Purdue Agriculture InFocus
September 2017
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From the Dean
Karen Plaut

In the words of Marcos Fernandez, our Associate Dean of Academic Programs, “It is a great time to be in Purdue Agriculture!”  I can think of one example after another that tells me this is true.  Marcos and his OAP colleagues, as well as departmental staff, recruited the largest class of undergraduates to Agriculture for the Fall 2017 semester since the early 1980s. This year we welcome 595 new students and 2782 total undergraduate students to the College.

Another piece of good news came this week when US News and World Report ranked our Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) undergraduate program tied for #1 nationally—for the seventh consecutive year. The entire college is proud of ABE's accomplishments and excited to see what they can achieve in the future when they are all housed together in new, modern space! 

I really enjoy welcoming new students to campus—there is a vibrancy and excitement about everything they do. For example, at the Ag Council’s Ice Cream Social, an event to help students learn about Agriculture clubs and organizations, the lines of students waiting for ice cream went from the front of the Ag Administration Building almost to Pfendler Hall! Representatives of the various clubs offered ice cream toppings, creating a great way for the students to break the “ice” and have a conversation with a club member.  Just a few days later, our International Programs in Agriculture staff were in a tent on the lawn in front of Ag Administration helping students explore study abroad opportunities. Between classes, the tent quickly filled with students wanting to know where they could travel and learn about the culture of a country while studying various aspects of agriculture. The dedicated faculty and staff members across our college work hard to put on these kinds of events to help our students develop a sense of community, and this is what makes a large institution like Purdue feel more personal and welcoming. In addition to callouts and other events, students are also learning that the faculty member teaching their class really “wrote the book” on the topic, and our students are benefiting from the deep research background that their instructors bring into the classroom. The goal is always that exposure to all the new people and experiences opens students’ eyes to the many opportunities and possibilities at Purdue.

Later this week, I’ll have the pleasure of being part of our annual scholarship dinner. Scholarships put a quality education within reach for many of our students and we are happy that the College now has nearly $2 million dollars in scholarships to award to deserving students. The scholarship dinner reinforces the importance of this funding. Students meet the donors who support their scholarships and they get the chance to thank the donors in person for their generosity. The donors get a chance to meet the students and hear about the dreams and aspirations of young people just starting on the road to their careers.  

The semester is only a few weeks old but so many great things are happening. So, I will end this where I started:  “It is a great time to be in Purdue Agriculture!” I wish all new students and faculty a great semester and much success.

