Extension Education & Applied Agronomic Research in Corn Production
Purdue Corn Guy
P. Suresh Rao
Agronomy and Civil Engineering - Soil Physics & Water Quality
Maize Genetics & Genomics
Dr. Housley focused his Purdue research on the transport and metabolism of carbohydrates in cereal grains. He taught numerous graduate students in addition to Agronomy 285, World Crop Adaptation and Distribution. He has received many awards for his dedication to students including the College of Agriculture Award for Outstanding Service to Students in 2005 and the Agronomic Resident Educator of the Year Award in 2007.
After 41 years as a professor and advisor in the Purdue Agronomy Department, Dr. Herb Ohm retired in December. As a renowned plant breeder and geneticist, Herb was part of many world-recognized research opportunities with a focus on small grains. During his time at Purdue he advised and mentored 65 graduate students, many of whom have had notable careers. Herb was instrumental in building relationships with many international small grains research programs, which helped grow the diversity of the agronomy department. In 2004 he was named a distinguished professor of agronomy and from 2009-2010 served as interim department head of the department of agronomy.
David V. Glover
1962 – 2000
James R. Wilcox
Dr. Wilcox was the Research Leader of the USDA-ARS Crop Production and Pathology Research Unit in West Lafayette, IN for 20 years. He was involved in the development and release of 19 soybean cultivars and was responsible for the development of 9 of the 19. Dr. Wilcox also served as coordinator of the Uniform Soybean Tests Northern Region for 25 years.
John D. Axtell
1967 – 2000
Dr. Axtell worked toward international agricultural development through his work with sorghum digestibility. He is most well known for promoting teamwork through interdisciplinary research and won the Dean’s Team Award from the School of Agriculture at Purdue in 1998. Dr. Axtell was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America, and a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy.
H. Ronald Koller
1967 – 2000
Dr. Koller performed research on the mechanisms that lead to interactions between the growing seed and photosynthesis in leaves of the soybean plant and is a member of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the American Society of Plant Physiologists. He served on the editorial board of CSSA and as associate editor of Crop Science.
Charles B. Roth
1968 – 2001
Dr. Roth and two of his colleagues developed a system for the benefication of clays that received a US patent. He was also instrumental in bringing computer technology to the agronomy department at Purdue before other departments. Dr. Roth also served on the Board of Directors of ASSA and SSSA and was made a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America in 1997.
Donald P. Franzmeier
1967 – 2003
Dr. Franzmeier helped direct the Accelerated Soil Survey of Indiana in which the numbers of field soil scientists in the state were doubled in the 1970’s and 1980’s to hasten the completion of the "once-over" survey. He also served as the first chair of the registration board for registration of soil science by the state government and received the Commendation award from the Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Chris J. Johannsen
Dr. Johannsen has worked extensively with remote sensing applications of soil resources and land use and has served as program leader and director of LARS. He has also been committed to the development of distance learning courses at Purdue and established a joint Master Degree program in Earth Observation with the University of Leuven in Belgium. Dr. Johannsen served as International President of the Soil and Water Conservation Society and has authored/co-authored one book and over 225 research and education articles.
1964 – 2004
William W. "Bill" McFee
1965 – 2005
1969 – 2009
In his 40 years at Purdue, Dr. Vorst taught 10,000 students at three universities. He developed the Crops Resource Center at Purdue and helped them to add computer-assisted instruction. Since 1994, Dr. Vorst has been involved in the Certified Crop Advisor program. A Crop and Soil Science scholarship is established in his name at Purdue University.
Paul L. Crane
1951 – 1990
Dr. Crane was a consultant for the Rockefeller Foundation and was honored with membership in Alpha Zeta and Sigma Xi and with the Indiana Crop Improvement Association’s Crop and Soils Merit Award. He also developed one of the leading state corn performance testing programs.
James "Jim" Ahlrichs
1955 – 1990
Dr. Ahlrichs is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and of the Indiana Academy of Science and received the Agronomic and the Soil Science Education Award of the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America.
