Purdue Agriculture InFocus
October 2017
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From the Dean
Karen Plaut

Purdue – The cradle of astronauts, the cradle of quarterbacks, and the cradle of World Food Prize Laureates!  Later this month, Purdue Agriculture alumnus Dr. Akinwumi Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize for his work as a reformer and leader in African agriculture. Dr. Adesina, who is president of the African Development Bank Group and previously served as minister of agriculture in his native Nigeria, earned his MS and PhD degrees at Purdue in agricultural economics. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Purdue University in 2015. He is receiving the World Food Prize for the work he has done to create innovative financial instruments and implement policies that have transformed the lives of 14.5 million African farmers and expanded the food supply by 21 million metric tons. 


Dr. Adesina has spent his entire career focused on reducing poverty and feeding the hungry in Africa. Commenting about this commitment and his new award, he said: “Africa must feed itself, rapidly unlock its agricultural potential and help feed the world. And we must end malnutrition in Africa. That's the life challenge and exciting task ahead of me now in my current position as president of the African Development Bank, to feed Africa. I know we can do it. The World Food Prize gives me an even greater global platform to make that future happen much faster for Africa.”

Dr. Adesina becomes the third Purdue Agriculture alumnus to be awarded the World Food Prize, which is widely considered the Nobel Prize for food and agriculture. Dr. Phil Nelson received it in 2007 and Dr. Gebisa Ejeta was honored in 2009. They specialize in different areas – agricultural economics (Adesina), food science (Nelson), and agronomy (Ejeta).  All three have shared goals of eliminating hunger, providing safe food and improving nutrition around the world.

Apart from their World Food Prize Laureate distinctions, these three Purdue Agriculture alumni have something else in common: they embody the land grant mission and Purdue Agriculture’s long history of working to improve lives around the world. They had a drive and a passion to make a difference. They used their tremendous intellect and their ability to innovate to come up with new solutions to pressing problems across the globe. They were able to identify problems, do the research to develop solutions and then extend those solutions to the world to make a difference in people’s lives. Many faculty and staff members preceded them in this global work, and many will follow them – inspired, no doubt, by the work of these three individuals.

Purdue Agriculture’s International Programs in Agriculture has been helping us reach around the world for more than 60 years, and under the leadership of Associate Dean Indrajeet Chaubey, we are well positioned to continue and enhance our leadership role. I have no doubt that Purdue Agriculture will have more World Food Prize Laureates to celebrate in the future!

All the best,
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Purdue Ag People
Ulianova Vidal Gómez
Graduate Ag Research Spotlight: Ulianova Vidal Gómez
The Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. This month’s spotlight is on Ulianova Vidal Gómez, Entomology.
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College of Agriculture continues upward enrollment trend
Enrollment numbers in the College of Agriculture remain strong this year, reflecting students’ growing interest in agriculture-related majors. The College welcomed 643 new undergraduate students as part of its 2017-18 incoming class, which now totals 2,782 students — the largest since 1982. Graduate student enrollment is 690, up from 675 in 2016-2017.
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Fall 2017 Career Fair
Fall Career Fair draws students and employers
More than 1,100 College of Agriculture students, plus some 200 graduate students and undergrads from other colleges attended the Career Fair on October 3 to visit with representatives from some 152 companies about internship and career opportunities. The Purdue Agriculture Career Fair is among the largest in the country. The Spring Career Fair is set for February 14, 2018.
September Photo Gallery
Need a great photo? Find it in Ag Comm’s photo database
The latest gallery from the College of Agriculture, a collection of photos from the month of September can be accessed here. The photos are part of the Purdue Agriculture photo library managed by Agricultural Communication and available for use by all faculty and staff of the College of Agriculture. To access the thousands of photos that are a part of the library, contact Gina Price at gprice@purdue.edu.
Transform Purdue
Be Aware: Change is coming to Purdue processes
Transform Purdue is a two-year plan focused on redesigning and transforming business processes while at the same time removing the current SAP structural impediments. The plan is designed to streamline, simplify, organize and automate Purdue business processes and related systems in order to provide staff and faculty with the best processes and tools possible to be successful in their respective roles. Since everyone at Purdue will be affected by the changes, you are encouraged to visit the Transform Purdue web site and subscribe to the Transform@Purdue newsletter.
Greater Lafayette Commerce
Campus community invited to take quality of life survey
Greater Lafayette Commerce is inviting Purdue students, faculty and staff as well as other community members to take a new quality of life survey to identify elements that make up a great place to live.
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Awards and Recognitions
Jozef Kokini
Jayson Lusk, Agricultural Economics, has won the 2017 Borlaug CAST Communication Award for outstanding achievement in contributing to the advancement of science in the public policy arena. The  award will be pre-sented at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa on October 18.
Sabrina Myoda
The Udall Foundation has named Sabrina Myoda a 2017 Udall Scholar.  Sabrina is one of just 50 students across the nation to receive the prestigious award. She is studying sustainable food and farming systems in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and is also in the Purdue Honors College.
Haley Oliver
The Purdue Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society earned second place in the quiz bowl at the 24th Annual Wildlife Society conference in Albuquerque, NM. Team members are Lexi Eiler, Ashley Higdon, Landon Neumann, and Zach Truelock.
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Purdue Agriculture in the News
World Food Day Fireside Chat