All the best,
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Purdue Ag People
Mentoring @ Purdue Team
Graduate Ag Research Spotlight: Mentoring@Purdue
Under the guidance of Levon Esters and Neil Knobloch, program co-directors and faculty in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education, M@P fosters mentoring relationships between underrepresented minority and female graduate students and faculty or staff members in the College of Agriculture.
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Dennis Buckmaster
Dennis Buckmaster takes on new role in College
Dennis Buckmaster , Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Assistant Dean of Academic Programs, has been appointed a Dean’s Fellow for Digital Agriculture. Dr. Buckmaster will conduct an assessment/ inventory and analysis of digital agriculture at Purdue leading to a vision and strategy for next steps in research, teaching and Extension and the crosscutting international mission that will enable us to become world class in this important area. He will engage faculty and staff across the College as well as the University for their input and perspective. 
Experience Purdue
Purdue Agriculture welcomes record number of students
The official numbers are out and they show a larger College of Agriculture student body than ever.  Total undergraduate enrollment 2,782, up from 2,736 in Fall 2016 and our largest fall enrollment since at least 1982. Our under-graduate population includes 76% Indiana residents, 16% out-of-state residents, and 8% international students. Women continue to be in the majority, with 59% vs. 41% men. Under-represented minority students make up 7% of our undergraduate population. Graduate enrollment is estimated at 690, up from 675 in Fall 2016.
US News & World Report
Purdue ABE ranks Number 1
The undergraduate program in Agricultural and Biological Engineering has been ranked the top such specialty program in the country by U.S. News & World Report for the seventh consecutive year. Earlier in the year, the ABE graduate program was ranked number 2 by US News & World Report
Brandon Allen
Purdue Ag’s Brandon Allen making a difference for hurricane victims
Immediately after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana, Brandon Allen , doctoral student in Youth Development and Agricultural Education, began an effort to get help and supplies to the people affected. He expanded his efforts when Hurricane Irma devasted most of Florida. To date, Brandon has collected an estimated 200+ cans of food, over 50 bags of clothes, numerous boxes of medical and cleaning supplies, and over $2000 has been donated online through the gofundme site that he established. The physical donation drive has ended, but the gofundme site will be available until October 9 and will be used to donate directly to shelters and organizations on the ground in Houston and Florida.  
Ag Comm Photo Database
Need a great photo? Find it in Ag Comm’s photo database
Gina Price and Amy Winger of the Agricultural Communication team have been busy filing photos for Libris, the archiving system for the College of Agriculture. To date there are nearly 700 photo albums of events photographed in and around the college, like this photo from the 100th anniversary celebration of the Davis Purdue Agricultural Field Day. College of Agriculture staff and faculty can access the thousands of photos for professional use by becoming a subscriber to Libris by contacting Gina at gprice@purdue.edu.
Jane Hardisty and Carrie Vollmer-Sanders
Women in Agriculture award winners share commitment to conservation
Jane Hardisty, a pioneering state conservation officer and Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, a leading advocate for sustainable farming, were named winners of the 2017 Women in Agriculture   awards presented by Purdue Extension
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A/P staff advancement work begins
The 2017-2018 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 - https://ag.purdue.edu/Pages/advance_info.aspx .  This site can be accessed from the bottom of the Purdue Agriculture home page by clicking the “Faculty & Staff CoA Resources” tab, then “A/P Staff Advancement” under Staff Resources.
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.
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Awards and Recognitions
Jozef Kokini
Jay Akridge, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity, and Beth Bechdol, Purdue Agriculture alumna and President and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana, received the 2017 AgriVision Award from Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch during the Celebration of Agriculture at the Indiana State Fair in August. The award is given to Hoosier visionaries who have demonstrated exemplary leadership to maximize the potential of Indiana agriculture. 
Levon Esters
Levon Esters, Youth Development and Agricultural Education, has been named to the first cohort of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) Aspiring Leaders. He will attend the MSI Aspiring Leaders Forum, a three-day forum and mentoring program that will create a space for prominent Minority Serving Institutions' leaders to engage with mid-career aspiring leaders from the education, non-profit, and business sectors in an effort to prepare the next generation of MSI presidents.
Barbara Golden
Barbara Golden, Professor of Biochemistry and Interim Assistant Dean for Graduate Education and Faculty Develop-ment, is one of five faculty members selected by the Office of the Provost to participate in the Big Ten Academic Alliance, Academic Leadership Program during the 2017-18 academic year. The program is designed to develop the leadership and managerial skills of faculty who have demonstrated excep-tional ability and administrative promise.
Jenna Rickus
Jenna Rickus, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, has been named associate vice provost for teaching and learning. In this new role, she will provide leadership to the campus in under-graduate education with specific oversight of undergraduate advising, career opportunities, student success programs and exploratory studies. She also will be responsible for some areas of governance including academic appeals. 
Darrell Schulze
Darrell Schulze, Agronomy, received the National Cooper-ative Soil Survey 2017 Cooperator Achieve-ment Award during the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) National Conference in Boise, Idaho in June. The award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions in soil survey production, training of soil scien-tists, or research that has enhanced the NCSS program. 
Kimber Nicoletti-Martinez
Kimber Nicoletti-Martinez, Youth Development and Agricultural Education, has been selected as the 2017 Indiana Social Worker of the Year by the Indiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). She will be recognized at the organization’s state conference on September 25.
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Purdue Agriculture in the News
GMO sign
Americans OK with GMs for health care, but still wary about food
A study led by Nicole Olynk Widmar and Wally Tyner, Agricultural Economics, found that more than three-quarters of Americans would accept release of genetically modified mosquitoes to decrease risk of the Zika virus, but fewer than half accept genetic modification of animals, grain crops and produce.
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Insect on plant
High tunnels boost yield, along with plant-damaging insects
Growers of tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables can extend their growing season and increase yield by placing high tunnels over their cold-sensitive crops, but those tunnels don’t provide the pest protection that has long been assumed, according to a study by Ricky Foster , Entomology.
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Jianxin Ma
Breakthrough soybean research by Purdue and Dow AgroSciences could save farmers millions

Through a collaborative project, Purdue University and Dow AgroSciences  researchers have discovered a novel soybean gene that provides resistance to a devastating and costly fungal disease. Jianxin Ma, Agronomy, said that as more Rps resistance genes are identified, they might be stacked to enhance the strength and endurance of soybean resistance to the pathogen.

