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Purdue Agriculture in Focus Purdue Agriculture in Focus

November 2008

From the Dean




A few weeks ago the Purdue Agriculture Dean’s Advisory Council had its fall meeting here on campus. We’re privileged that these 27 talented, thoughtful people take the time from their busy schedules to give us the benefit of their perspective and input. 

Members of the Dean’s Advisory Council provide essential opinions and insight that guide our decision-making process. Their diverse expertise and capabilities ensure that many perspectives are heard as we face the challenges of an increasingly global economy and agricultural industry. They help us focus, reflect and react. They challenge our assumptions and keep us on top of changes in the food and natural resources system. 

The feedback we receive from the council often leads directly to new programs and initiatives in the College. For instance, comments from the Dean’s Advisory Council on the need to nurture the leadership skills among our graduates resulted in the highly successful Leadership Development Certificate Program that pairs students with faculty mentors and takes them through an assessment of their own leadership talents, to a personal development plan, and finally to practicing and reflecting on activities that help them think and act like leaders.

This year, we spent the day talking about future issues for the College, and engaging the DAC in a discussion around the opportunities and challenges they see for Purdue Agriculture. The results of that discussion will be provided to the Steering Committee as input for the College’s strategic plan. 

Council members also represent Purdue Agriculture to those in their circles of influence. Their ability to share their knowledge of this institution with others creates a conduit for expanded discussions and interactions. 

We’re fortunate to have quality individuals who invest in and champion the future of Purdue Agriculture through their membership on our advisory councils, both at the departmental and college levels.  Such connections with our stakeholders are key to realizing the potential of our Land Grant mission.


All the best,

Jay Akridge


News around Purdue Agriculture

Finalists named for dean of Purdue Agriculture

Three candidates will interview in December for the position of dean of the Purdue University College of Agriculture. The candidates are Jay Akridge of Purdue, John Floros of Penn State University and Ramesh Kanwar of Iowa State University. All three will participate in two-day interviews, complete with public seminars. Each hour-long public seminar will be in the Pfendler Hall Deans Auditorium. People from around the state also can view the seminars via Internet streaming. Vitas and streaming links are available on the Web at http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/dean_search.

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/081106ReedSearch.html


Purdue Ag Fish Fry to feature veteran political journalist

AndreaMitchellThe Purdue University Agricultural Alumni Fish Fry on Feb. 7 will give attendees an inside look at the national political scene from the perspective of a broadcast news veteran. Andrea Mitchell, the anchor of MSNBC's "The Andrea Mitchell Hour" and chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News, will be the guest speaker during the luncheon that begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Toyota Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/081111LesterMitchell.html


Provost announces faculty fellowships

All tenured faculty are invited to apply for the 2009 Faculty Fellowships of Study in a Second Discipline. Applications should be routed through departments and are due to the Provost’s Office no later than December 15. 

The home departments of each recipient will receive $7,000 per semester to cover substitute instruction. The award of $3,500 each semester to each faculty recipient for travel, equipment, software and other types of research support associated with a new area of study. We will make up to five awards per semester on the West Lafayette campus. Applicants may apply for one or two semesters. Each school or college is limited to two faculty nominees.  Recipients will be announced in January.

Contact Beverly Sypher (bdsypher@purdue.edu) if you or your faculty have questions about the program.

College of Ag welcomes Steve Wu

WuDr. Steve Wu joined the faculty in Agricultural Economics on October 1st.  Steve came to Purdue from The Ohio State University, where he had been an associate professor. His current interests are in contract regulation and contract legislation in agriculture; the empirical testing of incentive systems; and the design of optimal pricing and incentive schemes for marketing, production, and supply contracting. He is also interested in the study of informal incentives used by individuals and organizations to manage performance and regulate economic activity. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley in Agricultural and Resource Economics in 2001.


Teaching Academy honors Mickey Latour

LatourDr. Mickey Latour, Animal Sciences, has been inducted into the Purdue Teaching Academy, which honors and supports excellence in teaching and works to strengthen teaching quality throughout the university. Mickey was one of 14 members inducted at the Teaching Academy ceremony in October. Mickey's induction brings to 24 the number of College of Agriculture faculty members in the Teaching Academy.