‘Can we feed the world in 2050?’: Purdue president to lead expert panel discussion on looming global food shortage

The expanding food crisis and what can be done about it will be the focus of a fireside chat presented by Purdue University President Mitch Daniels on October 16. Guest speakers include Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes Inc., and Sean Callahan, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), who have been outspoken advocates about the need to address food shortages.

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Barbara Golden

Purdue Agriculture professor receives Pew grant for innovative biotechnology research

As part of a new grant program, the Pew Charitable Trusts recently awarded Barbara Golden, Biochemistry, a two-year grant to support her lab’s development of a programmable RNA enzyme to build new customized proteins.

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Ian Kaplan

Cover crops increase destruction of weed seed in fields, shed light on predator interactions

Cover crops have been promoted for their abilities to reduce erosion and retain or enhance soil nutrients. Work by Ian Kaplan, Entomology, provides evidence that they can significantly reduce weed seeds from entering the soil seed bank.

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Andy Tao

New kinase detection method helps identify targets for developing cancer drugs

Researchers led by Andy Tao, Biochemistry, have developed a high-throughput method for matching kinases to the proteins they phosphorylate, speeding the ability to identify multiple potential cancer drug targets.

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Plant Sciences Institute

Intelligent IoT Powers Purdue’s Digital Agriculture Initiative for Food Security Worldwide

The Purdue Institute for Plant Sciences is partnering with Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, to blend  research, agricultural technology innovations and IoT technologies that will increase food production.

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Amy Cornell

IU McKinney School of Law Launching Agriculture Law Program with Purdue

The Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, in cooperation with Purdue, is launching a program in agriculture law in cooperation with Purdue. Amy Cornell, a Purdue alumna and a graduate of IU McKinney, has been retained as a consultant and will assemble a steering committee to build the program.

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Family Farm

Workshop helps answer the question, 'Who gets the family farm?'

The Purdue Initiative for Family Firms will sponsor a workshop in November to help farmers and business owners learn strategies for developing a legacy plan that’s based on the pros and cons of their options. 

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Jayson Lusk

California animal welfare laws led to higher egg prices, lower production

Laws that changed animal confinement standards in California raised the price of eggs dramatically upon adoption and have kept prices higher than had the laws not been enacted, according to a study led by Jayson Lusk, Agricultural Economics.

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Ag Economy Barometer

Producer optimism about the future wanes in September report

Producers’ optimism about the future of the agricultural economy fell in September, according to the Index of Future Expectations, a sub-index of the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.

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Jon Neufelder, Purdue Extension
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Dates and Deadlines

October 11:  2017 Ag Research Award Seminar: Dr. Catherine Aime, Botany and Plant Pathology, Pfendler Hall Deans Auditorium

October 12: Dean’s Advisory Council Reception, 5:30 pm, Leopold’s Landing

October 16: Feeding the World in 2050: Fireside Chat with President Daniels, Chris Policinski (Land O’Lakes CEO) and Sean Callahan (President and CEO, Catholic Relief Services)

October 17: Issues 360 panel discussion: Politics, Public Opinion and Science, 5:00 pm, Deans Auditorium, Pfendler Hall

October 23: Presidential Lecture Series featuring Dr. Akin Adesina, 2017 World Food Prize Laureate, 6:30-7:30 pm, Loeb Playhouse, Stewart Center

November 1: Beck Agricultural Center 10th Anniversary Open House and Celebration

November 17: Corinne Alexander Spirit of the Land-Grant Mission Award event: Dr. Maria Marshall. 3:30 pm, Pfendler Hall Deans Auditorium

December 7: College of Agriculture Faculty Meeting

December 16: Fall Semester ends

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

Purdue ranked 5th best public university in U.S.

Purdue ranks fifth among public institutions in the United States, based on a survey released Sept. 26 by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education.

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'Student of Concern' resources offered by Office of the Dean of Students

As Purdue approaches the middle of the semester, the Office of the Dean of Students wants to remind the campus community about resources available to assist in providing care to students.

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Purdue attributes record research funding growth to faculty, facilities, partnerships

Purdue University achieved another record year of sponsored research funding, reaching $418.3 million in fiscal year 2017, topping the previous year’s record of $403 million. The total includes funding from federal agencies, foundations, nonprofit organizations and industry received during the fiscal year completed on June 30. 
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Report Hate and Bias
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Purdue Agriculture InFocus
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