January 2017

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From the Dean

Jay Akridge

The new year always starts fast for the College, and already it seems like the holiday was a long time ago! I do hope you had an enjoyable break and time with your family and friends. 

As we start 2017, there is plenty to look forward to and much in the works this Spring, and it promises to be another exciting and productive semester for the College. I can’t highlight everything on our agenda for the Spring, but here is a partial list:

  • Our DATA (Diversity Action Team in Agriculture) group has an exciting 6th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Awareness Week planned. The schedule of events is shown below and I hope to see many of you there this week.

  • We are working on a new Plant Science Portal, a strategy to help us reach students who may not be familiar with our existing plant science majors, but who have an interest in ‘how plants grow or how to grow plants’.

  • Assistant Dean Dennis Buckmaster and his team will be launching our new ten-week Teacher Development Course (PREP-Professors Reviewing Excellent Practices) this semester to help our new faculty get off to a great start in the classroom.

  • We will wrap up hiring the ten new faculty positions as part of the Plant Sciences Institute this Spring. In addition, construction will begin in earnest on the new Controlled Environment Phenotyping Facility (behind Lilly Hall) as soon as the weather breaks. (In another exciting Plant Sciences Institute bit of news, Agronomy Professor Mitch Tuinstra had the opportunity to present our plant phenotyping research to Bill Gates in December.)

  • A new series of professional skill workshops for our graduate students will be launched this Spring in collaboration with Purdue’s Center for Career Opportunities. Topics will include networking skills, negotiating strategies, and developing resilience.

  • Purdue Extension will focus on three important issues in our state this Spring: food safety, soil health and water, and farm financial conditions. Look for programming, workshops, and educational materials aimed at helping our state address key issues in all three areas.

  • We will launch a new Indiana 4-H Entrepreneurship Academy this summer--an educational program/start-up/business pitch competition building on the successful foundation of a program previously offered by The Foundry at Purdue.

  • Our Farmer to Farmer activities will continue to move forward in Colombia, as will a number of other partnerships and collaborations in that country.

  • This is a budget year for Indiana, so we will be working to secure continued funding for the Crossroads line item that supports research and Extension aimed at addressing Indiana issues, as well as working to obtain funding for the new Agricultural and Biological Engineering facility.

  • Later in the spring, look for a new College magazine from Agricultural Communication, as well as number of other changes as we continue our work to develop a more strategic approach to our communications.

  • The Purdue Agriculture Alumni Fish Fry is February 4 (details below). Come join 1000+ alumni and friends of the College as we enjoy reconnecting and hearing from Olympic gold medalist and Boilermaker David Boudia.

There is much more: hiring new department heads for Agricultural Economics and Agronomy (and announcing our new Associate Dean and Director of International Programs); filling ten other faculty positions; celebrating our Distinguished Agriculture Alumni on March 3; an exciting (student led and delivered) Ag Week April 3-7; Spring Fest on April 8-9, and much more!

Of course, beyond these things I have highlighted, there will be so much more to celebrate at the end of the semester: students completing our undergraduate and graduate programs; new research findings and publications; Extension programs that help our stakeholders get better or improve their lives in some way; and all the other things we do as a College every day to make a positive impact on our world.  Yes, there is a lot to look forward to this Spring.  And, my thanks in advance for all each of you will do to help the College deliver another exceptional semester!

All the best,



Purdue Agriculture People


Diversity Champion Spotlight: Lou Ann Baugh

Lou Ann BaughThe 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 Lou Ann Baugh, Agricultural Economics.



Full story: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2017/January/DiversityChampionSpotlightJanuary2017.pdf


Finalists set for Agricultural Economics Department Head

Four candidates have been invited to interview for the Agricultural Economics Department Head position.  Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend the seminar presentations and to engage in the interview process for this important position.  The seminars will be streamed and archived on the department head search link on the bottom of the department home page.  Candidate information, including credentials and feedback forms/feedback survey links, will be added to the site soon.

Dr. Jayson Lusk, Oklahoma State University

Interview:  Tuesday and Wednesday, January 17 & 18
Seminar: Tuesday, January 17 at 9:00 a.m. in the Krannert Auditorium, Room 140

Dr. Allan Gray, Purdue University

Interview:  Thursday and Friday, January 19 & 20
Seminar: Thursday, January 19 at 9:00 a.m. in the Krannert Auditorium, Room 140

Dr. Maria Marshall, Purdue University

Interview:  Thursday and Friday, January 26 & 27
Seminar: Thursday, January 26 at 9:00 a.m. in the Krannert Auditorium, Room 140

Dr. Matthew Holt, The University of Alabama

Interview:  Monday and Tuesday, February 6 & 7
Seminar: Monday, February 6 at 9:00 a.m. in the Krannert Auditorium, Room 140


Seven honored with Purdue Ag Alumni Certificate of Distinction

Seven agricultural educators and industry leaders have been named recipients of the Certificate of Distinction, the highest honor bestowed by the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association. The award is presented annually to professionals who have contributed significantly to agriculture, forestry or natural resources through career accomplishments, organizational involvement, community service and other activities. Certificate of Distinction recipients will be recognized at the Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry, Feb. 4 in the Elements Financial Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th St., Indianapolis.

Full list of honorees: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2017/Q1/seven-honored-with-purdue-ag-alumni-certificate-of-distinction.html



Extension director to present ag economic update at Fort Wayne Farm Show

hendersonJason Henderson, associate dean and director of Purdue Extension, will deliver an update on Indiana’s agricultural economy Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. during the Fort Wayne Farm Show at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Ave., Fort Wayne. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 17; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 18; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 19. Educational sessions are provided by Purdue Extension and the Northeastern Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2017/Q1/extension-director-to-present-ag-economic-update-at-fort-wayne-farm-show.html




Application process opens for 2017 Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food Security 

feed the futureThe U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security Program will hold its sixth annual Summer Institute on Global Food Security from June 4-17 on the campus of Purdue University. Attending will be 40 graduate students selected from 20 universities from across the United States, including Purdue. Participants are selected based on their demonstrated interest and commitment to finding solutions to world hunger, and have chosen dissertation research that addresses the challenges of global food security.The two-week learning program, hosted by the Purdue Center for Global Food Security, is for graduate students who are interested in developing a holistic understanding of the conceptual challenges around global food security with a focus on cross-disciplinary problem solving of real-world development challenges. The application deadline is Feb. 15. Applicants must have completed at least one semester of graduate study and be enrolled in a U.S. institution at the time of application. U.S. citizenship is not required. For additional information and application forms, go to: http://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/food/borlaugfellows/summer-institute/index.php  


Events set to commemorate 2017 Diversity Awareness Week in CoA

martin luther kingThe Diversity Action Team in Agriculture (DATA) has organized four days of activities to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Awareness Week, January 16-20, sponsored by the Colleges of Agriculture, Health and Human Sciences, Liberal Arts, and Science. This year's theme is Celebrating Diversity: "Keeping our Past, Present". Following the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday on Monday, January 16, faculty and staff are invited to participate in activities each day to educate and raise diversity awareness.

More information:http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2016/December/MLK2017.pdf


Registration open for 2017 Women in Agriculture conference

women in agWomen who work in the agricultural industry can network and learn about topics ranging from business planning to gardening for health at the 2017 Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference. The annual event, sponsored by Purdue Extension, is designed to bring together women from across the Midwest to discuss and share information about women’s unique experiences working in farming and agribusiness.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2017/Q1/registration-open-for-2017-women-in-agriculture-conference.html



Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry to feature David Boudia

boudiaPurdue Agriculture is pleased to welcome Purdue alumnus and Olympic diver David Boudia as the featured speaker at the 2017 Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry. Please join us for this annual meeting of the Purdue Ag Alumni Association on February 4, 2017 at the Elements Financial Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. With 17 national titles and four Olympic medals, David Boudia is the top 10-meter platform diver in the U.S. and one of the best in the world, in both the individual 10-meter and synchronized 10-meter events. Boudia competed at Purdue University where he broke several records, won numerous titles and received many elite honors, including six NCAA national titles.  He completed his communication degree at Purdue in 2013 through the College of Liberal Arts.

Tickets still remain for this event!  There are now two ways to participate:

--Purchase tickets and join us as a guest - Tickets are now on sale for $25 each. Visit http://purdue.ag/fishfry to order.  When prompted for your priority code, be sure to select Ag Staff to receive the correct seating priority.  Or you may complete the attached form and return it to us via mail with a check payable to Purdue University.

--Volunteer as a server - The Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry is somewhat famous for having the best service in town! And it’s no surprise, because those in the Purdue Agriculture family rise to the occasion to show our guests a great time. Many people in the college have served for decades, and come back each year to serve as a tradition. They enjoy the camaraderie, networking and fun that is had by everyone who participates. Servers are also receive a free meal, get to enjoy the Fish Fry program, and are offered free transportation to and from the fairgrounds, if they wish. You can register as a volunteer server via the ticket purchase website by selecting “Fish Fry worker”. Additional information is required for anyone who is not a Purdue employee, so please let us know if you need these additional forms for others you know would like to help. We need LOTS of servers this year, so please help us to recruit other faculty, staff and students to join you!

*  Order Early – Seat allocation will begin at the end of this week. To get the best seats, please order as soon as possible!

* You again have the opportunity to sponsor a student to attend the Fish Fry. Each year around 200 students volunteer to serve at the Fish Fry. Your support helps College of Agriculture students who want to attend this event.

