club provides outlet for children in East Chicago
Members of the J.U.B.I.L.A.N.T. 4-H Club at the Roberto Clemente Center in East Chicago hold up some of their crafts. Club leader Luz Wilson (center) said the projects help children express themselves positively.
Luz Wilson has worked with kids for more
than 20 years, but considers her current assignment one of the most rewarding.
As leader of the J.U.B.I.L.A.N.T. 4-H Club in East Chicago, Ind., “Ms. Luz,” as
she is called by the children, teaches the youth how to positively express
themselves, be creative and stay healthy.
Working together is a
big part of the learning, “and there are no negative words here,” she said.
Children in the club learn skills from making baskets to robotics.
The 4-H club is one
of three located in Lake County funded by a national grant from the National 4-H Council and Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Purdue Extension received funding, based on the proven
success of 4-H mentoring programs, to provide this opportunity to youth in Lake
County who might not otherwise be able to participate.
Wilson said her club
has made a difference in the lives of local 10- to 14-year-olds. “When they see
they have finished a project, they feel good about themselves,” she said.
Club member Sandra
Olivarri said, “I have learned to better express myself, be active and healthy,
and work together with other kids and get along.”
By Beth Forbes
College of Agriculture enrollment increases
Enrollment in the Purdue University College
of Agriculture increased
slightly for the 2012-13 academic year, led by higher numbers of freshmen and
enrollment is 3,289, compared with 3,283 last year. Agriculture students
represent 8.4 percent of the 39,256 students at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.
agriculture and related majors remains strong, and interest continues to grow
as evidenced by the size of the incoming class,” said Marcos Fernandez, associate dean and
director of academic programs.
is 499, up 3.3 percent from last fall’s incoming class. Graduate student
enrollment grew from 596 to 631 in that same period.
Eighty percent of
undergraduate agriculture students are from Indiana.
“This is an exciting
time for students coming into agriculture because the opportunities that are
out there for them continue to expand,” Fernandez said.
grad student enrollment up in College of Agriculture
By Steve Leer
rising at record pace
Farmland values rising at record pace.
investors in Indiana and surrounding Corn Belt states plan to continue buying
despite some concerns that the market might not be able to sustain recent,
rapid price increases, according to a Purdue University agricultural economics study, “Farmland Values: Perspectives from the Field.”
Farmland values have
risen considerably in the past decade nationwide, especially throughout the
Corn Belt, including Indiana. The most productive farmland in Indiana doubled
from 2004 to 2011, increasing from an average of $3,278 per acre to $6,521.
From 2010 to 2011 alone, Indiana farmland values jumped by 22.8 percent.
“The rapid increases
have led some people to speculate that the farmland market is in a bubble,”
said Brent Gloy, professor of agricultural economics and director of
Center for Commercial Agriculture, which conducted
the survey. “This study helps us answer questions about what’s driving farmland
Gloy said the
findings indicate that the market is still searching for equilibrium prices
after the dramatic crop price increases over the last decade. The limited
amount of farmland for sale further complicates the situation.
Survey: Indiana farmland values, cash rents soar
real-time data for Lake Michigan
A new buoy four miles off the coast of Michigan City, Ind., in Lake Michigan provides real-time information on lake conditions for boaters and others interested in near-shore waters. Photo by Anjaanette Riley
beach-goers visiting the Indiana shoreline of Lake Michigan now can learn
current conditions such as water temperature, wind speeds and other information
provided by a new environmental sensing buoy.
Placed four miles off
the coast of Michigan City, the buoy is the first of its kind in the Indiana
waters of Lake Michigan.
Jointly operated by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and the Purdue
University Department of Civil Engineering, the buoy will
advance the understanding of near-shore waters, alert the public to hazardous
conditions, protect water quality and improve weather forecasts.
Snapshots of lake
conditions—wave height, wind speed and surface water temperature—updated in
10-minute increments are available on the Sea Grant website to swimmers, boaters
A webcam allows
visitors to see the area surrounding the buoy in real-time.
“People can easily
access information and better understand the effect real-time data collection
has on near-shore research and recreation,” said Carolyn Foley, assistant
research coordinator for Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, based in the Purdue
University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. “We plan to include
additional tools and applications that could be used to teach people about
near-shore ecology. We’re working with stakeholders to ensure that what we
develop is useful in terms of what data we collect and display.”
Purdue hosts school for top-notch lumber graders
Jeremiah Bockman (right), Syracuse, N.Y., and Eugene Troyer, Shipshewanna, Ind., check their measurements while grading pieces of lumber at Purdue’s John S. Wright Forestry Center.
University partnered with national and state hardwood lumber industry groups
this past summer in a training school that teaches students how to grade
The National Hardwood
Lumber Association’s Inspector Training School is a 10-week course designed to
teach students how to follow and use NHLA rules for hardwood lumber grading.
The Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association is a partner in the school.
Indiana ranks ninth nationally in total lumber production and third in hardwood
At the training school,
students learn which rules to apply in grading lumber and how to apply them,
said Dan Cassens, a Purdue Extension wood products specialist.
“In the lumber grading
process, students have to measure a board according to the rules, then do
calculations to determine the grade of the board,” Cassens said. “Normally,
they are looking for clear material between the various knots and defects, and
the grades they assign are tied to the price of the lumber.”
In addition to classroom
work, sessions were held at Purdue’s John S. Wright Forestry Center, a 424-acre
research and teaching property about eight miles west of campus. Students used
their newly gained knowledge to hone their lumber-grading skills.
Bonus Text: School draws students from around the world
The Inspector Training School began with two sessions of lectures and quizzes summer 2012 at Pfendler Hall on the Purdue campus. The third and fourth sessions were held at Martell Forest, and the students are using their knowledge to practice grading lumber as they continue to be tested on their classroom learning.
Most of this summer's students come from the Midwest, said instructor Rich Hascher, who has taught at the school for 20 years. The class demographics are not always so uniform.
"I've taught students from China, Japan, Holland, Germany, Myanmar, Peru, Argentina. Name a country - I've probably taught a student from there," Hascher said. "Approximately 50 to 60 percent of U.S. grade lumber is exported every year, and our international students are eager to learn how to grade our lumber and bring that knowledge back to their countries."
For student Jeremiah Bockman of Syracuse, N.Y., the school offers a chance to put himself on equal footing with other professional graders around the world.
"I've graded some lumber at my place of work, but attending the school has given me the solid foundation of an NHLA certification," Bockman said. "I feel like now I'm on par with everyone else rather than only knowing how it's done at one place. It's brought me closer to other graders who are building on this same foundation."
By Jessica Merzorf
Mentoring program helps prepare young moms
percent of all new mothers in Grant County are teens.