciences at the Catholic University of Argentina, he fills the rolls of teacher, researcher, and administrator.  Dr. Penna is also a senior economist at the Institute of Food Technology (INTA), a government-funded organization conducting agricultural research and establishing extension programs to provide the benefits of new technology directly to farmers.  Listed among INTA’s plentiful contributions are breeding developments in wheat, corn, potatoes, sugar cane, and cattle among others. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Buenos Aires and a master’s degree from INTA, Dr. Penna ventured to Purdue University.  Yearning to improve agriculture, and therefore, the quality of life for Argentines and other South Americans, Penna understood the need for international experience and understanding. For the past 25 years, Penna has continued to cultivate a relationship between Purdue and INTA as well as other universities he has been associated with, such as the Federal University of Vicosa in Brazil.  Penna has welcomed Purdue faculty to Argentina in an effort to establish joint research, teaching, and exchange programs.  He has also returned to Purdue himself, consulting with the deans of several Purdue schools. Dr. Penna’s research and teachings have made monumental contributions to economic policy reform in Argentina by liberating trade, reducing agricultural subsidies, and adopting modern agricultural technology.  His research provides convincing evidence to political leaders wishing to improve life for Argentina’s citizens.  By spreading the findings of his work through the written word and powerful oration, Dr. Penna has distinguished himself as an accomplished leader in all aspects of agricultural economics. For contributions to his profession and community, and for bringing distinction to his alma mater, Purdue University School of Agriculture is proud to present the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Dr. Julio A. Penna.