*  Reserved seating - All tables are reserved and seat location will be based on priority code and date order is received. Seating is at round tables of 10. 

* Parking - Purchase parking permits for the lots adjacent to and near the pavilion.  Cars without parking permits will pay $5 to park on the fairgrounds, and are not guaranteed a nearby space.

* Child care - On-site child care is available. Reservations are required. Walk-ins cannot be accommodated.

* Bus transportation - Round-trip bus transportation is available from West Lafayette for $10 per person. Reservations are required and space is limited.


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 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

Peter Hirst, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, has been named a Jefferson Science Fellow for 2017-2018. The Jefferson Science Fellowship (JSF) program was established in 2003 at the U.S. Department of State as a new model for engaging the American academic science, technology, engineering, and medical communities in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy and international development programming. The JSF program is administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and is supported through a partnership between the U.S. academic community, professional scientific societies, the U.S. Department of State and USAID. Dr. Hirst will begin his fellowship in August 2017.




Purdue Agriculture in the News

Purdue to host phenomics workshop March 13-14

katieCrop scientists and engineers will learn cross-discipline communication and collaboration skills as part of a field-based plant phenomics workshop March 13-14 at Purdue. While the genetic background of a plant may be known, the environment varies and will cause differences in physical and biochemical traits - the phenotype. Understanding this variation will improve crop performance regardless the environmental condition, said Katy Martin Rainey, assistant professor of agronomy and one of the workshop organizers. Cost is $500 for professionals, and it is free for Purdue students. Space is limited. For more information or to sign up, visit here or contact Chad Martin at 765-496-3964, martin95@purdue.edu

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2017/Q1/purdue-to-host-phenomics-workshop-march-13-14.html


Two Purdue agricultural startups receive $100,000 from inaugural Ag-celerator fund

agceleratorTwo Purdue agricultural-based startups received investments totaling $100,000 from the Purdue Ag-celerator, a plant sciences innovation fund operated by Purdue Ventures, the capital access arm of the Purdue Foundry, with assistance from the College of Agriculture, Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization and the agricultural industry. Phicrobe LLC, a startup commercializing an innovative method for the inexpensive and rapid detection of pathogenic E. coli in food and food product environments, received $75,000 in funding. Hydro Grow LLC, a startup developing a refrigerator-sized automated device to grow vegetables in consumers' homes, received $25,000.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2017/Q1/two-purdue-agricultural-startups-receive-100,000-from-inaugural-ag-celerator-fund.html


Purdue Agronomy e-Learning Academy serves need for increased training

eriksonThe Purdue Agronomy e-Learning Academy was created in 2014 to help farmers and agribusiness professionals keep up with rapidly changing technology and educate workers for new jobs. Under the leadership of director Bruce Erickson, the Academy teaches program courses through video lessons with accompanying reading, graphics, glossaries, downloadable slides and links to additional information sources. The next sessions for Agronomy Essentials and Precision Agriculture courses start Jan. 18. Course preview videos and links to registration are available at http://tinyurl.com/purdueagry. The Purdue Agronomy e-Learning Academy also offers a certificate program. For more information on the e-Learning Academy, contact Project Manager Janine Black at janblack@purdue.edu.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/purdue-agronomy-e-learning-academy-serves-need-for-increased-training.html


Tyner: Moderately higher gas prices likely in 2017

tynerConsumers will likely be paying slightly more to gas up their vehicles and heat their homes in 2017, says Purdue University energy economist Wally Tyner. The price of gasoline is expected to rise after members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to cut crude oil production by more than a million barrels per day in 2017. Total global production is about 96 million barrels per day.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/tyner-moderately-higher-gas-prices-likely-next-year-.html


New AgrAbility video helps military veterans transition into ag careers

agrabilityThe National AgrAbility Project based at Purdue has released a new video explaining the therapeutic and economic benefits of agriculture for current and former members of the armed services and how veterans can successfully transition into careers in farming. The video, called “The Next Mission: Breaking Down Barriers for Veterans in Agriculture,” is posted on the AgrAbility YouTube channel at www.nextmission.us. “Our goal with the video is to educate and inspire military members who are seeking ways to make a healthy and productive return to civilian life. We want them to know that agriculture is a viable option,” said Cindy Chastain, veteran outreach coordinator for the National AgrAbility Project. View the video free of charge on the National AgrAbility Project website at http://www.agrability.org/

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/new-agrability-video-helps-military-veterans-transition-into-ag-careers.html


Purdue ag economists forecast weak crop prices, farm incomes in 2017

ag econ reportFarm incomes will likely continue to slump this year with grain prices remaining at or near their lowest levels in about a decade, according to the2017 Purdue Agricultural Economics Report. The report, edited by Dr. Chris Hurt and published by the Department of Agricultural Economics, includes 12 sections by 11 different authors and short video summaries with analysis on topics ranging from the effect of the presidential election on the U.S. economy to cash rents, farm financial management and crop insurance.


Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/purdue-ag-economists-forecast-weak-crop-prices,-farm-incomes-in-2017.html


Publication alerts agronomic producers to pesticide risks for pollinators

honeybeeA new publication available from Purdue Extension could help crop producers minimize pesticide risk to pollinator species. Protecting Pollinators in Agronomic Crop Production, the latest publication in the Protecting Pollinators series, describes some of the risks pollinators may face when pesticides are applied to field crops, such as corn, soybeans or wheat. “Honeybees don’t necessarily need to be sprayed directly with pesticides to be harmed,” said co-author Rick Foster, entomology professor and Extension integrated pest management specialist. “This publication will help agronomic crop producers to recognize some of the risks associated with pesticide use and reduce some of those harmful side effects.”

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/publication-alerts-agronomic-producers-to-pesticide-risks-for-pollinators.html


Purdue initiative aims to help family businesses

maria marshallPurdue agricultural economist Maria Marshall understands the significant financial and emotional investment required to run a successful family business. She is director of the Purdue Initiative for Family Firms, commonly known as PIFF. She says research shows that one of the biggest reasons family businesses fail is family dynamics and that while families want to talk about these issues, they might not know exactly how. A good first step, Marshall says, is to visit PIFF’s new website: www.purdue.ag/piff, with information in the areas of estate and personal financial planning, strategic business planning, leadership and succession planning and maintaining family bonds.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/purdue-initiative-aims-to-help-family-businesses.html


Nutrition program improves food stamp family's food security

snapA Purdue study shows that food stamp recipients who participated in a supplemental nutrition education program were able to improve their food security by 25 percent"Food assistance is very important and this shows that nutrition education is an effective part of improving food security as the lessons focused on practical ways to stretch food dollars while eating nutritiously," said Heather Eicher-Miller, an assistant professor of nutrition science. "In Indiana, Snap Ed is making a significant impact. What these families learn can last longer than the food assistance they receive." Indiana Snap Ed programs are delivered by Purdue Extension.

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/nutrition-program-improves-food-stamp-familys-food-security.html




Faculty Retirements

Gary Krutz, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Staff Retirements

Jane Bisher, College of Agriculture Business Office
Kathy Murray, Purdue Extension
Susan Plassmeier, Purdue Extension
Judith Santini, Agronomy
Sally Weeks, Forestry and Natural Resources


Dates and Deadlines

January 17-20: Martin Luther King, Jr. Diversity Awareness Week

February 4: Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry

March 3: Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Awards convocation

March 9: Promotion & Tenure discussion, 2:30 pm, Deans Auditorium, 241 Pfendler Hall

March 29: Dean's Advisory Council Spring Meeting

April 3-7: Ag Week

April 8-9: Spring Fest


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


University News

Authors, investor headline Spring 2017 Presidential Lecture Series

Three award-winning authors and the country’s most successful investor will comprise Purdue’s Spring 2017 Presidential Lecture series, an ongoing series of conversations on policy, leadership, culture, society and other fields of interest for both academics and the community at large. J.D. Vance, New York Times contributor and author of “Hillbilly Elegy”; Stan Druckenmiller, renowned philanthropist and hedge fund manager; Doug Brinkley, historian, professor and author of “The Reagan Diaries”; and Bjorn Lomborg, author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” will each join Purdue President Mitch Daniels for an hourlong discussion and audience Q&A session this spring. All are free and open to the public. “From hedge funds to hillbillies, the array of topics and insights these speakers will bring to campus this spring is phenomenal,” Daniels said. “I look forward to the insightful ideas they will share with our campus and the area community.”

Full Story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2016/Q4/authors,-investor-headline-spring-2017-presidential-lecture-series.html


Rising Professionals: Old Masters Program announces returning alumni

Eric Barnard, BS Agricultural Economics 2009, is among five young alumni who have shown success in their early careers who will return to the West Lafayette campus March 6-7 as part of the Rising Professionals program. Built as part of the Old Masters Program, Rising Professionals was developed to inspire current Boilermakers and give them the opportunity to interact with some exceptional recent graduates.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/releases/2017/Q1/rising-professionals-old-masters-program-announces-returning-alumni.html

State Street Redevelopment Project to get underway this spring

The preliminary vehicular traffic plan for State Street Redevelopment Project work that will take place during 2017 is now available online at statestreetwl.com. Although these preliminary maps and timelines are subject to change and may undergo some modifications in the coming weeks, they provide a timely preview of the activities and impacts that will occur in 2017. The State Street Redevelopment Project website will continue to serve as the authoritative source of project updates, travel alerts, timelines and maps. Please visit the site regularly and encourage your colleagues to do the same.


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.