Eldon L. Hood
1957 – 1990
Dr. Hood served as director of the Purdue Soil Testing Lab for 12 years. He also taught forage crops, seed technology and grain grading in addition to advising the Agronomy Club in State 4-H and FFA crops contests. Under his guidance, the Purdue Crops Judging Team won the Kansas City event in 1979 and third place in Chicago. Dr. Hood is a member of the Indiana Academy of Science, American Society of Agronomy, and the Indiana Forage Council.
Jerry Vincent Mannering
Soil & Water Management
1967 – 1990
While at Purdue, Dr. Mannering worked in extension, research, and teaching of Soil and Water Management. His research made significant strides in controlling soil erosion and the effect of conservation tillage on soil properties related to plant growth and soil erodibility. Dr. Mannering wrote over 70 scientific publications and was a member of American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, and Soil and Water Conservation Society, among others.
William D. Treese, Sr.
1975 – 1990
Dr. Treese served as a Professional Agronomist for Purdue University in Vincennes, IN for 15 years. He is a member of NACTA, ASA, CSSA, and Gamma Sigma Delta. Dr. Treese was one of the first NACTA fellows and received several awards, including the Werner L. Nelson Award, the ABC Award from Vincennes University for Service Above and Beyond the Call of Duty, and the Big Apple Award for teaching excellence as rated by students.
Stanley A. Barber
1949 – 1991
Dr. Barber spent his entire professional career at Purdue University where he focused his research on soil nutrient uptake by plant roots using plant physiology, chemistry and physics, mathematics, and computer science. Dr. Barber is a fellow of the Indiana Academy of Science and the American Society of Agronomy, a member of the NAS, and has served on the boards of ASA, SSSA, and ISSS. He received the Honorary Member Award from National Fertilizer Solutions Association in 1978.
Marvin L. Swearingin
1961 – 1991
Dr. Swearingin served as grain crops extension specialist before travelling to Brazil where he spent two and a half years initiating a soybean field demonstration and extension program. After returning to Purdue, he focused on research in improved, cost-effective soybean cropping systems and plant response mechanisms to production variables. Dr. Swearingin had a close relationship with the Indiana Soybean Association, serving as executive secretary-treasurer or as a board member from 1967 – 1987.
Philip F. Low
1949 - 1992
Dr. Low worked with the application of thermodynamics to soils and clays and in the elucidation of reactions and processes in clays. As a teacher, he taught an advanced course in Physical Chemistry of Soils and supervised over 50 graduate students, post-doctoral students, and visiting scholars. He is a Fellow of ASA, SSSA, a member of the NAS, and a Distinguished Member of the Clay Minerals Society.
Marvin W. Phillips
1961 – 1994
Dr. Phillips was Head of the Department of Agronomy for twenty years, from 1971 to 1991. He was active in the US Department of Agriculture Task Force on Soybean Advancement, National Soybean Crop Improvement Advisory Board, and served as a consultant on international projects in Brazil, Burkina Faso, and Niger. He was also a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, and the Crop Science Society.
Charles L. Rhykerd
1960 – 1996
Dr. Rhykerd has been recognized for his excellence and accomplishment in both teaching and research and was awarded the NACTA Ensminger-Interstate Distinguished Teacher Award. He was committed to agricultural development internationally and taught many graduate students from Africa, Europe, Latin America, and New Zealand. Dr. Rhykerd used a team approach to forage-animal problem solving and cooperated with various other departments to accomplish research goals.
Marion F. Baumgardner
Dr. Baumgardner has worked to teach and promote agronomy in over 110 countries, including India and Argentina. While at Purdue, he was also involved in the interdisciplinary Laboratory for Applications of Remote Sensing (LARS) program. Dr. Baumgardner is a fellow of six professional societies and taught several soils classes at Purdue University.
Wyman E. Nyquist
1963 – 1998
Dr. Nyquist served as Agricultural Experiment Station statistician at Purdue. He taught four graduate level courses as well as statistical methods and quantitative genetics for graduate students. Dr. Nyquist served on 225 graduate thesis committees, one of the highest at Purdue. His research involved expressing the genetic variation among and within polycross progenies in terms of covariances of relatives and nonrandom-mating parameters.