Animal Sciences to honor distinguished alumni

The Department of Animal Sciences will present six individuals with the 2008 Distinguished Animal Sciences Alumni Awards recognizing excellence in industry, academia or governmental service.

The three recipients of the Lifetime Career Award are Eddie Creighton, B.S.1954; Tilden Wayne Perry, M.S. 1948, Ph.D 1950; Jesse Shively, B.S. 1957, M.S. 1963. The two winners of the Mid Career Award are Malcolm DeKryger, M.S. 1983, and Alan Mathew, M.S. 1978, Ph.D 1991. Pete Hanebutt, B.S. 1993, will receive the Early Career award. An awards ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. Nov. 21 in Lilly Hall, Room 3113.

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/080916DelksDAA.html


Purdue Entomology alum honored with John V. Osmun Award

FosterJohn Foster, Ph.D 1971, was given the John V. Osmun Alumni Professional Achievement Award for Entomology October 24. The Osmun award was named for John V. Osmun, who served as the department head in Entomology from 1956-1972. This award is given to an alumnus of Purdue's Entomology Department who has shown excellence in the field of entomology.

Full story: http://www.entm.purdue.edu/news/osmunAward2008.html



Purdue, IU form joint center on energy

TynerPurdue and Indiana universities have again joined forces, this time to expand research exploring crucial issues surrounding energy production, distribution and use. The two institutions have jointly created the Indiana Consortium for Research in Energy Systems and Policy to advance interdisciplinary research related to energy systems and environmental and energy policy issues. Members of the consortium include IU Bloomington, Purdue University in West Lafayette, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. At Purdue, the new Center for Research in Energy Systems and Policy will lead the effort, focusing on Purdue's strengths in engineering and technology with an economic analysis component. Wally Tyner, professor of agricultural economics and co-chair of the Purdue center, will manage the Purdue portion of the consortium.

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/081030TynerCresp.html

Faculty chosen for leadership program

GrayDrs. Allan Gray, Ag Economics, and Lisa Mauer, Food Science, have been selected to participate in the 2009 LEAD21 program. The purpose of LEAD21 is to develop leaders in land grant institutions and their strategic partners who link research, academics, and extension in order to lead more effectively in an increasingly complex environment, either in their current position or as they aspire to other positions. LEAD21 is intended to meet the future needs for leadership development of faculty, specialists, program and team leaders, research station and center directors, district and regional directors, department heads and chairs, and Mauerothers in land grant universities' colleges of agricultural, environmental,and human sciences and USDA/CSREES. The one-year LEAD21 core curriculum includes three sessions and a concurrent individual learning component. Leadership competencies are enhanced using a combination of exposure, information, knowledge and practice.


CSREES Awards $2.2 Million for National AgrAbility Project

FieldUSDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) announced that Purdue University, in partnership with Goodwill Industries and the Arthritis Foundation of Indiana, will receive $2.2 million for the National AgrAbility Project, which helps thousands of disabled individuals overcome barriers to continuing their chosen professions in agriculture. AgrAbility supports training for state and regional projects. AgrAbility has become one of rural America's most valuable and cost-effective resources, having provided on-farm assessments to more than 15,000 farmers and ranchers with disabilities since it was funded in 1991. Dr. Bill Field, ABE, is the Purdue leader of the project.

Full story: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/newsroom/news/2008news/10151_agrability.html


Purdue Ag alums, freshmen fashion a forecast for 2009

studentsPurdue Agriculture alumni and retired professors joined freshmen from the Dean’s Scholars Learning Community on Sunday, Nov. 16, to discuss trends and implications for farmers and agricultural businesses in 2009. They met for the futuring exercise in the Office of Academic Program’s new Steve and Sandra Hageman Center for Student Achievement and Leadership. Drivers of change identified by the group included an uncertain economy; dramatic swings in prices for corn and other commodities; an anticipated new federal approach to the environment, animal well-being, and health; and increased consumer and activist interest in farming and food production. Participants voted on top concerns for people in the business of farming and agriculture in the coming year. The results will be turned into a Web publication called “Purdue University’s Seven Things to Think About in Agriculture,” and released to the media the first of the year. One early, evident certainty: farming won’t get easier in 2009. Pictured left to right are Bill McFee, professor emeritus of Agronomy, and students Lisa Schluttenhofer and Shalyse Tindell.


Ag student gets Commencement honor

CraneRyan Crane, a senior majoring in Farm Management, has been selected as the student responder at Purdue's December Commencement ceremony. Ryan, who came to Purdue from Exeter, Maine, has been a student leader in the college with involvement in Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, Ag Ambassadors, the Dean's Scholars program, and the College of Agriculture Leadership Development Certificate program. After college, Ryan says he plans to return to the family farm and eventually take over ownership of the operation. He plans to focus his efforts on expanding acreage and diversifying production. In addition, he plans to develop several new companies offering services to the agricultural, forestry, and excavation sectors. Ryan says he is extremely interested in the prospects for globalization in the agriculture industry in the future


Purdue Entomology students take awards at 2008 OVEA

Purdue Entomology students won awards in every category at the 2008 Ohio Valley Entomological Association (OVEA) Annual Forum. The Annual Forum is a one day gathering of students and professional career entomologists from the academic, government and industry sectors of this strong regional association. The primary objective of the Annual Forum is to host a student paper competition in three classifications: B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.

Full story: http://www.entm.purdue.edu/news/ovea2008.html


Ag Communications staff garner CASE awards

According to Chris Sigurdson, head of Ag Communications, Ag Communications staff typically do well at the CASE V communications competition where their work is compared to the best of several hundred universities in the Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan. This year, he says, they did really well:of the four awards earned by Purdue University, AgComm had two of them.

Congratulations to: “Connections” : Gold Award, Best Tabloid/Newsletter for External Audiences.
Tom Campbell, Dan Annarino, Patty Mason, Christine Roper, all AgComm, and Megan Madia in Ag Development, and Indiana MarketMaker: Bronze Award for CASE V in the Teresa Du Bois Exline Award for Best Practices in Communications and Marketing. Julie Douglas, Laura Hoelscher, Dan Annarino, Jamie Loizzo, Beth Forbes, Kevin Smith, Rob Snorek, Maria Marshall


Purdue Agriculture grads in demand

With the highest placement in at least the past five years, 93 percent of the spring graduates of Purdue Agriculture have found jobs or are advancing their education. Of Purdue Agriculture's 314 spring graduates, only 7 percent are still seeking employment, and 69 percent are in jobs as of this month, Whittaker said. Another 24 percent are continuing their education, most in graduate schools.

"The percentage still seeking employment is the lowest it's been in recent years," said Dale Whittaker, director of academic programs and associate dean of agriculture. "We think that's because of the strong demand for our graduates among employers and growth in the number of persons seeking advanced degrees."

Full story: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2008/November/PlacementArticle.htm


Repeat of 1980s for agriculture unlikely, economists say

DollarsignA farm economy that's swung from unparalleled optimism to uncertainty in a matter of months might resurrect fears of a crisis similar to one that occurred two decades ago. While people may be seeing similarities, there is more to the story than meets the eye, say agricultural economists Chris Hurt and Mike Boehlje. Although commodity prices are cascading in response to the global financial crisis, farmers should not expect a return to the tough times of the 1980s. Boehlje and Hurt make their case in "The Financial Crisis: Is This a Repeat of the '80s for Agriculture?" The paper can be read on the Purdue Extension Financial Crisis Information Web page at http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/news/financial_crisis.asp.

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/081105HurtEighties.html


Study a step toward disease-resistant crops, sustainability

A five-year study that could help increase disease resistance, stress tolerance and plant yields is under way at Purdue. The $4 million project uses a new technique called "mutant-assisted gene identification and characterization," or MAGIC, to identify potentially useful gene combinations in crop species. "If we can understand these genes better, we could engineer plants to be immune to most diseases," said principal investigator Guri Johal, associate professor in Botany and Plant Pathology. The MAGIC technique is described in a review article published this month in the journal Crop Science. Dr. Cliff Weil, Agronomy, is co-author of the study.

