July 2016

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From the Dean

Jay AkridgeI sure hope your summer is going well! With July nearly over, our Indiana State Fair and the start of the new semester are just around the corner. I’m spending part of my summer on plans for the coming year, including working with our leadership team to develop College-level goals that are part of our annual reporting for the Provost. In addition to the goals you might expect around areas such as student enrollment and attainment, research funding, and diversity, Provost Dutta asked each College this year to develop a set of goals around the broad area of ‘excellence’. This has provided an interesting and useful exercise.

In a real sense, our College’s entire 2015-2020 strategic plan is focused on delivering excellence – becoming the world’s leading land-grant college of agriculture, food, life, and natural resource sciences. Given that, our ‘excellence goal’ for the Provost focuses on providing evidence of excellence or building reputation and includes areas such as rankings; developing a strategic communications plan to help the state, nation, and world better understand the work and accomplishments of our faculty, staff, and students; benchmarking our performance against peers; and promoting our faculty for national and international awards and distinctions. All of these areas provide some form of evidence of excellence or are focused on helping others understand the excellence that is our College.

Of course, you have to actually be excellent before you can communicate it. As legendary basketball coach (and Purdue alumnus) John Wooden put it, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, and your reputation is merely what others think you are”. My guess is that Coach Wooden would agree that your true character eventually shows through and becomes your reputation. In the end, our College’s reputation for excellence ultimately rests on our ability to consistently deliver it day in and day out.

Our College’s reputation is heavily influenced by some very high profile accomplishments – think World Food Prize Laureates Gebisa Ejeta and Phil Nelson and National Academy of Science member Jian-Kang Zhu. But, our reputation for excellence involves more than this; it is determined by how each and every one of us approach the things we do in our work every day. Getting things right and doing them at the highest levels every minute of every day is a very tall order. The order is even taller when people believe you are an excellent organization, because they expect you to be good and, as a wise friend of mine says, ‘discontent is relative to expectations’.   

With every lecture/discussion/lab session, our students add one more insight to their overall assessment of the quality of our academic programs. Every time a stakeholder searches and secures something from our web site, another impression is formed about Purdue Extension. Every research paper and grant secured add something to our College’s research reputation. Every phone call to campus or a county Extension office – and the associated follow-up – sends a message to the person on the other end. I could keep going, but you get the picture.

We all have a role in building our College’s reputation for excellence in all we do, whether we work directly with students and stakeholders or we serve ‘internal customers’ in the College. Those who came before us set the bar high—this College has been known for doing things at the highest levels for a long time. Now it is our turn to raise the bar even higher. As we turn our attention to the fall, I would ask that we all take full advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate our very best in all we do. When we deliver our best to our students, our stakeholders, our partners, our internal customers, and our broader public, I am quite confident our global reputation for excellence will follow. It is a privilege to work in a College where the people not only get this, but work each day to be better and more impactful than the day before.

All the best,



Purdue Agriculture People



Graduate Research Spotlight: Nick Lancaster

Nick LancasterThe Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. This month's spotlight is on Nick Lancaster, Animal Sciences; advisor Jon Schoonmaker..

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




Purdue iGEM students working to combat toxic algae problem

Purdue iGEMPurdue Biomakers, the Purdue iGEM Team, is working on a research project that could help stop the spread of toxic algae. “We are working to engineer a new strand of E. coli that will uptake phosphorus from the water, which is significant because phosphorous is a limiting nutrient for these algae blooms,” said Paige Rudin, a member of the team. “So, if we remove the phosphorus, we stop the algae growth.” The problem gained national attention with news that the beaches of South Florida have been covered in toxic algae for more than a week, and a state of emergency in many areas of the popular tourist destination are still in effect. The Purdue iGEM Team has been working on the project since before the Florida incident, using the West Lafayette Celery Bog for research.

Full story: http://wlfi.com/2016/07/06/purdue-students-hoping-to-combat-toxic-algae-problem/


Purdue Agriculture people to carry Bicentennial Torch

Pam MowPam Mow, administrative assistant to the department head in Botany and Plant Pathology, is among the Purdue representatives who will carry the Indiana Bicentennial Torch on its journey through Lafayette and West Lafayette. The torch is scheduled to travel through Tippecanoe County around 8:30 a.m. on October 12 and cross into Warren County by mid-afternoon. It is expected to be on Purdue campus late in the morning. 

