A Message from Dean Akridge

Continuing Our Legacy of Engagement
and Innovation

Published December 10, 2014

Dean Jay Akridge
Dean Jay Akridge

In 2014, we marked the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, which created the Cooperative Extension Service. Celebrating the centennial, we recognize that the expansion and support of Extension at the national and state levels are key to delivering programs that meet the needs of residents and communities.

This issue highlights some programs that are helping Indiana communities become more economically resilient and discoveries that move Indiana forward in agriculture and life sciences.

  • Animal agriculture is a multi-billion-dollar industry in Indiana. Research by Purdue animal scientists has implications for both improving the quality of meat marbling and growth efficiency in animals and developing new approaches to treating human diseases.
  • Nineteen research teams are advancing Indiana's leadership in plant and animal agriculture and rural development. In 2013, the state legislature funded AgSEED, a $1 million grant program. The research and education supported by AgSEED better positions Indiana for economic growth and jobs in food and agriculture.
  • Supporting small businesses builds a stable Indiana economy. County-based Extension tailors programs to local needs. In Clinton County, small-business owners benefit from a networking forum that also provides professional development. In Vigo County, Extension partners with the Indiana Small Business Development Center to sponsor Startup Weekend, an intense course for entrepreneurs.
  • The Purdue University Plant Sciences Research and Education Pipeline, a $20 million initiative, strengthens the university's leadership in developing improved crops to feed a rapidly growing world population. Construction on a leading-edge phenotyping facility will begin in spring 2015.

Purdue Agriculture and Extension are engaged at every level—from innovations to solve world hunger to local programs that enhance communities.

Jay Akridge

Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture