Purdue Agriculture InFocus
July 2017
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From the Dean
Karen Plaut

Colleagues and Friends.

On July 1, Jay Akridge officially became Purdue’s Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity. Jay has been a fantastic leader for this College and I know he will bring his energy, enthusiasm and wisdom to the Interim Provost position. In the meantime, I am humbled to serve as the Interim Dean of the College of Agriculture. It is a huge responsibility and I will do my best to continue to move the College of Agriculture forward. Many have asked about the process involved in appointing a new Dean, so I thought I would take a minute to describe it here. First, the University will do an internal search for a permanent Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity. Once someone has been named to that position, the process for selection of a permanent Dean of the College of Agriculture will be developed, including the scope of the search and the membership of a search committee.

While I take on the responsibilities of Interim Dean, Dr. Shawn Donkin will serve as the Interim Associate Dean of Ag Research and Graduate Education, Dr. Marshall Martin will serve as the Interim Director of the Ag Experiment Station and Dr. Barbara Golden will serve as the Interim Assistant Dean for Graduate Education and Faculty Development. I am grateful to all of them for being willing to step up and add additional responsibilities to their already busy schedules. Their combined expertise is vast and I look forward to working with them.

I would also like to welcome Dr. Ron Turco, our new Head of the Department of Agronomy and Dr. Jayson Lusk, our new Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics. It is exciting to see the ideas and energy that they already bringing to the College.

While one might think that the summer time is a slow time for an academic institution, it is a time of year that really highlights the uniqueness of the College and particularly emphasizes the linkages across our mission areas of teaching, research and Extension. For example, many campus specialists/researchers and Extension educators work together to develop Extension events at the Purdue Ag Centers around the state, and those events enable the knowledge generated by applied research to be extended directly to producers. We also have a number of summer programs that connect students to teaching, research and Extension faculty. Two high school programs, the Molecular Agriculture Summer Institute for students interested in plant science, and the Purdue Agribusiness Science Academy, a program designed to attract underrepresented students to STEM fields, focus on linking students with faculty and staff in the College. Not only do students learn in classrooms, but they also have opportunities to work with research scientists, discuss careers with industry representatives, explore life issues and learn about the potential to make an impact on the world. In very short period of time, the students get exposure to the land grant mission and the opportunities for a career in agriculture.

Although I know many of you through my previous role in Agricultural Research, I look forward to meeting many more as I travel to various events on and off campus. I’m sure I will have conversations with many of you as we look at future directions for the College. As Jay mentioned last month, we are excited to be moving forward on a college wide initiative in digital agriculture/data science. You’ll hear much more about this as we develop a robust set of opportunities that complement and enhance our current efforts in digital agriculture so that our students, faculty and the stakeholders we serve are well prepared for the future.

This is an exciting time to be part of Purdue Agriculture. There is much to be done, and I look forward to working with all of you to make great things happen here.


All the best,

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Purdue Ag People
Scott Radcliffe
The Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. The June spotlight is on Ashley Busquets, Agricultural and Biological Engineering.
Barbara Golden
Purdue Agriculture alumnus Akinwumi Adesina has been named the 2017 World Food Prize laureate for his work as a reformer and leader of the agricultural sector in Africa. The World Food Prize is the highest international honor recognizing achieve-ments in advancing human development by improving the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world.
Obed Hernandez-Gomez
Phil Walker, superin-tendent of the Northeast Purdue Agricultural Center (NEPAC), will retired on June 30 after 26 years of leadership at this research farm located near Columbia City in Whitley County.
AgrAbility: Cultivating Accessible Agriculture
Interim Appointments Announced in Agricultural Research

Dr. Shawn Donkin will serve as Interim Associate Dean for Research. He has served as Assistant Dean for Graduate Education and Associate Director of the Ag Experiment Station since 2011. He will be responsible for all activities of Ag Research including campus wide initiatives, facilities planning, and oversight of the Purdue Agricultural Centers (PACs). He will continue to lead graduate education, but will share some of the responsibilities with Dr. Barb Golden. Dr. Marshall Martin will serve as the Interim Director of the Ag Experiment Station. He has served as Senior Associate Director of the Ag Experiment Station and Assistant Dean for Ag Research since 2001. He will be responsible for all federal activities related to the Experiment Station and will also work on commercialization efforts. Dr. Barb Golden, who has served as a Dean’s fellow for the past two years focused on associate professor career development and mentoring, will serve in a part-time role as Interim Assistant Dean for Faculty Development. Dr. Golden will expand her role to include faculty development at all levels and will also work on graduate education and diversity initiatives.

Raymond Florax
Purdue Extension is accepting nominations for the 2017 Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence, given to a Purdue University faculty or staff member who has contributed to the improvement of rural Indiana. The award is given each year to an active faculty or staff member who has made a significant impact through the classroom, counseling, research or Extension.
Raymond Florax
Got a project in mind? Ag Comm can help  
Agricultural Communications has launched a new way to initiate all communication projects---from news releases to videos to strategic plans to web sites. You simply click on the "Request A Project" box on our web page,  (which is also in the footer of ag.purdue.edu). All you need to do is provide some very basic information and then you will hear back from an AgComm staff member within 48 hours to discuss your project and to begin the planning process. If you have any questions about this process, please contact Gina Price, the AgComm production coordinator, at gprice@purdue.edu.
And Justice for All
A reminder about tracking civil rights and diversity training
The 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. We have a formal tracking system in place to verify that all faculty, staff and graduate students receive appropriate training in civil rights and diversity issues each year. 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
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.
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Awards and Recognitions
Jay Akridge
Michael Gunderson, Agricultural Economics, received the John Deere Award for Outstanding Teaching and Programs in Agribusiness at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) conference held at Purdue in June.
Monika Ivantysynova
Lauren Brizgys, Brandon Rice, and Kelsey Sajdera, graduate students in Youth Development and Agricultural Education, received Graduate Student Teaching Awards at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Conference held at Purdue in June.
Jay Akridge
Yufan Chao, a senior in Animal Science, won first place in the Undergrad Research Competition at the 70th Reciprocal Meat Conference in June in College Station, Texas. Yufan’s win brings the Purdue Meat Science Team its third win in the Undergrad Competition since 2015. 
Monika Ivantysynova
The Animal Sciences Meat Science team took several awards at the Reciprocal Meats Conference: Undergraduate Quiz Bowl Team (Melissa Davis, Daniel Gongwer, Nick Bland, & Jacob Tuell) tied for 5 place. Jacob Tuell: 2nd place Processed Meat Judging Contest, 1st place team member Iron Chef Competition. Nick Bland, Melissa Davis, Alysha Knight: 2nd place team and People’s Choice Award in the Iron Chef Competition. Derico Setyabrata: 5th place Processed Meat Judging Contest. Jordy Berger's abstract was one of 6 selected for an oral presentation.
Jay Akridge
A team from Agricultural and Biological Engineering finished second overall in the weed and feed competition of the second annual agBOT Challenge. Fourteen teams representing educational institutions and technology companies throughout the United States and Canada entered the challenge, held June 23-25 at Gerrish Farms in Rockville. Team Members
Monika Ivantysynova
The Purdue University International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team was chosen as one of 60 projects from over 300 applications nationwide to participate in the Council on Undergraduate Research’s (CUR) Posters on the Hill (PoH) event in Washington, DC last April. Team Members
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Purdue Agriculture in the News
W. Andy Tao
Purdue Extension releases new publications in Protecting Pollinators series
Purdue Extension has released two new publica-tions in the Protecting Pollinators series: The Complex Life of the Honey Bee and Biology and Control of Varroa Mites in Bee Hives. These new publications provide information on honeybee biology, how to promote promoting healthy hives and current issues in pollinator research.
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Joseph Irudayaraj
Purdue Soybean Showcase planned at Beck Center
Soybean producers can gain insights on how to increase their yield by attending the 2017 Purdue Soybean Showcase field day. The Soybean Showcase will be held 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., July 27 at the Beck Agricultural Center, 4540 U.S. 52 West, West Lafayette.
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hydroponic lettuce
Purdue research reveals plant volatiles released more deliberately than once thought
A Purdue University team of scientists led by Distinguished Professor Natalia Dudareva upended a long-held assumption about how plant volatile compounds, the chemicals that are responsible for scent, move to the outside of the cells to attract pollinators, defend the plant and perform other key functions.
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Kingsly Ambrose
Waste Not, Want Not initiative aims to reduce food waste, food insecurity
A new initiative from Purdue Extension, Purdue Extension-Tippecanoe County, the Food Finders Food Bank Inc. of Tippecanoe County and Indiana Farmers Union plans to reduce the waste of unsold crops and fight food insecurity by matching farmers who have surplus crops to sell with food banks looking to provide healthy foods to local residents.
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U2U Logo
Purdue scientists identify link between plant nitrogen uptake and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
Purdue Agronomy scientists Tony Vyn and Rex Omonode released research findings that indicate corn management processes contributing to optimal levels of plant nitrogen uptake could result in fewer nitrous oxide emissions, long identified as one of the most potent greenhouse gases. The research, which revealed a strong relationship between actual nitrogen recovery and nitrous oxide emissions, was recently published in Frontiers in Plant Science.
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fruit trees
Ag producers say financials stronger than 2016; predict missed financial targets in 2017
U.S. agricultural producers indicated their farm operations’ financial positions are stronger than at this time in 2016, but expressed concerns that they might not meet their 2017 financial targets, according to a monthly producer survey conducted as part of the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. The barometer read 131 for the month of June – virtually unchanged from the April and May readings of 130 but well above levels recorded prior to November 2016.
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Ag Economy Barometer
Mosquitoes play important role in ecosystems
Purdue Entomology’s Dr. Catherine Hill and a team of scientists working on a new insecticide argue that mosquitoes should not simply be made extinct due to their role in various ecosystems. They are developing an insecticide that will suppress mosquitoes’ ability to transmit diseases without killing the insect or interfering with other life forms.
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Thomas Hertel
Purdue Ag technology researchers part of winning hackathon team
Two researchers in Purdue’s Open Ag Technologies and Systems (OATS) Group were part of the winning team at the Nutreco Agrivision Hackathon, an international competition to promote the potential of data and technology innovation in livestock farming. Aaron Ault, senior research engineer for OATS, and Samuel Noel, graduate student in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, helped devise Swine Smarts, a software package that streamlines the flow of critical livestock health, muscle and fat percentage data among farmers and their feed and genetics suppliers.
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Dates and Deadlines
August 4-20: Indiana State Fair
August 7-8: New Faculty Tour
August 21: Fall Semester begins
September 23: Homecoming
September 25: College of Agriculture Annual Entrepreneurship Event
October 3: College of Agriculture Fall Career Fair
December 4: College of Agriculture Faculty Meeting
For more dates and deadlines, check the Purdue Agriculture calendar.
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University News
Massive open online course to focus on intercultural competence
Purdue University Digital and Professional Education, the Center for Instructional Excellence and ITAP have teamed up to offer a free massive open online course in partnership with FutureLearn. The MOOC is called "Improving Your Intercultural Competence." This free professional development opportunity to improve intercultural attitudes, skills and knowledge is open to anyone, including all Purdue advisors, faculty, staff and students.
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Satellite technology could help agricultural producers more accurately measure subsurface moisture
Agricultural producers could, in the future, make use of better forecasts to more efficiently irrigate their fields using a technology developed by Prof. James Garrison, Aeronautics and Astronautics, that could more accurately sense soil moisture below the surface through measuring the reflections of communication satellite signals.
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Lilly and Purdue University announce strategic research collaboration
Eli Lilly and Company and Purdue University on July 6 announced a strategic collaboration to conduct life science research. The five-year agreement, where Lilly will provide up to $52 million, marks Purdue’s largest strategic collaboration with a single company.
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New Purdue email scanning system designed to reduce spam and phishing emails
Purdue changed to a new spam and phishing system that will scan all email. The new system is designed to offer greater protection for incoming and outgoing email for faculty, staff and students.
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Boiler Up Against Hate and Bias Graphic
Report Hate and Bias
Purdue 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.
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Purdue Agriculture InFocus
Editor: Dinah L. McClure (dmcclure@purdue.edu)
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