Outreach & Education

Purdue professors to develop course on agriculture informatics for agriscience students

A multidisciplinary team from Purdue University, under the leadership of Dharmendra Saraswat, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, recently received funding from the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The team will develop a curriculum to inculcate computational thinking, teach software development skill sets and increase agriscience students’ competencies for agriculture informatics careers.

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Purdue names Songlin Fei Dean’s Chair of Remote Sensing

The sheer size of the world’s forests makes measuring them with any accuracy a significant challenge. But it’s a challenge Purdue’s Songlin Fei has risen to, knowing that those forests impact the global economy, climate change mitigation, wildlife conservation, recreation and more.

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What do farmers and pharmacists have in common? Data science

The built-in GPS and sensors that allow you to check real-time tire pressure and oil life in your car. The smart technologies in your home, giving you the ability to talk into your television remote or tell a lamp “off” or “on.”

Think of the advances over the past decade. Think of the next decade – what your car will be able to do even in five years.

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New Purdue/Microsoft collaboration calculates agricultural product supply risk due to COVID-19 worker illnesses

The Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, in collaboration with Microsoft, has created the Purdue Food and Agricultural Vulnerability Index online dashboard to quantify the potential risk to the supply of agricultural products as a result of COVID-19 farm and agricultural worker illnesses.

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Portable device lights the way to better foodborne illness detection

Foodborne illness hits about one in six people in the United States every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million people in the U.S. get sick due to one or more of 31 recognized pathogens, including E. coli O157:H7, a particularly harsh strain of E. coli.

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Purdue program changes the drift of communication

A dozen years ago, Steve Smith could anticipate the calls coming in from farmers across the state. They’d report when and how much of their crops had been damaged as glyphosate being sprayed on nearby fields caught the wind and landed on their non-resistant tomatoes.

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New field crops pathologist hits the ground running

“There’s nothing like starting a new job in field crop pathology right as a new disease hits corn,” said Telenko. “I definitely wasn’t expecting that. I didn’t know anything about tar spot when I first started, but it gave me a unique opportunity to take the lead on something right away.”

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Champions Cultivate the Future

Presenting to the agBOT Challenge judges, Elliott Sass and his Purdue teammates looked far from formal. Stains on their pants mapped precisely where they had leaned against their robot as they made final modifications. Though the team was hard at work for months leading up to the event, they made adjustments until the literal last…

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Purdue Extension helping Indiana farmers reach new heights with UAV demonstrations

To help Hoosier farmers take full advantage of the promising new UAV technology, Purdue Extension hosted a series of demonstrations throughout the state. Participants received hands-on, practical instruction in flight techniques and learned how to download and process the immense amount of data the drones can collect.
The demonstrations were led by Purdue faculty and Extension specialists, as well as Extension educators and staff from Purdue agricultural research centers throughout the state.

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Digital agriculture improves data yield, yet increases the need for analytics and algorithms

While new facilities and technologies have made data collection easier, digital agriculture creates a new challenge: Once you have the data, what can you actually do with it? That data is rich with useful information for research and industry, but extracting the value still requires tedious human labor. The next frontier for smarter agriculture is developing algorithms that automate these processes, automatically analyzing images and aggregating measurements to produce useful output.

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Outreach and Education

To reach its full potential, the success of digital agriculture is highly dependent on outreach and education. Through Extension, faculty, partnerships and other digital agriculture advocates, the impact of digital agriculture will grow as new ideas and opportunities spread.


Just as crucial as the collection of data is its analysis and diffusion. Purdue offers undergraduate courses in the areas of data science, geographic information systems (GIS), sensors and sensing, and digital agriculture courses related to specific disciplines.

Purdue Extension Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

Purdue is leading Indiana’s way in technology outreach through the use of UAVs aka drones. Purdue Extension personnel are helping farmers, agricultural professionals, and business owners turn data into efficient, profitable, and long-term success.

Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN)

In collaboration with Purdue University, WHIN engages producers and businesses in Indiana’s Wabash Valley region. WHIN is leveraging Purdue’s strengths in digital agriculture and investing in Internet of Things testbeds, education, and technology adoption.

Agronomy e-Learning Academy

Purdue’s Agronomy e-Learning Academy offers distance learning for professional development designed to meet the educational needs of agricultural professionals. Among these are agronomy essentials, precision agriculture and nutrient management.

The Data Mine Learning Communities

Part of Purdue’s Integrative Data Science Initiative which is designed to train students in data literacy, the Data Mine is a research-based community created to introduce students to data science concepts and equip them to create solutions to real-world problems.