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/081112JohalMAGIC.html


Indiana Guard trains unit in agriculture for Afghan mission

A unit of specially selected Indiana National Guard members will be trained next week at Purdue University for deployment to Afghanistan as agricultural educators. The mission, scheduled to begin in January, will support the military operation there by providing the Afghan people advice that could help them improve their agribusiness operations. The 28-member unit will have training in a variety of agriculture-related areas including irrigation, crop production and pest management, soils assessment, livestock management, food storage, and marketing and nutrition. Kevin McNamara, professor of agricultural economics, is the leader of Purdue's efforts to work with Afghanistan's Kabul University in improving its agricultural education program.

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/081113McNamaraGuard.html

LEAD national workshop announced

Save the date--June 22-23, 2009--for the 2009 LEAD National Workshop, a national leadership workshop for department chairs, deans and emerging leaders in science, engineering and mathematics (SEM), which address departmental and university culture and the professional development of all faculty. Jointly hosted by the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and the University of Washington, Seattle.

More information: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2008/November/LEAD2009Flyer.pdf



University News


Purdue and IU become computing teammates

Purdue University is adding to what is already the world's largest science-focused distributed computing system with the addition of computers from athletics rival, but longtime computing and research collaborator, Indiana University.

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/081118McCartneyPool.html

President Córdova forms partnerships in India, Hong Kong

President France A. Córdova extended the university's partnership with Cummins Inc. and a women's engineering college during a 10-day trip to India and Hong Kong. Infosys Technologies Ltd., a leading Indian software development and engineering firm, also honored her with a tree planting in Bangalore. Córdova's trip, a year in the planning, featured visits to educational institutions and businesses, as well as meetings with alumni, parents and major donors.

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/081117CordovaTrip.html

Purdue receives grant to help students learn about climate change

Purdue University researchers will investigate how middle and high school students learn about global warming and climate change, thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation. The four-year, $1.5 million grant is for a project titled "Making Sense of Global Warming and Climate Change: Model of Student Learning via Collaborative Research."

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/081107RoychoudhuryGrant.html



Mark your calendar

November 21: Distinguished Animal Sciences Alumni Presentation at 2:00 pm in Lilly Hall 3-113. Contact Barry Delks at 496-7234 for more information.

December 4-6: Indiana Farm Bureau Convention in Evansville, IN.  Tradeshow takes place Friday, December 5th from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm in the Evansville Auditorium Convention Centre.  Purdue Agriculture will have several exhibitors at this event. Contact Anna Todd at 317-692-7857 for more information.

December 17: Indiana Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Meeting at the Indianapolis Marriott East. Contact Lisa Green at 494-4783 for more information.

December 20: Fall Semester ends

December 21: Winter Commencement exercises, 2:30 p.m. Contact Cheryl Ballenger at cballeng@purdue.edu for more information.

January 12: Spring Semester begins

January 12-14: Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts annual conference in Indianapolis.  Bob McCormick, Jane Frankenberger, and Laura Esman will represent their activities in the college at this event. Contact Danica Kirkpatrick at 494-9113 for more information.

January 12-14: Indiana Green Expo at the Indiana Convention Center. Contact Mike Mickelbart at 494-7902 for more information.

January 13-15: Fort Wayne Farm Show at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.  Purdue Extension in area XI will represent the college at this event. Contact Danica Kirkpatrick at 494-9113 for more information.

January 19-21: Indiana Horticultural Congress at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Indianapolis. Contact Tammy Goodale at 494-1296 for more information.

February 3: PCARET Legislative Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Indianapolis. Contact Teresa Rogers at 494-8489 for more information.

February 4-6: HASTI (Hoosier Association of Science Teachers, Inc.) at the Indiana Convention Center.  Hours are Thursday (8:00 am – 5 pm) and Friday (8:00 am – 2:00 pm). Contact Danica Kirkpatrick at 494-9113 for more information.

February 7: Ag Alumni Fish Fry in the Toyota Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds at 11:30 a.m.  Main event will be preceded by the Ag Forecast in the Old National Bank Grand Hall at 9:30 a.m. Contact Donya Lester at 494-8593 for more information.















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