A Message from Dean Akridge

Agriculture Ingrained in Our Daily Lives

sunny field of corn 

Every day we see how agriculture affects our world in numerous ways. This issue of Agricultures showcases a few examples of this breadth—from research labs to classes on the Purdue campus and from urban centers to cattle farms around the state.

  • Animal scientist Paul Ebner has been researching bacteriophages—viruses that kill bacteria—since being captivated by their lunar module shape as an undergraduate. His fascination is paying off in research results. He uses phages to kill pathogens such as E.coli and Salmonella and make meat and fresh produce even safer.
  • Janet Ayres' "Dealing with Controversial Issues in Agriculture" class uses role-playing exercises where some students represent viewpoints opposed to ag. Ayres, a rural sociologist, says the experience helps students understand different perspectives and better prepares them to deal with real-world problems.
  • State climatologist Dev Niyogi and his team tested a computer modeling tool in Indianapolis that shows how green spaces can cool down the city's higher temperatures. The tool helps urban planners modify existing or design new cityscapes. Carmel, a suburb of Indiana's capital city, is a leader in eco-friendly design.

Also featured in this issue is Purdue Extension's bull test station at Feldun-PAC, which has helped improve cattle herds throughout the state, and the need to improve communication between the science community and the public about potentially controversial issues such as GMOs. These stories present just a few examples of how Purdue Agriculture is working to improve our lives and the environment in which we live.

Jay Akridge

Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture