October 2016

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From the Dean

Jay Akridge

A scan of the last couple weeks of Purdue Today gives one at least some appreciation for the breadth and depth of the College’s research portfolio. During that period, I found Purdue Today articles and/or stories published elsewhere about research the Center for Commercial Agriculture (Agricultural Economics) is doing with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to track farmer opinions about the agricultural economy on a monthly basis. A number of stories over that two-week period were related to our research and engagement- work on postharvest storage and processing in the developing world. The Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) project continues to generate much press. Klein Ileleji’s (Agricultural and Biological Engineering) research on low cost grain drying technology has led to the creation of a startup company. And, we announced the launch of the Purdue Postharvest and Processing Initiative at the World Food Prize meetings last Thursday to help give our research and engagement activities in this important area much more visibility.

As part of the Dawn or Doom Conference, Cate Hill (Entomology) led a discussion on "Infectious Diseases and the Game of Thrones: Can New Technologies Prevent Epidemics of Mosquito-borne Diseases?". Haley Oliver’s (Food Science) research on the differences between food quality and food safety—and how these difference can affect food security—was also part of the Dawn or Doom conference. Bill Muir, one of our GMO experts in Animal Sciences, also spoke at the Dawn or Doom conference about safeguards to prevent the misuse of genetic modification technology. Andrew DeWoody (Forestry and Natural Resources) recently published a study looking at the implications of wind turbines for golden eagle populations in California that generated much interest across the country.  A recently published article in Cell by Jian-Kang Zhu (Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and Biochemistry) focused on the challenges of truly unlocking the secrets of plant stress. (Jian-Kang is this year’s winner of the Herbert Newby McCoy Award, the University highest research award in the natural sciences). You’ll read about all these researchers in this issue of InFocus.

The range of science and issues our faculty, staff, and student researchers tackle is truly remarkable.   And, a two-week sample of Purdue Today articles does not begin to capture the full range of the research conducted by our College. Last year alone (fiscal 2016), our faculty, staff, and students published 1006 peer-reviewed journal articles. They wrote 770 proposals requesting $188 million in funding. Some 334 of those 770 proposals were multidisciplinary in focus.  During fiscal 2016, our faculty and staff generated more than $60 million in funding – or roughly $250,000 per work day in extramural support. To be accurate, these data are for overall sponsored program activity, which includes research, extension, teaching, and international proposals and grants. But, the figures do give you a good sense of the scale of our research program.

Supporting a research program of this scale is no small task. And a big thanks goes to Dr. Karen Plaut and her team in the Agricultural Research at Purdue office for all they do to help ensure our laboratories, research farms, and core facilities provide the infrastructure needed to support world-class research.  While this has been an area of constant focus over the past eight years and we have made much progress, we realize there is much more to do to support our College’s researchers at the highest levels.

Beyond improving and enhancing the physical infrastructure, we will continue to do all we can to support faculty as they work to secure extramural funds in an incredibly competitive funding environment.  In FY2015, our sponsored programs funding came from a variety of sources including USDA (33%), NIH (5%), NSF (7%), DOE (17 %), USAID (8%), and industry and foundations (27%). Diversification of funding sources is certainly one strategy to expand our funding base. Last week, Karen Plaut and Jason Henderson and 18 faculty members visited panel managers at federal funding agencies in Washington, DC to talk about their research and ensure that their proposal are aligned with the needs of the federal agencies.

As we look toward the 2018 Farm Bill (which provides authorization language for USDA research funding), there is a lot of activity underway to help make the case for increased research funding to address the problems around the agriculture, food, and natural resource sciences that are so central to our world.  While there’s little doubt that funding will be continue to be tight, I am very confident in the ability of our faculty and staff to compete for available funding at the highest levels.

And, I will continue to look forward to more announcements about the steady stream of exciting discoveries our researchers in the College of Agriculture have made.

All the best,



Purdue Agriculture People


Profiles in Teaching: Catherine Aime

Catherine AimeProfiles in Teaching focuses each month on an individual whose work reflects our commitment to learning at Purdue. This month’s spotlight is on Dr. Catherine Aime, Botany and Plant Pathology.

Full Story: https://ag.purdue.edu/oap/Pages/Profiles-in-Teaching.aspx?tid=15#.V__HTEea2Um





Diversity Champion Spotlight: Raymond Redcorn


Raymond RedcornThe Diversity Champion Spotlight recognizes an individual or group whose efforts help us build a diverse and inclusive community and/or improve the climate in the College of Agriculture. This month’s spotlight is on Raymond Redcorn, doctoral student in Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

Full story: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2016/October/DiversityChampionSpotlight.pdf


Graduate Research Spotlight: Luis Moisés Peña-Lévano

Luis Pena LevanoThe Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. This month's spotlight is on Luis Moisés Peña-Lévano, Agricultural Economics; advisors Wally Tyner and Farzad Taheripour.

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




Joe Anderson to step down in Agronomy

Joe AndersonDr. Joe Anderson has announced that he will step out of the role of head of the Department of Agronomy to return to his scholarly activities, effective Fall 2017. “I want to express my deepest appreciation to Joe for his leadership as department head over the past six years,” said Dean Jay Akridge.  “Agronomy is an outstanding department, and consistently demonstrates excellence across all of our missions and globally through robust international activities.”  Dr. Ken Foster, head of the Department Agricultural Economics, will chair the search advisory committee for the next Agronomy Department head and the following faculty and staff have agreed to serve on the committee:

Shalamar Armstrong, Assistant Professor 
Jim Beaty, ASREC Superintendent 
Laura Bowling, Professor 
Sylvie Brouder, Professor 
Shaun Casteel, Associate Professor 
Sherry Fulk-Bringman, Laboratory and Outreach Coordinator 
Corey Gerber, Clinical Associate Professor 
Eileen Kladivko, Professor 
Mitch Tuinstra, Wickersham Chair of Excellence in Ag Research 
Cliff Weil, Professor


Purdue to host 2017 NACTA Conference

NACTA logoPurdue is set to host the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Conference, June 28-July 1, 2017. The website for the conference is here and includes a video invitation. The call for abstracts will come from NACTA in November and registration will go live in January. Abstracts may be submitted for both oral and poster presentations.  There is also an opportunity to lead a two-hour workshop. Several faculty and staff members are involved with planning this event; if you are interested in helping, contact Dennis Buckmaster (dbuckmas@purdue.edu).



Lauren Lee joins Beck Agricultural Center

Lauren LeeLauren Lee, a 2011 Purdue University graduate, has been selected as the facility and events manager at the Beck Agricultural Center. Lauren has worked part time at the Beck Center since 2012, assisting with event set-up and management.  She comes to the Beck Center with solid knowledge of the mission of this educational facility, coupled with recent experience as program coordinator for the Otterbein Public Library (Benton County, Indiana). Lauren began her tenure at the Beck Center on October 17 succeeding Jan Beaty, who will officially retire on October 31.



State Chemist office restructures seed division

State Chemist staffThe Office of Indiana State Chemist at Purdue has restructured its seed section so it can more effectively determine seed marketers' compliance with Indiana law through product inspection and testing. Don Robison, who has been hired as the OISC's new seed administrator, has some 30 years of experience in the seed and fertilizer business in Indiana, Missouri and Colorado. He replaces Larry Nees, who retired after 41 years at the OISC, 39 as seed administrator. Jessica McVay, a Purdue graduate, has been promoted to seed laboratory coordinator.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/state-chemist-office-restructures-seed-division.html


EDEN expert participates in White House Roundtable

EDEN logoSteve Cain, Manager of Extension Disaster Outreach and Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) Disaster Communication Specialist, was invited to be part of a White House Roundtable on disaster preparedness and to speak on what is working well in disaster efforts in Indiana. He noted that FEMA disaster declarations have become more difficult to achieve: Indiana had a dozen disasters in 2015, none of which FEMA declared disasters, which meant that the state and local agencies/organizations were responsible for the recovery in those disasters. Purdue Extension provided leadership in all of those disasters, helping local communities overcome disasters.

Since 1994, Purdue Extension has been a leader in the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN), which provides direction for Extension programming and resources for Extension educators nationwide. When disasters strike, Extension is there and answers hundreds of questions concerning disasters, from the beginning to the end and long after others have come and gone from the disaster area. To learn more about Purdue Extension’s disaster efforts visit our website at: https://ag.purdue.edu/extension/eden/Pages/default.aspx


Spirit of Purdue Agriculture fuels Indiana bicentennial torch relay

Torch relayIn 1916, as residents prepared to celebrate Indiana’s 100th birthday, members of the centennial organizing committee made it a priority to pay tribute to the state’s agriculture alongside its art, education and commerce. Purdue University associate professor of Agricultural Extension G. I. Christie was chosen to lead the effort to honor Hoosier farmers. “Indiana agriculture should occupy a prominent place in the centennial celebration exercises of 1916,” Christie wrote in Suggestive Plans for a Historical and Educational Celebration in Indiana in 1916. “While this industry has been the basis of the progress and the prosperity of Indiana from the beginning, it is found that agriculture is being recognized more and more by all classes of people.” He encouraged exhibit designers not to focus just on the state’s farming heritage, but to envision the role agriculture would play in shaping Indiana’s future. A century later, agriculture remains a vital part of the state’s economy and Purdue is once again at the center of a milestone celebration.

Full Story: https://ag.purdue.edu/connections/Pages/article.aspx?sid=278&m=September&y=2016#.WAUKH9zO9-W


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 2017 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 5.

TEAM Award guidelines and required nomination cover sheet: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2016/October/2017_TEAM_Award.pdf


College participates in Bravo Awards Program

Bravo AwardPurdue Agriculture will participate in the Bravo Award program again this year. The Bravo Award is intended to highlight the excellence found across all areas and job functions at Purdue by recognizing and rewarding extraordinary achievements on every scale. The Bravo Award is a one-time cash award to employees at all levels in recognition of substantial accomplishments that extend well beyond regular work responsibilities. Acknowledging employee accomplishments that help Purdue make a difference with our students and in our state and help us move the world forward is vital to the University's mission and the morale of our faculty and staff. Click here for more information and FAQs about the Bravo Award. You can find the Bravo Award nomination form here. Please use this form—not any older versions. If you have questions, please contact your business manager.



A/P Staff advancement work begins

The 2016-2017 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 4). 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.

For more details, follow this link: https://ag.purdue.edu/Pages/advance_info.aspx


Attention Researchers: FTC Charges Academic Journal Publisher OMICS Group Deceived Researchers

The Federal Trade Commission has charged OMICS Group, Inc. for hundreds of online academic journals that have been released with deceiving academics and researchers and hiding publications fees that now range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Full Story: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2016/08/ftc-charges-academic-journal-publisher-omics-group-deceived

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

Gerald ShivelyGerald Shively, Agricultural Economics, was named a Fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economists at the group’s annual meeting in Addis Ababa in September. The African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) is an association of Agricultural economists and other professionals with special interest in agricultural economic issues and affairs, working in agriculture and broadly related fields of applied economics, and issues related to policy and improving the productivity of African agriculture.



Patricia JaynesPatricia Jaynes, Animal Sciences, was one of two winners of Purdue's 2016 Clerical and Service Staff Advisory Committee (CSSAC) Excellence Awards. The awards recognize clerical and service staff members who perform at outstanding levels. Patricia They each received a plaque and $1,500. The annual award was created by CSSAC and is sponsored by the Office of the Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, and the Office of the Provost. A CSSAC committee selects the winners.Patricia is pictured with her nominator, Dr. Layi Adeola, Animal Sciences, and Trent Klingerman, Vice President for Human Resources. 



Michael ODonnellMichael O’Donnell, ANR Extension Educator in Delaware County, has been selected as a SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) Fellow. The SARE/NACAA Sustainable Agriculture Fellows program provides agricultural educators with hands-on training and exposure to sustainable management practices used on farms and ranches nationwide. Each year, four Fellows are chosen nationwide to participate in a two-year series of sustainable agriculture tours to learn and experience how sustainable strategies work in the field.




Homecoming queen and kingCameron Mann, a senior studying agricultural communication and agribusiness marketing in from Cloverdale, Indiana, was crowned Purdue's 2016 Homecoming Queen on October 15.The Homecoming King is Trevor Peters, a senior studying mass communication in the College of Liberal Arts.The Homecoming Queen and King were chosen by online student voting and formal interviews by a judging panel composed of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders.



