Message From The Dean

Agriculture Holds the Solution to Many Global Problems

Food is an essential of life, whether in rural Indiana or rural Africa. As world population continues to grow, scientists must develop cropping systems that increase production for modern, domestic farms and also help subsistence farmers take more crop to market.

This Agricultures issue features Purdue Agriculture discovery, learning and engagement programs that improve food security, increase farm income and teach modern crop science at home and abroad.

• Two large-scale international efforts, funded by the Gates Foundation and U.S. AID respectively, include PICS, a storage-bag system that helps African farmers secure grain for post-harvest sale, and programs to rebuild war-torn Afghanistan’s agricultural economy.

• At Purdue, there’s renewed emphasis on recruiting plant sciences students to meet growing industry demand. A new plant sciences coordinator will deliver informative programs to teachers and pre-college students.

• A national consumer trend for locally grown food is creating new opportunities for Indiana’s small farms. Purdue Extension is helping communities develop new distribution systems, such as food hubs, that expand access to markets and improve the rural economy.

Looking to the future, some of the most pressing issues facing society revolve around feeding a growing population. Helping impoverished nations improve their agriculture and food systems is more than humanitarian aid. A strong agricultural economy helps lift people out of poverty, increases global stability and secures demand for Indiana and U.S. agricultural products.


Jay Akridge
Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture