The Center's History
In 2010 Purdue faculty, along with leading members of the agribusiness and farming community, decided the time was ripe to form a Center for Commercial Agriculture focused on serving the educational and research needs of America’s commercial-scale farmers striving to generate the majority of their family’s income from production agriculture. With the support of five leading agribusinesses (AGCO, Dow AgroSciences, Farm Credit Mid-America, GROWMARK and Syngenta) that agreed to become founding members of our Industry Council, along with 10 outstanding farmers that agreed to serve on our initial Farmer Advisory Council, we launched the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture in early 2011. Professor Brent Gloy provided leadership to the Center, serving as its founding director in the Center’s early days. He was soon joined by professor Michael Langemeier, who became the Center’s associate director in 2012 following a long and distinguished career at Kansas State University. When Brent Gloy decided to leave Purdue and return to his family’s Nebraska farming operation in 2014, professor James Mintert formally joined the Center as director, having served as Purdue’s assistant director of Extension and, before coming to Purdue, as a professor and livestock economist at Kansas State University.
The Industry Council and Farmer Advisory Council helped establish several priorities for the new Center, in particular encouraging the Center to focus efforts on helping producers improve their managerial skills with an emphasis on managing risk and making better use of data generated by today’s farm businesses. In the intervening years, the Center has developed and offered a wide variety of programs focused on various aspects of farm management as well as supported applied research on topics of interest to commercial farmers. Today the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture is the nations’ leading provider of farm management education and applied research. Please take a few moments to tour the Center’s website to learn more about our programs and applied research developed by our contributing faculty and staff members.
President Abraham Lincoln signs the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1862, which turned public lands over to any state that agreed to use the land sale proceeds to maintain a college teaching agriculture and the "mechanic arts." In 1869, the Indiana General Assembly chooses the Lafayette area for the new institution and accepts a $150,000 gift from John Purdue, as well as $50,000 from Tippecanoe County and 100 acres from local residents. The legislature names the new school Purdue University. Groundbreaking began in 1871, on the first campus building. The first 39 students started class in 1874, with 6 instructors. Read the rest of Purdue's history here.