Purdue Agriculture in the News


World Food Prize laureate Catherine Bertini to speak at Purdue

Catherine BertiniCatherine Bertini, former executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme and 2003 World Food Prize laureate, will join Purdue University President Mitch Daniels for an in-depth discussion on global food security during the opening program of Purdue's 2016-17 Presidential Lecture Series. The program, scheduled for 6:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 2 in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall, is free and open to the public. Dr. Bertini is currently vice chair and professor of public administration and international affairs in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and serves as a distinguished fellow at the Chicago Council of Global Affairs.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/world-food-prize-laureate-catherine-bertini-to-speak-at-purdue.html


Board of Trustees names first chair for environmental sustainability

Jeff DukesThe Purdue University Board of Trustees has named Jeffrey Dukes the inaugural Belcher Chair for Environmental Sustainability in the College of Agriculture. Dr. Dukes is a professor in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources and the Department of Biological Sciences, as well as director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center. His research focuses on understanding how ecosystems respond to environmental changes, such as climate change and biological invasions, and on how to minimize the disruption of ecosystems from these changes. he Belcher Chair is an endowed position funded through a gift from Dick and Suzanne Belcher and supplemented through the Faculty Excellence Challenge Match. The Belchers met at Purdue, with Dick earning his bachelor's degree in agricultural economics in 1956 and Suzanne her bachelor's degree in speech pathology and audiology in 1957.

Full story: http://bit.ly/2ecWT50


Scientists have bright idea for detecting harmful bacteria in food products

Bruce ApplegatePurdue University researchers have engineered a bacteriophage called NanoLuc - a virus that only infects bacteria - to produce an enzyme that causes E. coli O157:H7 to emit light if infected. The process can shave hours off traditional testing methods, which can be critical when stopping the distribution of tainted foods.The study involved Purdue's Bruce Applegate and graduate research assistant Dandan Zhang, both in Food Science, and scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and the Purdue Center for Food Safety Engineering. Results were published in Scientific Reports, an arm of the Nature Publishing Group.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/purdue-scientists-have-bright-idea-for-detecting-harmful-bacteria-in-food-products.html


Dedications held for new Beck's spaces in College of Agriculture

Becks DedicationTwo newly-renovated College of Agriculture spaces provide state-of-the-art learning environments for students in Agricultural Economics and Agronomy. Gifts from the Beck Family and Beck's Hybrids Organization led to the creation of the premier Beck’s Genetic Lab and Beck’s Crops Resource Center in the Department of Agronomy space in Lilly Hall. The company, led by Purdue alumni Sonny Beck and Scott Beck, also donated money to create the Beck’s Floor for Agricultural Economics in the Krannert Building.“Our family is grateful to be part of this world-class university,” said Scott Beck, president of Beck’s in Atlanta, Indiana. “We’re passionate about providing the College of Agriculture faculty and students with improved facilities that will enhance their education. Because for us, it’s not just a donation. It’s an investment in the future of agriculture.”

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/releases/2016/Q3/dedications-to-be-held-for-new-becks-spaces-in-purdue-college-of-agriculture.html


Statue honors legacy of leadership for basketball coach, alumni donor

John Wooden statuePurdue dedicated a new statue on the West Lafayette campus honoring former Boilermaker All-America basketball player and UCLA coach John Wooden. Funding for the statue was donated by Mr. Jim Hicks, a 1961 Purdue agricultural economics graduate. A dedicated supporter of students’ educational, career and personal development, Jim and his wife, Neta, donated $2 million in 2014 to create the Jim and Neta Hicks Endowment for Leadership in Agriculture, which mainly supports the College of Agriculture Transformational Experiences (CATE) program. Part of the gift was allocated for the creation of a 7-foot bronze statue of Wooden, which pays homage to his days as a three-time (1930-1932) All-American player at Purdue.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/statue-honors-legacy-of-leadership-for-basketball-coach,-alumni-donor.html



Medical entomologist: 'Games of Thrones' offers parallels to new global era of infectious disease

Catherine HillInfectious diseases and the insects that transmit them have been powerful forces in shaping human history and evolution. Mosquito-borne illnesses; plagues of epic proportions and waves of dengue, yellow fever and malaria shaped the United States. Modern medicine and insecticides have made these illnesses seem like distant memories to many nations. But according to Catherine Hill, Purdue medical entomologist in Entomology and avid fan of the fantasy book and television series "Game of Thrones," this condition is not the new normal. "We've co-evolved with pathogens," she says. "It's only recently and in the developed world that we have lived relatively free of infectious diseases, and I would suggest we're moving into an era where that is not the case anymore. These diseases are increasingly going to become a problem for people everywhere."

