October 2015

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From the Dean

Jay AkridgeOne element of our previous strategic plan that received little attention was the ‘Core Values/Defining Characteristics’ – nine somewhat wordy statements about what we believe in as a College. Despite the lack of focus in our previous plan, this idea of values is an important one for any organization, and our College is no exception. 

To address this issue in our new plan, our Strategic Planning Task Force took some time to revisit our statement of values. Dr. Janet Ayres led us through a session where we talked about what we believe in as a College and what is important to us. We settled on six words: passion, engagement, creativity, excellence, diversity, and respect.  While many of the ideas that these words convey were represented in some way in the previous plan, the word ‘passion’ was noticeable in its absence. Our statement of values in the new plan is now much more crisp and focused. A fair question, though, is why so much effort on this part of the plan? 

One of my favorite definitions of strategy is ‘a stream of decisions that pursue the organization’s purpose’. The idea here is that everyone in the organization is making decisions every day that are aligned with some overall purpose. For me, this definition translates a strategic plan from some lofty set of generic statements into something that supports the day-to-day decision-making of everyone in the organization – and that is a powerful idea.

Values that people buy into and support are an important part of making this happen. Our faculty, staff, and students make thousands of decisions every day, and it is impossible (and not very smart) to think that some grand plan provides guidance to every decision. But, we all can work to support values such as passion, engagement, creativity, excellence, diversity, and respect in all we do. I and other administrators in the College have a responsibility to provide support for these ideas through very tangible activities such as the AgSEED program (creativity) or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Week activities (diversity and respect). But, every member of our College also has a responsibility to consider these values as they make decisions every day.

Many organizations have statements of values. Sometimes, they are nothing more than words on a poster ‘proudly’ displayed at various locations around the organization. One author called this ‘image positioning’ – all show, no substance. The same author described a different organization, one focused on ‘character expression’, where everyone inside and outside knew what the organization’s values were—not by words, but by the actions of all.  One of the things I love about my job is that I get to see examples of our faculty, staff, and students living these values every day. I see Jim Beaty’s passion when he talks about the natural history of this area to a group of Colombian university leaders on a Saturday morning. I see excellence in our students who are so well-prepared for our career fair that EVERY employer I talked with mentioned it (and my thanks to all the faculty and staff who help them be so prepared). I see a commitment to diversity in the 7 Diversity Transformation Award proposals submitted based on 12 original concept pitches from faculty and staff across our College. I could cite many more.

We certainly don’t get this completely right every time, and we have much work to do to continue to enhance the climate and culture of our College. But, I urge you to give some thought to the six words captured in our values and how they might help you continue to move our College forward and to make it a better place for all.

All the best,


P.S.:  Next week, we will be honored to host the meeting of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, known as BIFAD, here on campus. The meeting will include discussions with experts in the science and policy of food production and food security from Purdue and elsewhere around the country. Our own Dr. Gebisa Ejeta is a member of this presidentially appointed board of international food policy advisers and specialists who work in collaboration with universities to alleviate world hunger. See the story in this edition of InFocus for more information.

Purdue Agriculture People


Ag Research Spotlight: Ryan Cabot

Ryan CabotThe Ag Research Spotlight shines each month on an individual whose work reflects our commitment to the six strategic themes that guide Agricultural Research at Purdue. Our spotlight for September is on Ryan Cabot, Animal Sciences, whose work underscores the theme, “Utilizing molecular approaches to expand the frontiers of agriculture and life sciences.”

Full story: https://ag.purdue.edu/arp/Pages/Spotlight-Cabot.aspx#



Graduate Research Spotlight: Gabriela Morello

Gabriela MorelloThe Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. This month’s spotlight is on Gabriela Morello, Animal Sciences; advisor Brian Richert.

Full story: https://ag.purdue.edu/arp/Pages/Graduate-Student-Spotlight.aspx#.ViAS9lVVhBc



Transitions coming in College leadership

Goldsbrough and SwihartTwo College of Agriculture department heads have announced that they will step down from their administrative positions to return to scholarly activities. Dr. Rob Swihart will step down as Head of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources after 12 years, and Dr. Peter Goldsbrough will step down as Head of the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology after more than 10 years in that position. "I want to express my deepest appreciation to Rob and to Peter for their leadership as department heads," said Dean Jay Akridge. "The fact that these are both strong departments with documented excellence in all of our missions is due in no small part to the passion and commitment of these two dedicated leaders." 

The following faculty and staff have agreed to serve on the search advisory committee for our new Botany and Plant Pathology Department Head: Catherine Aime, associate professor; Jody Banks, professor; John Cavaletto, teaching laboratories coordinator; Anjali Iyer-Pascuzzi, assistant professor; Bill Johnson, professor; Tyson McFall, academic advisor and graduate services specialist; Tesfaye Mengiste, professor; Kiersten Wise, associate professor; Charles Woloshuk, professor; and Jin-Ron Xu, professor. Joe Anderson, Professor and Department Head of Agronomy, will chair the search and Becky Rice will provide support. 

These faculty and staff members have agreed to serve on the search advisory committee for our new Forestry and Natural Resources Department Head: Theresa Baker, business assistant; Jeff Dukes, professor and director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center; Barny Dunning, professor and associate head of academic programs in FNR; Eva Haviarova, associate professor; Tomas Höök, associate professor and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant associate director of research; Jason Hoverman, assistant professor; Brian MacGowan, wildlife Extension specialist; Linda Prokopy, professor; Marisol Sepúlveda, professor; and Rod Williams, associate professor and associate head for Extension. Bernie Engel, Professor and Department Head of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, will chair the search and Becky Rice will provide support. 


NIFA Director to visit Purdue

Sonny RamaswamyDr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the USDA's National Institute for Food and Agriculture, will pay a visit to the Purdue campus on Friday, October 23. In addition to meetings with faculty and staff, Dr. Ramaswamy will present a talk titled "An Update from Your Federal Partner" at 1:30 p.m. in the Deans Auditorium, room 214 Pfendler Hall. All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.



Fall PK-12 Engagement Workshops announced

Hui-Hui WangThe College of Agriculture's PK-12 Council and the Office of Academic Programs are teaming up to sponsor two PK-12 engagement workshops featuring guest speaker Dr. Hui-Hui Wang, assistant professor in Youth Development and Agricultural Education. The first workshop, Youth Assessment Outcomes, will be held on Monday, October 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Whistler Hall, room 116. The second workshop, Youth Assessment Strategies, is scheduled for November 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Whistler 116. The workshops are open to faculty, staff, and graduate students.  Free lunch is provided to the first 25 registered.  While the registration deadline for the first workshop was October 15, participants have until November 5 to register for the second workshop. To register, contact Kaylie Scherer, PK-12 Council graduate assistant, at akschere@purdue.edu.


Marsteller Street parking garage to close

parkingAt its meeting on October 9, the Purdue Board of Trustees approved demolition of the Marsteller Street parking garage. The university looked at a variety of options to potentially keep the garage open, but given its age and condition (it was built in the 1970s), together with the expense needed to keep it safe, they decided that demolition was the best plan. Demolition will take place in summer 2016 after May commencement, and a new parking lot on that site, containing about 150 spaces, will be ready for use in the fall of 2016. The university plans to provide information and guidance on alternative parking availability before the garage comes down next year.


TEAM Award call for nominations

Since 1995, Purdue Agriculture has recognized an outstanding collaborative effort within our programs and across the university. Nominations are invited for the 2016 Purdue Agriculture TEAM Award. The 2016 TEAM Award will be presented at a ceremony in May, and the winning team will be awarded $10,000 for program support. Nominations must be sent electronically to Cindy Ream at cream@purdue.edu by December 4.

TEAM Award guidelines and required nomination cover sheet:http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2015/October/2016_TEAM_Award.pdf

AP Staff advancement work begins

The 2015-2016 Administrative/Professional Staff Advancement Program is underway. All A/P staff should have received the materials via email. Advancement documents are to be processed and approved through the individual department committees this fall before they are submitted to the Dean’s Committee for evaluation (due January 6). It is recommended that staff update their advancement documents each year to make it much easier when they are eligible to submit a document for advancement.  For details, visit the College of Agriculture’s A/P Staff Advancement Program web site under the “Faculty & Staff” tab on the Purdue Agriculture home page: https://ag.purdue.edu/Pages/advance_info.aspx


A reminder about tracking civil rights and diversity training

Civil Rights logoThe College of Agriculture is committed to making ongoing improvements to policies and practices to assure that race, ethnicity and gender are not barriers to success. During our USDA Federal Civil Rights Compliance Audit in 2012, it was brought to our attention that we did not have a formal tracking system in place to verify that all faculty, staff and graduate students received appropriate training. In order to comply with this, individuals are required to receive training in civil rights (the regulations), diversity awareness or sexual harassment each year.Therefore, we created a system utilizing the Qualtrics survey tool to have individuals self-report completion of their training. Rather than mandate a specific training, we are asking you to comply by recording training you have been to already or attend any training that fits your needs and interests and enhances your knowledge/understanding of diversity, civil rights or sexual harassment. Please note that alll of the activities detailed above for Diversity Awareness Week are great opportunities to meet your yearly training requirement for Purdue Agriculture. 

Report training at:  https://ag.purdue.edu/civil_rights/Pages/report.aspx

Training modules available for faculty and staff

Risk Management, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance and the Office of the Vice President for Human Resources, announces the availability of the Risk Management Employment Claims Initiative education program. The program helps employees and supervisors understand employment-related issues such as discrimination, harassment, disability awareness and accommodations, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), overtime rates, and other university leave policies. Participants will complete four training modules and corresponding certification quizzes: 1) Equal Opportunity; 2) Americans with Disabilities Act; 3) Wage and Hour Issues for Employees and Supervisors; and 4) Family and Medical Leave Act and University Leave Policies.

The training modules and instructions for accessing the certification quizzes are located on the Purdue Employee Portal. Each training module is approximately 20 to 25 minutes long. Training on the Americans with Disabilities Act and Equal Opportunity will also fulfill College of Agriculture requirements for civil rights training as required by the USDA. All faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to complete these training modules. Faculty and staff participation in these training modules impacts the College's share of insurance costs.

Awards and Recognitions


USNewsThe undergraduate program in Agricultural and Biological Engineering has been ranked the top such specialty program in the country by U.S. News & World Report for the fifth consecutive year. The magazine released its annual rankings Sept. 9. Earlier this year, the magazine rated Purdue’s graduate program in Agricultural and Biological Engineering number 1 in the country for the seventh consecutive year. Bernie Engel, head of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, credited the rankings to the work of the faculty and staff and to their support of students. “The sustained rankings are clear signals that our peers see our current agricultural engineering, biological engineering and agricultural systems management students and alumni as outstanding pre-professionals and professionals, respectively, in our field who are making a difference,” Engel said. “This is a great way to kick off the new school year.”


Marcos FernandezMarcos Fernandez, Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs, was one of eight alumni inducted into the Illinois State University College of Applied Science and Technology Hall of Fame on October 2. The Hall of Fame recognizes the college's most successful alumni. Dr. Fernandez earned a bachelor's degree in animal science from Illinois State University in 1980.




Barb GoldenBarbara Golden, Biochemistry, will be working as a Dean’s Fellow with Dean Jay Akridge and Senior Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs Karen Plaut for the 2015-2016 academic year on a project focused on the success of associate professors. The first few years after promotion to associate professor is an important time for our faculty, and one that we have not truly addressed as a College. Dr. Golden will focus on the broad question of how the College and departments can better support the success of associate professors. 


Nate MosierNathan Mosier, agricultural and biological engineering, received the 2015 Agricultural Research Award for his work in biofuels and bioprocessing technology. The award is given each year to a faculty member in the College of Agriculture with fewer than 18 years of experience beyond a doctoral degree. It is for scientists who have demonstrated a high level of excellence in research and made significant contributions to agriculture, natural resources and quality of life for Indiana citizens. Mosier's research primarily focuses on developing new ways to efficiently convert agricultural materials such as corn stover and fiber, switch grass and soybeans, into fuels, chemicals or other products traditionally made from petroleum and natural gas.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q3/ag-engineer-mosier-earns-purdue-agricultural-research-award.html

 Yuan YaoPhytoption LLC, a firm based at the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette  and founded by Food Science professor Yuan Yao, was named the top company among six finalists in the 2015 BioCrossroads New Venture Competition during the Indiana Life Sciences Summit. Phytoption LLC transforms high-value, insoluble ingredients into soluble solutions for food, supplement, cosmetics and pharmaceutical uses. The company's formulations effectively deliver poorly water-soluble actives, such as antioxidants and anticancer drugs, in cold water soluble formats.



Jeff BurbrinkJeff Burbrink, ANR Extension Educator in Elkhart County, received the "Uncle Elmer" award from the Elkhart County Ag Society for outstanding service and contributions to Elkhart County. The award is named after Elmer Lehman, the first recipient, a much beloved vo-ag teacher in the county. Jeff has served two stints in Elkhart County in his Extension career; his current tenure has lasted for more than 20 years. He has been instrumental in helping develop common-sense zoning ordinances that work in counties with both agriculture and a growing urban or suburban population, and he has guided many farmers as they prepared management plans for large livestock operations.


Pam MowPam Mow, administrative assistant to the department head in Botany and Plant Pathology, was one of three people university-wide who received a 2015 Purdue Alumni Special Boilermaker Award. The Special Boilermaker Award was established in 1981 to recognize members of the Purdue faculty or staff who have contributed significantly to the quality of life and/or the betterment of the educational experience for a substantial number of Purdue students. Pam, who has been on the Purdue staff since 1992, received her award on the field at Ross-Ade during the game on October 10.


A team of graduate students in Botany and Plant Pathology  won the overall team competition at the 2015 National Weed Contest. The competition was designed to measure the participants’ weed science knowledge through written tests and practical applications. Events included herbicide symptomology identification, weed identification, team sprayer calibration and simulated consultations with farmers. Team members were Pratap Devkota, Doug Spaunhorst, Nick Harre and Joey Heneghan. Devkota placed third overall in the individual competition. The team was led by Bill Johnson, professor of botany and plant pathology. More than 250 graduate and undergraduate students representing universities from throughout the U.S. and Canada competed in the event, which was hosted by Ohio State University. The competition was organized by the Weed Science Society of America.


Purdue Agriculture has been ranked number 1 in the recently-released "30 Best Value Agriculture Colleges" by College Values Online. Among other factors, the universities were rated based on tuition, percent of students receiving financial aid, and the number of agricultural programs available. More information on the rankings is available here: http://www.collegevaluesonline.com/rankings/best-value-agriculture-colleges/


Purdue Extension Professional Development Conference Awards

June Neyhouse of Gibson County and Janell Brubaker of Huntington County have been chosen as the 2015 Friends of Purdue Extension for their commitment to supporting and promoting programs nationally and locally. http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q4/2-celebrated-as-friends-of-purdue-extension.html

Paul B. Crooks AwardJon Neufelder, county Extension director and Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources. Neufelder has served Purdue Extension for more than 15 years. He was recognized for his dedication to Posey County and his ability to champion collaboration and teamwork within Extension.

Outstanding Extension/Faculty Specialist AwardAaron Patton, associate professor of horticulture. Patton joined Purdue in 2010. He was recognized for his crucial part in growing the Horticulture, Landscape and Architecture Extension Committee.

Purdue Extension Director’s AwardIndiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. OCRA was recognized for its partnership with Purdue Extension.

Indiana Extension Educators Association Awards:

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Individual: Sara Dzimianski, agriculture and natural resources educator, Perry County.

Team: Ohio Valley Small Farm and Garden Conference: Larry Caplan, horticulture educator, Vanderburgh County; Valerie Clingerman, county Extension director and ANR educator, Knox County; Sara Dzimianski, ANR educator, Perry County; Kenneth Eck, ANR educator, Dubois County; Nicholas Held, ANR/community development educator, Spencer County; Scott Monroe, Purdue Extension food safety educator; Amanda Mosiman, ANR educator, Warrick County; Jon Neufelder, county Extension director and ANR educator, Posey County; Hans Schmitz, county Extension director and ANR educator, Gibson County; and Maria Turner, ANR educator, Pike County.

Health and Human Sciences

Individual: Molly Hunt, health and human sciences educator, Blackford and Jay counties.

Team: Health and Human Sciences Living Well Day: Joel Brumley, county Extension director and 4-H youth development educator, Delaware County; Alicia Criswell, HHS/4-H youth development educator, Wayne County; Annette DeLuca, secretary, Delaware County; Cindy Hartman, county Extension director and HHS/4-H youth development educator, Fayette County; Kylie Hendress, AgrAbility marketing and engagement coordinator; Molly Hunt, HHS educator, Blackford and Jay counties; Gracie Marlatt, HHS educator, Rush County; and Kristina Rogers, former secretary, Delaware County.

4-H Youth Development

Bob Amick Award: Natalie Federer, county Extension director and 4-H youth development educator, Pulaski County, for Communicating with Youth Workshop.

Individual: Courtney Stierwalt, county Extension director and 4-H youth development/ANR educator, Fountain County.

Team: Area IX Mother and Daughter Retreat: Jean Akers, 4-H youth development/health and human sciences educator, Warren County; Roberta Crabtree, county Extension director and community development educator, Tippecanoe County; Kelsie Muller, county Extension director and 4-H youth development/HHS educator, Benton County; Danielle Sands, 4-H youth development educator, Newton County; Courtney Stierwalt, county Extension director and 4-H youth development/ANR educator, Fountain County; Jo Thomas, 4-H youth development educator, Tippecanoe County; and Anna Williams, 4-H youth development educator, Jasper County.

Community Development

Individual: Cynthia Barber, Extension associate, Daviess County, for economic community development.


Farm Stay: Andrea Burniske, international agricultural Extension program coordinator; Curt Campbell, ANR educator, Wabash County; Shawn S. Donkin, associate director for agricultural research and graduate education at Purdue; and Mark Kepler, county Extension director and ANR educator, Fulton County.


Understanding School Readiness in Latino/Hispanic Immigrant Households: Mary Ann Lienhart-Cross, county Extension director and HHS educator, Elkhart County; Esmerelda Cruz, HHS educator, Clinton County; Carmen DeRusha, community development educator, Marion County; Jan Dougan, county Extension director and HHS educator, Dubois County; Janeen Longfellow, HHS educator, Noble County; Stephanie Polei, HHS educator, Elkhart County; Karen Richey, county Extension director and HHS educator, Marshall County; Janet Reed, county Extension director and community development educator, Lake County; and Edie Sutton, HHS educator, St. Joseph County.

Cooperation Extension Service Team

Indiana 4-H Dairy Academy: Shannon Chipman, 4-H youth development/HHS educator, Ohio County; Kelly Heckaman, ANR educator, Kosciusko County; Megan Hoffherr, 4-H youth development educator, Gibson County; Robert Kelly, 4-H youth development/ANR educator, Elkhart County; Amy Nierman, Southeast District director, Purdue Extension; Jeff Pell, 4-H youth development educator, Parke County; and Hans Schmitz, county Extension director and ANR educator, Gibson County. 


Purdue Agriculture in the News


Presidential board on global hunger to meet at Purdue

Gebisa EjetaA presidentially appointed board of international food policy advisers and specialists will bring their work to Purdue University on Oct. 20-21 as part of its collaboration with universities in seeking ways to alleviate world hunger. The meeting will include discussions with experts in the science and policy of food production and food security from Purdue and elsewhere around the country. Much of the meeting of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, known as BIFAD, will be open to the public. Purdue President Mitch Daniels will moderate the closing session, which will include former Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt, acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development. The board advises USAID on agriculture and higher education issues involving food insecurity in developing countries. The current BIFAD chair established a new program for taking the board meetings to university campuses to increase public awareness of this partnership, according to Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, Distinguished Professor of Plant Breeding and International Agriculture and member of BIFAD.

Full story and public agenda: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q4/presidential-board-on-global-hunger-to-meet-at-purdue.html

Agricultural and life sciences buildings to be named for Creighton brothers, Land O' Lakes

AgLS BuildingOn Oct. 9 the Purdue University Board of Trustees approved naming the Hall of Animal Sciences and the Center for Experiential Learning - facilities scheduled to open in 2017 - for the Creighton Brothers founders and Land O' Lakes, respectively, in recognition of their gifts. The Creighton Brothers, a major Indiana egg producer in Kosciusko County, and Land O' Lakes, one of the nation's largest agricultural cooperatives, each gave $5 million toward the new facilities, which will further efforts of Purdue faculty, staff and students to improve the safety and quality of meat, eggs and milk production; advance livestock efficiency; enhance animal health and wellbeing; and develop biomedical knowledge to help combat human disorders and disease. The Hobart and Russell Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences and the Land O' Lakes Center for Experiential Learning and Purina Pavilion will consolidate the Department of Animal Sciences into a unified complex, fostering greater collaboration among faculty, staff and students in the department and across the university and providing contemporary spaces for teaching, research and Extension activities. The facilities will be located at the corner of Harrison and Russell streets and are scheduled for completion in October 2017.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q4/agricultural-and-life-sciences-buildings-to-be-named-for-creighton-brothers,-land-o-lakes.html


Purdue food safety technology ready for commercial development

Ladisch food safetyQuality control facilities in the food industry and the federal government can use new technology developed by a team of Purdue University researchers to speed up the process of detecting pathogens like salmonella in fruits, vegetables, meat and other food. Michael Ladisch, distinguished professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and director of the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering, led the team that created a method to process food samples much faster than traditional methods. The team included Ladisch; Eduardo Ximenes, bioprocess research scientist at LORRE; Kirk Foster, senior research engineer, and Jim Jones, software development, in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering; Tommy Kreke and Xingya Liu, research staff; Seockmo Ku, graduate student, and Haley Roos and Dayanne Moras, undergraduate students in LORRE; and Amanda Deering, research assistant professor in the Department of Food Science. In July, the technology won the grand prize in the 2014 FDA Food Safety Challenge. The team received $300,000 in prize money to further develop the technology.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q3/purdue-food-safety-technology-ready-for-commercial-development.html


Professor uses Hotseat to facilitate student discussion on complex diversity and social justice issues

Pamala MorrisGetting students to speak up in large lectures isn’t like pulling teeth – it’s harder than that, says Pamala Morris, associate professor in the department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education. “More like climbing Mount Everest,” says Morris, who also serves as assistant dean and director of the Office of Multicultural Programs. That’s why Morris decided to try out Hotseat, Purdue’s backchannel discussion and polling platform. One of several applications in the Studio by Purdue suite of digital tools created by ITaP, Hotseat provided an arena for Morris’ students to share their thoughts with each other in real time, without interrupting the flow of the lecture or exposing themselves to backlash for voicing unpopular opinions.

Full story: http://itap.purdue.edu/newsroom/news/150917_Morris_Hotseat.html

Purdue adds to agronomy's online courses for professionals

Bruce EricksonPurdue University's Department of Agronomy is expanding professional development courses through its new Agronomy e-Learning Academy following the success of its first such online course, Agronomy Essentials. Over the next year, the academy will add two other courses - Precision Agriculture and Nutrient Management. The courses are designed for the convenience of busy professionals who want to improve their knowledge but do not have the time to attend classes at specific times. The Agronomy Essentials course contains 100 high-definition video lessons by professional educators, including lead instructor Bruce Erickson, Purdue's agronomy education distance and outreach director. Video lessons are supplemented with reading, graphics, glossaries, downloadable slides and tests to measure participants' understanding and retention. The course will be offered again in January 2016.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q3/purdue-adds-to-agronomys-online-courses-for-professionals.html


Purdue study: Climate change consensus extends beyond climate scientists

Linda ProkopyA Purdue University-led survey of nearly 700 scientists from nonclimate disciplines shows that more than 90 percent believe that average global temperatures are higher than pre-1800s levels and that human activity has significantly contributed to the rise. The study is the first to show that consensus on human-caused climate change extends beyond climate scientists to the broader scientific community, said Linda Prokopy, a professor of natural resource social science. Previous studies have shown that about 97 percent of actively publishing climate scientists believe in human-caused climate change, and a review of scientific literature on the existence of climate change indicated that about 97 percent of studies affirm climate change is happening. However, no direct surveys had assessed whether the general agreement on the impact of human activities on the Earth's climate extended to scientists in other disciplines.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q3/purdue-study-climate-change-consensus-extends-beyond-climate-scientists.html


New corn disease confirmed in Indiana

tar spotPurdue Extension plant pathologists have identified tar spot, a corn disease not previously reported in the United States, in plant samples collected from a field in north central Indiana. The specific fungal disease found in the state has had minimal impact on yield in other areas where it is endemic, including Mexico and Central America, and experts say no action is needed to manage it this late in the growing season. "We are still determining the impact, if any, that the disease may have in Indiana," said Kiersten Wise and Gail Ruhl in an article published in Purdue's Pest and Crop online newsletter. Initial symptoms of tar spot are brownish lesions on the leaves. Black, spore-producing structures called ascomata appear later, protruding from the leaf surface and giving the leaf a rough or bumpy feel. Symptoms and signs of tar spot might also appear on leaf sheaths and husks.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q3/new-corn-disease-confirmed-in-indiana.html


Indiana grain yields to be better than expected

flooded fieldIndiana's soybean crop has apparently recovered enough to produce near-normal statewide yields following this year's record rains and flooding, and the corn crop appears to be healthier than expected in some parts of the state, Purdue Extension economist Chris Hurt says. "In the summer I estimated that the flooding losses of Indiana corn and soybeans could reach $500 million," Hurt said. "The actual losses now appear to be much smaller - around $200 million and concentrated in certain areas." According to the latest U.S. Department of Agricultural estimates, statewide soybean yields will be 51 bushels per acre, higher than the 50 bushels per acre expected in "normal" weather conditions, Hurt said. Over the previous three years, the state's soybean yield has averaged 50.5 bushels per acre, including last year's record 56 bushels per acre and 44 bushels per acre in the drought year of 2012.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q4/indiana-grain-yields-to-be-better-than-expected.html


Purdue report: Indiana farm fatalities increased in 2014

Bill FieldThere were 25 farm-related deaths in Indiana last year, an increase from 18 the previous year, according to Purdue University's 2014 Indiana Farm Fatality Summary. Despite the one-year increase, the report by Purdue's Agricultural Safety and Health Program said there remained an overall downward trend in the frequency of Indiana farm-related deaths since 1970. Contributing to that trend, the authors said, may be the decline in the number of people employed on farms, improved safety features in new machinery and reduced dependency on child and other youth labor. "Achieving zero incidents may be an unrealistic goal, but the record clearly shows that something is working and that many tragic incidents have been prevented during the same time as Indiana farmers have become more productive and efficient than at any time in history," said the authors, Bill Field, Purdue Extension safety specialist, and agricultural and biological engineering graduate research assistant Yuan-Hsin Cheng.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q4/purdue-report-indiana-farm-fatalities-increased-in-2014.html


Purdue Extension schedules bioenergy grass field days in Indiana

switchgrassPurdue Extension will host three field days in Indiana to teach landowners, farmers, agribusiness personnel and farm-related agency employees about bioenergy grasses and current research. The CenUSA project is focused on land that is not suited for row crop production and how it can be used for bioenergy grass production. The project explores different species of grasses and nitrogen fertilizer levels to determine the best grass that could be used as a bioenergy source. An update on the progress of the work currently taking place will be presented at the field days. "The field days provide attendees an opportunity to glance into the future possibilities of using warm-season grasses as a fuel resource for people," said Keith Johnson, professor of agronomy and organizer of the events. "In the process of raising these grasses on soils where corn and soybean yields are limited, soil erosion can be reduced, water quality enhanced, wildlife habitat improved and carbon sequestration increased. And it is an alternative source of income to the farm business."

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q3/purdue-extension-schedules-bioenergy-grass-field-days-in-indiana.html



Dates and Deadlines

October 20-21: Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) fall meeting at Purdue

October 21: Book Harmon Leadership Forum; Speaker, Dr. Carrie Maune, President and Founder, Trilogy Analytical Lab. Deans Auditorium, Pfendler Hall, 1:00 p.m.

October 21: Animal Sciences Distinguished Alumni Awards

October 23: Visit to Purdue Agriculture by Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA Director

November 5: Learning from Leaders

November 9: PCARET State Conference Beck Agricultural Center

November 10: National Conference for Agribusiness, Courtyard by Marriott, Lafayette, IN

November 18: College Entrepreneurship Event, Deans Auditorium, Pfendler Hall

December 9: College of Agriculture Faculty Meeting. 3:30 p.m., Deans Auditorium, Pfendler Hall


December 4: TEAM Award nominations due to Cindy Ream cream@purdue.edu


For more dates and deadlines, check the Purdue Agriculture calendar.


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