Facebook Twitter More...


Tamara Benjamin moves to new appointment


Tamara BenjaminPurdue Extension is pleased to announce that Dr. Tamara Benjamin has been named Assistant Program Leader for Diversified Food and Farming Systems. In this new position, Dr. Benjamin will coordinate efforts in this rapidly emerging space and increase outreach on the Purdue campus and across the state. Previously, Dr. Benjamin led the Purdue College of Agriculture's initiatives in Costa Rica by increasing research, education and extension opportunities for faculty, staff and students, recently she has been working with the small farm team in Extension, focusing on creating new experiences for beginning farmers. With the Colombia Purdue Institute, she created a program that brings high caliber Colombian undergraduate students to Purdue to conduct research across campus. For this position, Dr. Benjamin will transition to the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture from her present position in Botany and Plant Pathology.

Enhancing Purdue Extension’s and the College of Agriculture’s efforts in Diversified Food and Farming Systems grew from conversations over the last two years about how to better network county Extension Educators, campus and regional Extension Specialists, and faculty, staff, students, farmers, and other stakeholders. This program will encompass Extension in the areas of small farms, local foods, organic agriculture, beginning farmers, urban agriculture, and undergraduate education (the Purdue Student Farm and majors in Horticulture, Sustainable Foods and Farming Systems, and Turf Science and Management). This group will also work closely with SARE, community development, and food safety, as well as the vegetable, fruit, ornamental plant, and livestock groups. As with any exceptional Extension program, strong, world-class research will drive this program.

The program’s goals are creating more visibility for ongoing work in the College of Agriculture, improving networking among those working in this space, and creating synergies for Purdue to achieve greater impact in Indiana.  Dr. Benjamin’s goals in the position are to increase communication with key stakeholders, create a web portal with readily accessible program information, and strengthen our networking efforts so we can both improve our ability to access grants and identify opportunities in foundational research for Extension and education pertinent to Indiana.

We recently held an inaugural meeting to launch these enhanced efforts in Diversified Food and Farming Systems. Any faculty, staff, and Educators who wish to participate in the group are encouraged to contact Dr. Benjamin at tamara17@purdue.edu