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/medical-entomologist-game-of-thrones-offers-parallels-to-new-global-era-of-infectious-disease-.html


Know what caused your diarrhea? Probably not, says Purdue researcher

Haley OliverCall it a gut feeling, but Haley Oliver, Food Science, is pretty sure that nearly everyone has suffered from diarrhea at some point. In searching for a cause, people often blame something they recently ate or drank, such as sour milk or wilted lettuce. However, Dr. Oliver said such blame is usually misplaced. There is an important difference between food quality and food safety, she said - "quality" refers to how consumers perceive the taste, smell, color and freshness of a product, while "safety" means the absence of harmful pathogens, toxins and substances like sand or glass. That means a food whose quality seems questionable may actually be safe - and food that seems fine may contain lethal pathogens, Oliver said.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/know-what-caused-your-diarrhea-probably-not,-says-purdue-researcher.html


Wind turbines killing more than just local birds, study finds

wind turbinesWind turbines are known to kill large birds, such as golden eagles, that live nearby. Now there is evidence that birds from up to hundreds of miles away make up a significant portion of the raptors that are killed at these wind energy fields. Using DNA from tissue and stable isotopes from the feathers of golden eagle carcasses, Andrew DeWoody, Forestry and Natural Resources, worked with researchers from other universities and the U.S. Geological Survey and found that golden eagles killed at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in northern California can come from hundreds of miles away. Golden eagles are a species of conservation concern, so under-standing population-level differences and how individuals interact with turbines is key to meeting a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service target of no net loss to their populations. "Eagles tend to use that habitat around the turbines. It's windy there, so they can save energy and soar, and their preferred prey, California ground squirrels, is abundant there," said DeWoody.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/wind-turbines-killing-more-than-just-local-birds,-study-finds.html


Tymora receives $225,000 grant to advance prostate cancer research

Andy TaoFederal funding will help a Purdue-affiliated company research technology that could lead to a new way to distinguish aggressive forms of prostate cancer from indolent forms of the disease. Tymora Analytical Operations has received a one-year STTR Phase I grant of $225,000 from the National Cancer Institute to develop an innovative phosphorylation analysis technology into commercial products. The National Cancer Institute is part of the National Institutes of Health. Tymora licenses intellectual property discovered by W. Andy Tao, Biochemistry, through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. The company is based at Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/tymora-receives-225,000-grant-to-advance-prostate-cancer-research.html#.V-yUTdjvCQg.mailto


Purdue launches postharvest initiative at World Food Prize meeting

postharvestPurdue University formally launched the Purdue Postharvest Initiative with an exhibit at the World Food Prize meeting in Des Moines, Iowa. With an estimated one-third of the world's food going to waste, reducing food waste and loss is critical to meet food demands for what experts predict will be 9 billion people in 2050. Focusing on developing countries, Purdue is leading and partnering on projects designed to reduce postharvest loss, improve nutrition, build and enhance agricultural value chains and foster and support food entrepreneurs.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/purdue-launches-postharvest-initiative-at-world-food-prize-meeting.html


New location 'on tap' at Union to serve People's Brewing Co. Ales

1869 TaproomPurdue’s Dining & Catering is partnering with local microbrewery People’s Brewing Co. to launch the 1869 Tap Room, a gathering place on the Purdue Memorial Union ground floor that will be open limited hours every Thursday and Friday as well as on Saturdays during home football games. Future plans call for the tap room to feature an educational display that highlights Purdue research in fermentation science and hops production. People’s Brewery works closely with hops researchers in the College of Agriculture and fermentation specialists in the Department of Food Science. Some of the hops used by People’s Brewery are locally grown and are varieties studied at Purdue. “This is a unique location to share information about some of the work we are doing at Purdue,” said Brian Farkas, head of the Department of Food Science. “Hops research supports an important sector of the agricultural industry, and fermentation – beyond craft brewing and wine production – has important implications in biopharmaceuticals and biofuels.”

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/releases/2016/Q4/new-location-on-tap-at-union-to-serve-peoples-brewing-co.-ales.html


Publication series helps applicators protect pollinators

PollinatorsA series of three new publications from Purdue Extension will offer homeowners, farmers and commercial applicators practical tips on protecting pollinators from insecticide exposure and other risks. Each publication in the Protecting Pollinators series is available as a free download from Purdue's The Education Store. "Our intent is to provide practical tips that people will find easy to implement," said Rick Foster, professor of entomology. Foster worked with Fred Whitford, director of the Purdue Pesticide Programs, to develop the series as part of a statewide effort to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, including honey bees, mason bees, bumble bees, flies, moths, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/publication-series-helps-applicators-protect-pollinators.html


Understanding how plants withstand harsh conditions remains major research challenge

jian kang zhuUnderstanding how plants sense and cope with harsh conditions such as drought, too much salt in the soil or extreme temperatures could help researchers develop tougher crops - an essential step to improving agricultural productivity, environmental sustainability and global food security. But while scientists have made some headway in decoding plants' stress signaling pathways and defense mechanisms, many key questions remain unanswered, says a review by Jian-Kang Zhu, distinguished professor of plant biology in the Departments of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and Biochemistry, and winner of Purdue's 2016 Herbert Newby McCoy Award for excellence in research in the natural sciences.. "So many scientists have been working on these research questions, but we still don't see a lot of new crop varieties with improved drought resistance or tolerance to heat or cold," he said. "It remains a huge challenge. The same is true for drought and other major abiotic stresses." The review was published in Cell on October 6.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/understanding-how-plants-withstand-harsh-conditions-remains-major-research-challenge.html


Harnessing the power and potential of GMOs: Purdue geneticist weighs in

Bill MuriPurdue professor of animal sciences and GMO expert William Muir recognizes the potentially immense benefits of genetic modification technology, commonly known as genetic engineering or gene editing. “It could cure or prevent cancer, increase food production to feed a rapidly expanding global population, alleviate pain and suffering among livestock animals and prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika or malaria,” says Muir, a biotechnology specialist. Still, he understands why some people are uncomfortable with the thought of manipulating the building blocks of life to create genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, and shares some of their concerns.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/harnessing-the-power-and-potential-of-gmos-purdue-geneticist-weighs-in.html


Purdue professor speaks at Vatican conference on economics and society

van der MensbrugghePurdue agricultural economist Dominique van der Mensbrugghe spoke Sept. 21 at a conference on economics and inequality hosted by the Vatican. He spoke alongside Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton and professor Jean-Paul Fitoussi of Rome's LUISS Guido Carli University in the Vatican's Courtyard of the Gentiles.The conference, "Towards a More Human and Just World: A New Inclusive Economic Paradigm in the Context of Growing Inequalities," was a joint initiative between the Italian Embassy to the Holy See and the Pontifical Council for Culture. It was intended to prompt reflection in political and academic circles about the relationship between economics and society.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/purdue-professor-speaks-at-vatican-conference-on-economics-and-society.html


Purdue announces largest ever startup class based on university innovations

Klein IlelejiKlein Ileleji, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, is among those spotlighted in the largest "Purdue Startup Class of 2016." He teamed up with his wife, Reiko Habuto Ileleji, a Purdue alumna who earned her Ph.D. from the College of Education, and co-founded the startup JUA Technologies International LLC. The company commercialized a solar-powered crop-drying device to prevent post-harvest losses for smallholders and small-medium agro-processors. "Crops harvested in their fresh state tend to have a lot of moisture, which doesn't permit long-term storage, so drying is the first step taken to preserve crop quality and prolong shelf life. Our dryer is an affordable, energy-efficient option for smallholders in developing countries, a way to prevent great losses in quantity and quality of crops due to inadequate drying," Dr. Ileleji said. “All of the opportunities that have been available to me at Purdue, including my mentors, really allowed me to think about my ideas globally and gave me the confidence to create a startup and commercialize my technology."

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/purdue-announces-largest-ever-startup-class-based-on-university-innovations.html


Producer sentiment moderates, continues to favor livestock

Ag BarometerFarmer sentiment toward the agricultural economy improved slightly in September as fall harvest kicked off, according to the latest reading of the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. The barometer read 101 for the month of September, up just six points from the August reading of 95. The current reading is well below the barometer's peak of 112 in July. Survey respondents remained more optimistic about the future conditions in the livestock sector than crops, but most said they don't actually expect widespread good times in either sector, said Jim Mintert, the barometer's principal investigator and director of Purdue's Center for Commercial Agriculture.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/producer-sentiment-moderates,-continues-to-favor-livestock.html