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Helping the hellbender: Mesker Park Zoo begins captive breeding efforts
The hellbender has been declining for years due to habitat degradation and destruction, but captive rearing efforts across the country are helping hellbenders slowly bounce back. Evansville’s Mesker Park Zoo  constructed an artificial stream in attempt to promote captive breeding efforts. If they are successful, it will mark the first time that Eastern hellbenders are bred in captivity. 
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Water Quality Field Station
Nutrient management research aims to reduce costs, environmental consequences
Sylvie Brouder and Jeff Volenec, Agronomy, are leading the Purdue portion of a $2 million, multi-university effort to update fertilizer management guidelines across the Corn Belt that could save farmers money and reduce the amount of nutrients reaching rivers and streams. The study’s goal is to update and improve the recommendations farmers get based on a 4R philosophy - applying the right fertilizer, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place. 
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Bruce Erickson
Agronomy certificate program distinguishes agribusiness professionals
Purdue’s Agronomy e-Learning Academy is awarding Crop Professional Certificates to its first group of agricultural professionals who completed all three courses as part of its curriculum: agronomy essentials, precision agriculture and nutrient management.  Directed by Bruce Erickson , the Agronomy e-Learning Academy has served more than 800 online students from 41 U.S. states, 26 countries and 90 companies in the last three years. 
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Boiler Golden Ale
Purdue research to aid craft beer industry leads to Boiler ale
Ongoing research and partnerships to aid the growing craft beer industry have brewed up one unexpected result: a Boilermaker-branded ale.  People’s Brewing Co.  owner Chris Johnson has had an ongoing partnership with researchers in Food Science and Horticulture and Landscape Architecture to work on collaborative studies, and that relationship has resulted in the creation of Boiler Gold-American Golden Ale.
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Purdue Wine Grape Team
Wine industry professionals learn insights from the old wine masters on tour to Spain and Portugal
The Purdue Wine Grape Team is cultivating the industry by taking small business owners away from their vineyard operations to a place where they can turn off their iPhones and learn something new. Winemakers from Indiana, California, Florida and Illinois recently joined the Purdue team for a 10-day tour of Northern Spain and Portugal’s historic wine industries, many of which have been in business for hundreds if not thousands of years.
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Experience Purdue Ag
Boiler Bridge connects Purdue campus, Extension to communities statewide
A statewide series of community events hosted by the College of Agriculture help college-curious youth and parents learn more about multiple fields of study at Purdue while showcasing Purdue Extension programs. Free and open to the public, Boiler Bridge events in September and October are intended to connect the Purdue University campus to communities throughout Indiana.
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Jerry Fankhauser, Director of Purdue Agricultural Centers, retires as of September 19

Jon Neufelder, Purdue Extension, retired as of August 31

In Memoriam

Dr. Virginia Ferris, Professor of Entomology, passed away in West Lafayette on August 14

Virginia Marion Balkema, Cooperative Extension Service administration, passed away on August 23
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Dates and Deadlines

September 23: Homecoming

September 25: Agriculture Entrepreneur Event

September 28: College of Agriculture Celebration of Teaching Excellence

October 3: College of Agriculture Fall Career Fair

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

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 23: Corinne Alexander Spirit of the Land-Grant Award Event

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

December 7: College of Agriculture Faculty Meeting

For more dates and deadlines, check the Purdue Agriculture calendar.
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University News
Dawn or Doom ’17 keynote to discuss benefits, pitfalls of biotechnology
Michael Bess, the Chancellor’s Professor of History at Vanderbilt University and author of the book “Our Grandchildren Redesigned: Life in the Bioengineered Society of the Near Future” will discuss the potential benefits and pitfalls of recent breakthroughs in biotechnology during Dawn or Doom ’17, a conference on the risks and rewards of emerging technology. Dawn or Doom will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 26 and 27, on the Purdue West Lafayette campus and is free and open to the public.
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Infosys, Purdue build strategic alliance for technology innovation and US workforce development
Purdue University is entering into a five-year agreement with Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology and next-generation services. Purdue will provide classes and training for many of the 10,000 American employees that Infosys will hire over the next two years, 2,000 of whom will be based in Indiana. Much of this training will be conducted on the West Lafayette campus, but the partnership also includes lifelong learning opportunities via specialist online courses.
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For best results with Purdue’s new email scanning system remember three words: review, release, safelist
Faculty, staff and students now receive a daily message with the subject line Spam Quarantine Notification from Cisco Quarantine. The quarantine digest messages are from Purdue’s new email scanning system, which ITaP implemented over the summer. The new system gives everyone a say in whether bulk email makes it directly into their inboxes, and that makes it important to remember three words: review, release, safelist.
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Purdue Agriculture InFocus
Editor: Dinah L. McClure (dmcclure@purdue.edu)
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