Joseph E. Yahner
1973 – 1998
Dr. Yahner worked with the use and interpretation of soils information in residential development, on-site waste disposal, sewage sludge application on farmland, and interpretation of soil maps for productivity and assessment, favoring computer based soil maps. He taught a course in soils and land use, and was very experienced in land use policy and planning. Dr. Yahner was a recipient of the Indiana State Health Commissioner’s Award and the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialists Association Senior Award.
Harry H. Galloway
1958 – 1980
Larry A. Schaal
1956 – 1982
Professor Schaal served as the first U.S. Weather Bureau State Climatologist for Indiana at Purdue University 17 years and was the Indiana State Climatologist in the Purdue Agronomy Department for 10 years. He helped to coordinate a weekly weather and crop report and educated farmers in climatology by writing a monthly weather column in the magazine Prairie Farmer. Professor Schaal was president of the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Meteorological Society and a member of Sigma Xi.
Donald A. Holt
1964 – 1982
1955 – 1983
Dr. Wiersma was known as an authority on irrigating soils during his time at Purdue. He served as Director of the Purdue Water Resource Research Center for 17 years and performed lab studies of water holding characteristics of over 200 soil types in Indiana. He was often asked to speak in crop production extension schools and taught a plant-soil-water relations course for graduate students. From 1962-1963, Dr. Wiersma directed irrigation and evapotranspiration research for the Rockefeller Foundation Colombian Program.
Darrell W. Nelson
1968 – 1984
Dr. Nelson conducted research involving field and laboratory studies on using nitrification and urease inhibitors to reduce losses of nitrogen from soils and thereby increasing crop yields among other desirable benefits. He is a member of ASA, SSSA, International Soil Science Society, CAST, AAAS, Sigma Xi, and Phi Kappa Phi.
William H. Daniel
1950 – 1985
Dr. Daniel is co-inventor of the PAT System used in maintaining turf on heavily used areas such as football fields and is one of the leaders in developing the International Turfgrass Society. He has also received the American Society of Agronomy’s Agronomic Service Award, the Distinguished Service Award of the Golf Course Superintendents Association, and was inducted into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame in 1981.
1957 – 1985
Professor Spies was the supervisor of the Purdue-TWA Test Demonstration program in Indiana from 1957 – 1972. He worked in developing extension programs, taught a graduate course, and served as Chief-of-Party while assigned to the Purdue-USAID University Development Project in Brazil from 1965 – 1969. Professor Spies also received the Senior Award and the Extension Career Award from the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialists Association.
1970 – 1985
Dr. Sommers’ served as the major advisor to 13 grad students as well as the advisory committees of 50 grad students. He is best known for teaching graduate level soil chemistry. Dr. Sommers has chaired sessions of ASA meetings, of which he has been a part since 1967.
Alvin John Ohlrogge
Soil Fertility & Plant Growth Regulators
Dr. Ohlrogge was committed to increasing food production in order to feed the growing world population and focused his research on intensive crop management and fertilizer applications that contributed to greater corn yields. He also researched the use of growth regulators on corn and soybeans and published over 100 scientific papers. Dr. Ohlrogge was professor to 59 advanced degree students; 29 earned a Ph.D. He helped to found the Scarseth Scholarship Fund that supports graduate student travel in the Department of Agronomy at Purdue.
1949 – 1986
Byron O. Blair
1954 – 1986
Dr. Blair had a large role in creating Agronomy 398, also known as the Sophomore Seminar. He taught 12 courses at Purdue and received awards for outstanding teaching and counseling. Dr. Blair served as advisor to the Agronomy Club, during which time the club won both local and national awards for outstanding achievement.
Fred L. Patterson
Small Grain Improvement
1950 – 1986
Dr. Patterson developed many improved cultivars of small grains and played a major role in the development of five winter barley cultivars, twenty-four soft winter wheat cultivars, and nineteen oat cultivars. He was a consultant to the Rockefeller Foundation on Graduate Training of Latin American students, was a member of the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Pre-Doctoral Fellowship panel for two years, and was president of the CSSA in 1968 as well as the president of ASA in 1976.
LOYAL F. "PETE" BAUMAN |Genetics and Plant Breeding - 1959 – 1986
Dr. Bauman served as Chairman of the Purdue University Agricultural Experiment Station Corn Improvement Committee for 24 years and was Associate Editor of Crop Science and Maydica (an International journal on maize breeding and genetics). He also was a member of several ASA and CSSA committees.