CDC grant to help reduce obesity in two Indiana counties

indiana mapThanks to a $1.15 million grant, Purdue University health experts will work closely with Jackson and Lawrence counties to develop and implement communitywide strategies to deal with a high incidence of adult obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded the two-year grant, "Reducing obesity in Indiana through community involvement to increase prevention," to Tim Gavin, professor and head of the Department of Health and Kinesiology. Gavin is partnering with Purdue Extension to use the Community Champions for Healthy Indiana, which is designed to build community leadership and support resources to address local health needs.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/cdc-1.15-million-grant-to-help-reduce-obesity-in-two-indiana-counties.html


Colombian Orinoquía region to get sustainable development assistance through Purdue collaboration

Colombia mapColombian President Juan Manuel Santos invited Purdue University to work with Colombian partners to assist with the development of a master plan for sustainable development of the Orinoquía region. As a result, Purdue has studied the region and is using its research expertise to assist in a collaborative plan with Colombian institutions for the sustainable development of agriculture and tourism in the Orinoquía region.Purdue’s contribution to the master plan is to provide a rigorous analysis that will help develop the region’s potential and define the catalysts for sustainable productive agriculture and tourism development. A team of research investigators including agricultural economics professors James “Jess” Lowenberg-DeBoer, John H. Sanders and Paul V. Preckel, and Jonathon Day, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management from the College of Health and Human Sciences, are the lead investigators from Purdue working with the Colombian institutions. 

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/colombian-orinoqu%C3%ADa-region-to-get-sustainable-development-assistance-through-purdue-collaboration.html


Purdue-based agriculture software startup places third in 2016 BioCrossroads New Venture Competition

VinSense logoVinSense LLC, a startup that licensed a software that could help grape growers and winemakers optimize quality and yields in their vineyards, placed third in the 2016 BioCrossroads New Venture Competition. Vin-Sense, founded by Christian Butzke, Food Science, Phillip Owens, Agronomy, and David Ebert, was awarded third place and $10,000 in cash prizes during the 2016 Indiana Life Sciences Summit earlier this month. VinSense will use the funds to further develop and enhance its software's features.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/purdue-based-agriculture-software-startup-places-third-in-2016-biocrossroads-new-venture-competition.html


Farmers, faculty to deliver insights on selling in today's ag marketplace


Scott Downey and Will SecorA new webinar series from Purdue's Center for Food and Agricultural Business focuses on what farmers really think about the current agricultural climate, how they see it affecting their decisions and the ways sales and marketing professionals can enhance the value they bring to their customers in the midst of an industrywide downturn. "Live from the Field" is a four-part series that reveals the attitudes of livestock and grain farmers through live farmer interviews and expert analysis by Agricultural Economics faculty members William Secor, clinical assistant professor and associate center director for degree programs, and Scott Downey, associate professor and associate center director for executive education. "We created this series as an opportunity for agribusiness professionals to gain current insights about the industry in the farmers' own voices," Downey said. "Once the interviews are finished, we will help participants refine the ways they can continuously bring value to their customers, which is as critical as ever in the midst of the current agricultural downturn."

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/farmers,-faculty-to-deliver-insights-on-selling-in-todays-ag-marketplace.html


Key epigenetic switch mechanism in gene regulation discovered


Humaira GowherA Purdue University study pinpointed an epigenetic mechanism that is a key factor in how genes are switched on and off. Both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms regulate human gene expression. External or environmental factors, such as carcinogens from tobacco smoking, disrupt normal epigenetic regulation. This leads to changes in gene expression, which results in the production of cancerous cells. Humaira Gowher, Biochemistry, is interested in the mechanisms that control gene expression by directing epigenetic regulators such as DNA methylation to specific portions of a gene. ""The process we discovered provides a way for cells to control the activity of Dnmts at specific enhancers where DNA methylation must be deposited to ensure that genes are turned off when required," said Gowher, whose findings were published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research."