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q2/several-purdue-representatives-will-carry-bicentennial-torch.html

Several Purdue Extension staff members and retirees are among more than 2,000 Hoosiers who will carry the Bicentennial Torch as it makes its way through Indiana. See the full list of Extension torchbearers here: https://intranet.extension.purdue.edu/enewblog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1392


Extension Educator appointed Midwest Cover Crops Council program manager

Anna MorrowThe Midwest Cover Crops Council has responded to increasing interest in cover crops across the region by hiring its first program manager, a Purdue Extension educator. Anna Morrow began her new role with the MCCC as a staff member in the Department of Agronomy on July 1. She now works out of Extension's Shelby County office and will be on the university's West Lafayette campus as needed. "We are excited to have an experienced county Extension educator join our team as our first program manager," said Eileen Kladivko, professor of agronomy and a founding member of the MCCC. "Anna brings experience in working with producers on a variety of challenges in Midwestern row crop and animal agriculture, and we look forward to working with her to move cover crop adoption and the MCCC into the future."

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/midwest-cover-crops-council-appoints-program-manager.html


Nominees sought for Purdue's Hovde Award

Nominations are now being accepted for this year's Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence, given annually to a member of Purdue University's faculty or staff who has displayed outstanding educational service to rural Indiana. Any active member of the faculty or staff is eligible. A person's contributions may have been in the classroom, in counseling, in research or through Purdue Extension. Nominations are due electronically to Ruth Ann Weiderhaft by Noon on Wednesday, September 7 (weiderhaft@purdue.edu). Click here for the Hovde Award nomination form.

More information: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2016/June/HovdeBrochure16.pdf


Nominations open for top Purdue Ag Alumni awards

Nominations are being accepted for the top two annual awards of the Purdue College of Agriculture and the Ag Alumni Association recognizing achievement and service to the agricultural profession. The Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award recognizes mid-career alumni of the College of Agriculture who have a record of outstanding accomplishments, have made significant contributions to their profession or society in general and exhibit high potential for professional growth. The alumni association's Certificate of Distinction recognizes those who have contributed to agriculture through professional accomplishments, activity in organizations, community service and other activities that make the nominees a credit to their profession. Nomination deadlines are September 12 for the Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award and October 1 for the Certificate of Distinction.

All nomination materials and award descriptions, as well as lists of past winners, can be accessed at www.ag.purdue.edu/agalumni/pages/awards.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. 

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


Bo BeaulieuBo Beaulieu, director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development and Purdue Extension's community development program leader, won the National Distinguished Career Award from the National Association of Community Development Professionals (NACDEP) on June 27th during the NACDEP annual awards banquet held in Burlington, Vermont. This is the highest honor that can be given to an NACDEP member.





Colleen BradyColleen Brady, Youth Development and Agricultural Education, was elected to the Council for the International Society of Equitation Science in Saumur, France, in June. Dr. Brady will serve as the Honorary Education Officer and will provide leadership to the efforts to disseminate research information to ISES members, as well as to expand the understanding of equitation science, and its role in horse care and management.





Shawn DonkinShawn Donkin, Animal Sciences, received the American Society of Animal Science Award in Animal Growth and Development at the American Society of Animal Science Joint Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. The award recognizes “excellence in the conduct of basic or applied research in any phase of growth or development of animals” The award is based on original research published within the last ten years.





Allan GrayAllan Gray, Land O'Lakes Chair for Food and Agribusiness, was named a fellow of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association at the organization's World Conference in Aarhus, Denmark in June. IFAMA fellow nominees must be active supporters of the association who have made outstanding contributions to food and agribusiness management in at least two of four areas: practice of management in food or agribusiness, research and scholarship, teaching or academic administration and service to IFAMA.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q2/purdue-professor-gray-named-2016-ifama-fellow.html



Jian Kang ZhuJian-Kang Zhu, distinguished professor of plant biology and professor of biochemistry, is the recipient of the 2016 Herbert Newby McCoy Award, the university’s top research honor in the natural sciences. The award recognizes Zhu for his groundbreaking contributions to furthering understanding of the mechanisms and role of epigenetics in biology. “Dr. Zhu is among the world’s most highly cited biologists. His pioneering research has uncovered the signaling pathways that govern plant responses to environmental stress,” said Suresh Garimella, Purdue’s executive vice president for research and partnerships and the Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “The scope of his research contributions on epigenetics and plant science has great potential to improve crop productivity and human health.” The McCoy Award, established in 1964 by Ethel Terry McCoy in memory of her husband, a distinguished Purdue alumnus, is presented annually to a Purdue student or faculty member for outstanding contributions to the natural sciences.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/zhu-selected-as-2016-recipient-of-purdues-herbert-newby-mccoy-award.html