Dr. Nelson worked with the American Potash Institute as the Midwest director and as an Adjunct Professor of Agronomy at Purdue University. He worked to shorten the time between the development of an idea and the acceptance of the idea by farmers through interpreting research data and training others to utilize that data more effectively. Dr. Nelson helped to develop organizations such as the Indiana Plant Food and Ag Chemical Association and the North Central Extension Industry Soil Fertility Workshop.
William C. "Bill" Moldenhauer
Soil Erosion Research
Dr. Moldenhauer served as the Research Leader for the National Soil Erosion Laboratory at Purdue through the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). His research centered around developing methods for controlling soil erosion and the erosion process, and his work has been recognized as understandable and usable. Dr. Moldenhauer served as project manager for a multi-state, multi-agency project that developed integrated conservation production systems for the Corn Belt.
Cyril B. Brown
Soil Chemistry, Mineralogy, & International Agriculture
Dr. Brown completed many international assignments for the United States Agency for International Development and has been a consultant on tropical soils for the American Technical Assistance Corporation, Research Analysis Corporation, Consortium for International Development, Texas Oil Co., Shell Oil Co., British Petroleum, and other international organizations.
JAMES E. NEWMAN
Biometeorology and Bioclimatology
1949 – 1987
Professor Newman served on the Advisory Board of the International Society of Biometeorology and was a member of a select committee of the National Defense University where he analyzed the impact of climate change on world food production. He was a USDA National Library Scholar in 1975 and received various awards such as the American Society of Agronomy Soils and Crops Journalism Award, the Fulbright Award, and the Purdue University Agricultural Alumni Association Certificate of Distinction.
1959 - 1987
1955 – 1987
Dr. Stivers served as director of the Purdue University Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory twice during his time at Purdue. He was in charge of handling the allotment of seed variety releases to certified seed growers in Indiana for over 20 years. His enduring work on the effects of nutrients is still used in undergraduate courses. In 1984, Dr. Stivers received the Indiana Crop Improvement Association Crops and Soils Merit Award and was a member of the Indiana Academy of Science.
1967 – 1987
Dr. Dale helped to develop an interdisciplinary program in agricultural meteorology between the Department of Agronomy and the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue. He is also served on several committees of the American Meteorological Society, chairing its agricultural meteorology committee in 1974, which laid groundwork for the entry of the AMS into the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology.
1947 – 1988
In his 41 years at Purdue, Dr. White directed 25 Ph.D. students, 5 M.S. students, and had 10 postdoctorals in his research program. He developed a course for graduate students in crystal structure and X-ray identification of clay minerals and taught the class for 28 years. Dr. White also played a valuable role in planning and establishing the Purdue University Soil Testing Laboratory in 1951.
A.R. "Rudy" Hilst
Associate Dean of Resident Instruction
Dr. Hilst was respected for his teaching and research abilities. He performed research on the morphological development of cereals in relationship to herbicides, leading to 15 scientific articles, publications, and talks at professional society meetings based on his findings. He was appointed Associate Dean and Director of Resident Instruction in the School of Agriculture at Purdue University where he was referred to by the students as "the Friendly Dean."
Dr. Probst made major contributions in the production, breeding, genetics, cultural studies, and quality investigations of soybeans. He was an active participant in many interstate university-industrial soybean conferences, and served as the soybean representative to the North Central Plant Introduction Committee, where he was largely responsible for encouraging the introduction of new germ plasm for use in breeding programs across the Midwest. He is an Honorary Life Member in the American Soybean Association.
Soil Conservation Science
1943 – 1970
Dr. Kohnke was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been a guest lecturer in Germany, Argentina, Colombia and Brazil. He wrote Soil Science Simplified II, which popularized soil physics concepts.
Dr. Reuszer was an active participant in regional and national committees and was one of the most active members in the North Central Regional Research projects on the nature of soil organic matter. He was the building deputy of Lilly Hall of Life Sciences from 1955 – 1970.