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/key-epigenetic-switch-mechanism-in-gene-regulation-discovered.html



Jan Beaty, Agriculture Administration/Beck Agricultural Center, retires October 31
Deborah Clampitt, Agriculture Business Office, retires October 31
Gary Horner, Purdue Extension Miami County, retired October 1


Dates and Deadlines

October 19: Corinne Alexander Spirit of the Land Grand Award Event: Dr. Linda Prokopy, 3:30 pm, Deans Auditorium, Pfendler Hall

October 31: Herbert Newby McCoy Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Jian-Kang Zhu, 3:30 pm, Fowler Hall, Stewart Center

November 2: Presidential Lecture Series with Dr. Catherine Bertini

November 8: College of Agriculture Faculty Meeting, 3:30 pm, Deans Auditorium, Pfendler Hall

November 17: PCARET State Conference, Beck Agricultural Center

November 23-25: Thanksgiving Break; no classes

December 2: Dean's Club Dinner, Beck Agricultural Center


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


University News

Open enrollment for 2017 benefit plans begins October 24

Open enrollment provides an annual opportunity for faculty and staff to review benefit offerings and make choices for the upcoming year. This year's open enrollment begins Oct. 24 and ends at 6 p.m. EST Nov. 11. Benefit selections made during this period go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. Purdue trustees recently approved the 2017 medical plans for the University. Purdue faculty and staff will see a slight increase of 4 percent in medical plan premiums in 2017, and University costs under the plans also will increase by 4 percent. The trustees also approved a move for the dental plans from Delta Dental to Anthem, which brings cost savings to participants who choose one of the "buy-up" coverage options. Plan coverage for the dental plans will remain consistent. Open enrollment guides will be delivered through campus mail beginning Oct. 24.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/releases/2016/Q4/open-enrollment-for-2017-benefit-plans-begins-next-week.html


WSJ rankings put Purdue among top public institutions

Purdue ranks fourth among public institutions in the United States, based on a new survey announced Wednesday (Sept. 28) by the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education. The rankings, according to the Wall Street Journal, focus on performance indicators for student success and learning. Forty percent of the overall score is based on student outcomes, 30 percent from resources, 20 percent from engagement with students and 10 percent from the learning environment. The rankings include a list of more than 1,000 institutions in the United States.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/releases/2016/Q3/wsj-rankings-put-purdue-among-top-public-institutions.html


Purdue, State of Indiana receive multimillion grant to help Hoosier students prepare for college success

A multimillion dollar federal grant awarded to Purdue University and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE) will help more Indiana students stay on track from middle school to postsecondary education. The statewide effort aims to strengthen academic preparation, college readiness and career guidance with a special focus on students in Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program. “There’s no learning more important to the individual and collective future of Hoosiers than science and math, but currently there’s no other area in which we are coming up so short. It’s hard to think of another project that fits Purdue’s mission and the needs of our state like this one,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q3/purdue,-state-of-indiana-receive-24.5-million-grant-to-help-hoosier-students-prepare-for-college-success.html


Purdue Polytechnic High School moving forward in Indy

Purdue University on Monday (Oct. 3) announced an agreement with Indianapolis Public Schools and opened applications for Purdue Polytechnic High School Indianapolis, a new STEM-focused charter school scheduled to open in fall 2017. “For this freshman class, we were only able to admit 26 students from the entire IPS system. That’s unacceptable and someone has to find a way to do better,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said. “We thank IPS and the city for this unique partnership, which we hope will build a new pathway to Purdue and to successful careers for future students from downtown Indianapolis.”

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/purdue-polytechnic-high-school-moving-forward-in-indy.html


Purdue launches new research website

This website, Research at Purdue, is able to highlight research from all of Purdue's campuses in formats such as feature articles, videos and infographics. I hopes of enhancing user experience, this website combines print and digital content into one, easy accessible place. The website will open many doors for contributors and users. Contributors will have the opportunity to tell different stories through the interviews they have conducted and users will have more access to the college and Purdue News Service sites by linking back to original articles. Research at Purdue is a user-friendly and responsive format with a share option that doesn't require additional apps. A more internally focused website, Dimensions of Discovery, has also migated to its new platform.


Nominations being accepted for Martin staff award

Nominations for the Eudoxia Girard Martin Memorial Staff Recognition Award are currently being accepted through Nov. 11.The award, established by two of Martin’s sons, Leslie Martin and Carlton Martin, is intended for fifth-level secretaries or administrative assistants with five years of continuous service on the West Lafayette campus. It is awarded to staff who accomplish their duties with a special caring and helpfulness to students, faculty and staff. Details regarding how to make a nomination can be found in this memo. Questions regarding the award may be directed to Carrie Hanson in Human Resources at carrie@purdue.edu or 494-7397.


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.