ELAChristian Butzke, Food Science; Meng Deng, Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Kwamena Quagrainie, Agricultural Economics; and Andrea Vacca, Agricultural and Biological Engineering have been selected to participate in the 2016-2017 Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy through Purdue's Discovery Park. Since its inception, the Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy has facilitated the launch of several companies, licenses, disclosures, and new interdisciplinary centers, as well as graduate and undergraduate courses and opportunities. Participants are nominated by department heads and deans and are chosen based on their interest and potential growth in entrepreneural activities.





Jarrod DoucetteJarrod Doucette, Forestry and Natural Resources, earned a "Thumbs Up" thanks from Bryan Pijanowski, also of Forestry and Natural Resources: "Jarrod was able to think creatively to fix an expensive video camera. I would not be able to take it on an important trip to Costa Rica if he had not come through!"





Greg LindbergGreg Lindberg, Purdue Extension, earned a "Thumbs Up" thanks from Marion Welsh, also of Purdue Extension: "As we migrate to using WebEx for more of our meetings, Greg has been instrumental in showing me how to facilitate the usage of WebEx. He is always willing to step away from whatever he's working on to assist me, and I truly appreciate that. He's very deserving of a 'Thumbs Up'!" -- Marion Welsh (College of Agriculture)




Gwen PearsonGwen Pearson, outreach coordinator in Entomology, received the 2016 Entomological Foundation Medal of Honor in recognition of her education and outreach contributions, particularly as a leader in digital outreach via social media, to both traditional and non-traditional audiences. This is the highest honor bestowed by the Foundation, and is "given only to those who have attained preeminence in the field through outstanding contributions.” Gwen will be formally recognized at the 2016 International Congress of Entomology meeting in Orlando, Florida the week of September 25 to 20, 2016.



NACTANichole Chapel, a doctoral student in Animal Sciences, won the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Graduate Student Teaching Award at the organization's conference in June. The NACTA Graduate Student Teaching Award recognizes and rewards graduate students who excel as teachers in the agricultural disciplines. It is a criterion-based award and is reviewed by a committee of NACTA members.Nichole is pictured here with Dr. Mark Russell, President-Elect of NACTA and head of the Youth Development and Agricultural Education department.



Hyun Wook KimHyun-Wook Kim, Animal Sciences, post-doctoral researcher in Dr. Brad Kim's meat lab, won first place in the AFS Research Paper competition at the Korean American Food Technologists meeting held in conjunction with the International Food Technnologists meeting in Chicago.





Animal Sciences teamThe Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon Team—Dakota Cook, Wyatt Krom, Jim Vinyard and Joel Flanders (pictured here with Associate Dean Marcos Fernandez and coach Scott Radcliffe) won the Quiz Bowl portion of the National Academic Quadrathlon and finished third overall in the Quadrathalon held in Utah as part of the Joint Annual Meeting of the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), the American Dairy Science Association® (ADSA®), the Western Section of the American Society of Animal Science (WSASAS), and the Canadian Society of Animal Science (CSAS)



Purdue Agriculture in the News


How 'Brexit' might affect U.S. agriculture, Indiana economy

British flagPurdue agricultural economists Mike Boehlje, Philip Abbott and Larry DeBoer say that Britain’s departure from the European Union would have little direct effect on U.S. agricultural trade but could slow Indiana’s economic growth tied to manufacturing. Their greatest concerns are whether the current shakeup in the financial markets from Britain’s vote to leave the EU is short-term or longer, whether an already-strong U.S. dollar would continue to rise in value and how access to global markets might be affected. Of the $133 billion in overall U.S. agricultural exports in 2015, $1.8 billion went to the U.K. Exports of what the USDA calls “consumer-oriented products,” including wine, nuts, fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy products, amounted to $62 billion worldwide, $1.1 billion of it to the U.K. Wine led in that category with U.S. exports of $282 million to Britain.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q2/how-brexit-might-affect-u.s.-agriculture,-indiana-economy.html

Farmer veteran workshop set for Beck Ag Center

AgrAbilityMilitary veterans, active duty members and their families can learn more about how to start or operate a farm during a daylong program sponsored by Purdue's Indiana Beginning Farmer program. The Beginning Farmer Veteran Workshop is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 30 at the Beck Agricultural Center, 4540 U.S. 52 W, West Lafayette. Sessions will cover both the business and production sides of agriculture. Topics will include small fruit and vegetable production, livestock management, business planning, equipment for small farms, beekeeping, forestry, marketing and regulatory requirements for meat and food sales. The National AgrAbility Project, based at Purdue, is one of the workshop organizers.

Full story:  http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q2/farmer-veteran-workshop-set-for-beck-ag-center.html


Purdue's FoodLink now available statewide

Food LinkShoppers at more than 100 farmers markets, grocery stores, food pantries and roadside produce stands throughout Indiana can now connect with FoodLinkPurdue Extension's online hub for information about healthy foods. Participating vendors display cards with QR codes for more than 40 fruits and vegetables. Consumers can use the QR reader on their smartphones to scan the codes for immediate access to the FoodLink website, which provides selection and preparation suggestions, recipes, nutritional information, how-to videos, photos, food safety tips and other resources. No registration is necessary to use the website, and the service is free. "It is a really quick, convenient way to provide healthy eating options for your family," said Roy Ballard, Purdue Extension educator and one of the program administrators. "If you have a question about the health benefits of a certain fruit or vegetable, or how to prepare it, all the information you need is just a click away."

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q2/purdues-foodlink-now-available-statewide.html


Poultry marketing initiative seeks consumer, farmer input

poultryOrganizers of Purdue Extension's Indiana Pastured Poultry Branding Initiative are looking for public input to help develop a set of common production, processing and branding standards for producers. Consumers are asked to complete an online survey about their poultry buying habits and preferences. The survey is available online at http://bit.ly/1Pwa0sj. A separate online survey, available at http://bit.ly/1UlgzCm, gathers information from farmers about the current size, purpose and methods of their operations. Respondents need not be planning to participate in the Indiana Pastured Poultry initiative. Both surveys are confidential, take about 10 minutes to complete and will be open until July 29.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/poultry-marketing-initiative-seeks-consumer,-farmer-input.html


New Purdue program to focus on talent management

Talent ManagementPurdue's Center for Food and Agricultural Business is starting a new professional development program to help food and agribusiness leaders better manage talent within their organizations. Managing Talent to Win will be held Oct. 18-20 in West Lafayette. It will be led by Purdue faculty experts Allan Gray, center director and professor of agricultural economics, and Michael Gunderson, center associate director and associate professor of agricultural economics, alongside Karen Grabow, organizational psychologist and principal of Grabow Consulting. Covered topics include aligning talent with the organization's strategic capabilities, situational leadership, performance management and execution, managing critical conversations and best practices for developing talent. It is designed so that participants will leave with tools they can immediately use in their workplaces.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/new-purdue-program-to-focus-on-talent-management-.html


Rapid, low-temperature process adds weeks to milk’s shelf life

Bruce ApplegateA rapid heating and cooling of milk significantly reduces the amount of harmful bacteria present, extending by several weeks the shelf life of one of the most common refrigerator staples in the world, according to a Purdue University study. Bruce Applegate, Food Science, and collaborators from Purdue and the University of Tennessee published their findings in the journal SpringerPlus, where they show that increasing the temperature of milk by 10 degrees for less than a second eliminates more than 99 percent of the bacteria left behind after pasteurization. Pasteurization, which removes significant amounts of harmful pathogens that can cause illness and eventually spoil dairy products, gives milk a shelf life of about 2-3 weeks and is considered a high-temperature, short-time method.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/rapid,-low-temperature-process-adds-weeks-to-milks-shelf-life.html


Indiana teens learn business skills at Entrepreneurship Academy

Entrepreneurship AcademyMore than 25 high school students from across Indiana had a chance to learn practical entrepreneurship skills from industry professionals during the Purdue Entrepreneurship Academy last month. The academy, sponsored by Purdue Extension and Indiana 4-H Youth Development, is an annual weeklong event that gives high school students the opportunity to interact with business leaders and entrepreneurship experts from Purdue University and throughout the state. In addition to classroom instruction, one-on-one mentorship and networking, students form teams to create competitive business plans that they present to a panel of judges at the conclusion of the event.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/indiana-teens-learn-business-skills-at-entrepreneurship-academy.html


