2021 Annual Report
January 2022 | By: James Mintert
Letter from the Director
We entered the second year of the pandemic like everyone else, hoping that things would return to normal in 2021. Although the environment we live and work in did not return to pre-pandemic status this past year, conditions did improve and by summer the Center was again able to conduct in-person programs. By fall nearly all Purdue students were back on campus, Center faculty were back to teaching all classes in person and the Purdue campus was vibrant with record enrollment in West Lafayette.
The year began with a dramatic shift as, for the first time, the Purdue Top Farmer Conference was held in early January using a virtual format. Over 500 participants registered for the conference which featured presentations by Purdue’s Jayson Lusk and Jason Henderson along with Iowa State’s Wendong Zhang. Using Zoom to conduct the conference opened up attendance to participants from around the nation as well as several international attendees!
Continuing a shift that got underway in 2020, the Center emphasized online delivery of information in 2021. The Center provided 15 webinars during 2021 along with 38 episodes of the Purdue Commercial AgCast podcast. The Center’s webinars during 2021 had over 10,000 registrants and Purdue Commercial AgCast had nearly 11,000 downloads.
The 2021 Purdue Farm Management Tour held in July was our first in-person program in over a year and Corn Belt producers were anxious to get back together. Over 250 producers and agribusiness personnel attended the Tour and Master Farmer reception held in southwest Indiana. Thanks to the Koester, Kron and Seib families for their willingness to open up their farming operations to visitors and to share their expertise on crop and dairy production, farm management strategies, succession planning and facility designs.
Making producers and agribusiness personnel aware of the information available from the Center is a challenge. The Center’s monthly newsletter Commercial AGNews has proven to be a good way to provide an update regarding upcoming programming as well as what’s new on the Center’s website to over 11,000 subscribers. Social media is also an important way to get information in user’s hands and during 2021 the Center provided over 400 social media posts viewed by nearly 2,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook.
The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer is the nation’s only monthly survey of commercial ag producers and provides insight into producer sentiment while also providing opportunities to learn more about producers’ reactions to contemporaneous events. Each month the Center publishes a report summarizing survey results, posts a short YouTube summary video and provides an in-depth podcast interpretation of the current month’s barometer survey, all accessible via the Center’s website. The barometer is widely reported in both the ag and business press and is the subject of a large number of media interviews each month.
Thank you for your interest in and support of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture. As always, if you have suggestions for future programs or research, or you just want to chat, we’d love to hear from you.
Download the full 2021 Annual Report (includes Center Activities, Webinars, Videos, Podcasts, Programs and Publications, Highlights, Council Members, and more).