Herbert Ulrich taught soil classification and survey classes at Purdue University. He worked closely with soil conservationists in the Midwest and prepared manuscripts for county soil mapping. He served as director of the Soils and Fertility Institute from 1962 – 1963.
Professor Heath served as director of the Southern Indiana Forage Farm in Dubois County. His research included forage-animal-land use efficiencies on fragipan hill land soils. Professor Heath also was senior editor of Forages: The Science of Grassland Agriculture, a textbook used in the United States as well as Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries for 40 years.
Dr. Cutler made significant contributions to Indiana Agriculture through the development of the Indiana strain of red clover and was the first soybean breeder in the Midwest to use artificial hybridization in the development of a soybean variety. He was also an internationally recognized judge of small grains and served as a grain judge at the International Grain and Hay Show, the Indiana State Fair, and the State Show at Purdue.
1913 – 1953
Professor Robbins developed an advanced course in commercial grain quality which was the first of its kind in the United States and helped him to establish valuable contacts with the commercial grain industry. He served as advisor to the Purdue Agriculturist and the Purdue Agronomy Club, as well as coach to the Purdue Inter-Collegiate Crop Judging Teams. Professor Robbins also founded Ceres, an Agronomy Honorary Fraternity, which he advised from its creation in 1920 until his retirement.
Dr. Enfield was well respected in the fields of soil management extension and research. His leadership and communication with farmers and groups of farmers contributed to the rapid acceptance of new technology by American farmers. Dr. Enfield’s career at Purdue included not only his extension and research positions, but also work as a research chemist.
1925 – 1957
Professor Pence was the first to demonstrate the Purdue Soil Test Kit on the farm in 1934 and made marked improvements in crop yields during his 32-year tenure at Purdue. He is a Life Member of the Indiana Crop Improvement Association, Alpha Zeta, Epsilon Sigma Phi, Ceres Honoraries, Phi Sigma Kappa social fraternity, and received the Soils and Crops Award in 1953 for meritorious service to Indiana Agriculture.
Carl Thompson was appointed an Extension field agent in 1939, working with the Purdue Agronomy Department and T.V.A. He helped to organize the Farm Bureau in Dubois County and was also appointed Secretary Treasurer of Orange County A.A.A. in 1936.
Professor Bushnell worked on Land Classification in Region III for the Resettlement Administration and was an agricultural specialist in a Cornell University air photo interpretation team and for the Land and Agricultural Planning Commission in Burma. He was also in charge of the Indiana Soil Survey after 1921 and used aerial photographs as a base for soil survey. Professor Bushnell developed micro monoliths for sampling soils so field evidence could be easily preserved and stored.
Dean Fisher was in charge of the Purdue University Department of Agronomy in the School of Agriculture, Assistant Chief of the Soils and Crops Department in the Agriculture Experiment Station, and Assistant Dean of Agriculture, and Dean of Men. He was a member of the American Society of Agronomy, The Association for the Advancement of Agriculture, The Indiana Academy of Science, and the Audubon Society.
Professor Wiancko served as the first Agronomy Department Head and was responsible for creating the Purdue Soils and Crops Department, in which he taught both crops and soils classes. He also conducted cooperative research with farmers and introduced soybeans to the cornbelt in 1904. Professor Wiancko was also a judge in local and state grain shows.
Dr. Scarseth was the Purdue Agronomy Department Head from 1943-1944. He supervised 11 graduate students including Alvin Ohlrogge, a Purdue Agronomy professor, and Ozzie Luetkemeier, a Purdue Agronomy Farm superintendent. He was president of the Soil Science Society, received the Freedom Foundation Award in 1951, and was a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy. The George D. Scarseth Memorial Endowment, established in 1977, is named after him and funds trips to professional meetings for Purdue Agronomy graduate students.
Dr. Volk is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and was elected one of the ten leading fertilizer chemists in the United States. He also served as president of the Soil Science Society of America in 1948 and served as Director of the Purdue Agricultural Experiment Station from 1958 – 1967.
Samuel D. Conner
1899 - 1936
In 1912, Professor Conner discovered aluminum toxicity under certain soil conditions and of borax injury to corn from certain fertilizers that came into use during WWI. He was also a member of national and international societies devoted to chemistry and soil science and was a member of three committees within one such society at the time of his death.