Yeast emerges as hidden third partner in lichen symbiosis

LichenFor nearly 150 years, lichens have been the model organisms of symbiosis. Now Catherine Aime, Botany and Plant Pathology, and other researchers have uncovered an unexpected third partner embedded in the lichen cortex or "skin" - yeast. Scientists have long recognized the fundamental partnership that produces lichens: A fungus joins with an alga or cyanobacteria in a relationship that benefits both individuals. In a study led by the University of Montana, researchers show that lichens across six continents also contain basidiomycete yeasts, single-celled fungi that likely produce chemicals that help lichens ward off predators and repel microbes. The finding could explain why many genetically similar lichens present wildly different physical features and why scientists have been unable to synthesize lichens in the laboratory, even when combining species that partner successfully in nature.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/yeast-emerges-as-hidden-third-partner-in-lichen-symbiosis.html


Dates and Deadlines

August 5-21: Indiana State Fair

August 6: Summer Commencement

August 10-11: New Faculty Tour

August 22: Fall Semester begins

September 2: Graduate Student Welcoming and Networking Event

September 7: Hovde Award nominations due

September 12: Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award nominations due

September 15: College of Agriculture Celebration of Teaching Excellence

September 26: College of Agriculture Entrepreneurship Event

October 1: Purdue Ag Alumni Association Certificate of Distinction nominations due

October 4: College of Agriculture Fall Career Fair

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


University News

Purdue named in top 15 for worldwide universities granted U.S. patents in 2015

Purdue University is ranked 15th in the world among universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2015, according to a new report released by the National Academy of Inventors  and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. Purdue had 101 U.S. utility patents issued in 2015, compared to 93 the previous year. Purdue tied for 15th with the National Tsing Hua University in China. Also listed among the top 15 are the University of California system, MIT, Stanford, University of Texas system and Harvard.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/purdue-named-in-top-15-for-worldwide-universities-granted-u.s.-patents-in-2015.html

Purdue’s first-generation students do well in class, but retention is a challenge

Purdue’s first-generation college students – students whose parents have not completed a four-year degree – perform as well in their freshmen year courses as their non-first-generation counterparts, yet their retention and graduation rates are lower. Those are among the indications in the latest OIRAE briefing from the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness. The report, available here, provides data on first-generation students’ demographics, including their self-reported needs and their academic performance in particular classes, majors and colleges – with the goal of helping keep such students on track with the rest of the student population.

Full story: http://www.itap.purdue.edu/newsroom/news/160610_OIRAE_briefingjune.html

Governor makes appointments to Purdue Board of Trustees

Gov. Mike Pence on July 7 made one new appointment and two reappointments to Purdue University’s Board of Trustees. Malcolm S. DeKryger was appointed to fill the alumni representative position vacated by John Hardin Jr., who retired from the board after serving since 1992. DeKryger earned a master’s degree from Purdue’s College of Agriculture in 1983. He is the president and co-owner of Belstra Milling Co., an independent livestock feed manufacturer in DeMotte, Indiana, and also a part owner and the primary developer of all Belstra Group pig farms. DeKryger’s three-year term runs through June 30, 2019.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/governor-makes-appointments-to-purdue-board-of-trustees.html


Purdue employees eligible for football discount

Did you know that all Purdue employees are entitled to up to a 20 percent discount on football season tickets? Spending a gorgeous autumn afternoon at Ross-Ade Stadium watching the Boilermakers is a wonderful opportunity, and we invite all university employees to take advantage of this special offer. For more information, contact the athletics ticket office at 494.3194.

More information: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2016/June/SeasonTickets2016.pdf


Report Hate and Bias

report hatePurdue University is a community where diversity is valued and incidents of hate and bias are not tolerated. Students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors who feel that they have been the victim of a bias related incident (or who have witnessed a bias related incident) are encouraged to report it online at www.purdue.edu/report-hate or to contact the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 765-494-1250. Your report can remain anonymous if you wish. Remember, if it is an emergency situation that requires immediate medical or emergency services attention, please call the Purdue University Police Department at 911 or 765-494-8221.