Purdue Agriculture InFocus
January 2018
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From the Dean
Karen Plaut

Purdue around Indiana. As the winter session starts and our students settle in at the University, many of our faculty and staff are going out to meet with stakeholders throughout Indiana. As many of you know, the winter months are a time when producers usually have a minute to stop and think about the coming production season. Thanks to the great work of Purdue Extension, our faculty and staff are engaged in many workshops and conferences that help producers learn from the latest research based Extension information to help with decision making for the future. 

The Top Farmer Workshop, hosted by Agricultural Economics, is one example of our wintertime learning events. Now in its 50th year, it is one of the most successful and longest-running management programs geared specifically for farmers. We also recently hosted the 82nd Annual Pest Management Conference, where our Entomology experts work with industry partners to provide attendees with information on the newest ideas and technologies for innovative and environmentally sensitive approaches to pest management. The Indiana Horticulture Congress, coming in February, is a three-day educational meeting geared to meet the needs of fruit, vegetable, wine, organics, and specialty crop growers and marketers in Indiana and surrounding states. Participants will attend sessions on food safety, agritourism, farm family dynamics, and growing crops in high tunnels. The Small Farms Conference in March will feature sessions on such topics as on-farm food safety for fruit and vegetable growers, regenerative farming with livestock and agroforestry systems, farm viability and financial management, and revolutionizing the agricultural co-op model for the 21st Century.  In addition to the events we host, our faculty and staff also participate in commodity group meetings around the state and present the latest information on issues of pest management, crop improvement, financial management, animal management, and more.

While faculty and staff are engaged at events in Indiana and beyond, high school students are opening their letters of acceptance to Purdue, and we enjoy seeing and hearing about their excitement when they learn they will become Boilermakers. Everyone in our college is committed to helping our students explore their opportunities and find their passion in Purdue Agriculture.

I can’t write about wintertime events without including the Purdue Agriculture Alumni Fish Fry, the largest alumni event in the country!  As usual, this year’s Fish Fry on February 3 will be a great time to network and visit with department faculty and staff, see the student organizations and new start-up businesses from faculty and staff entrepreneurs, and catch up with Agriculture friends and colleagues. Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Catherine Bertini, a World Food Prize Laureate who was Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program. She is known as a leader of international organizations, an advocate for agricultural development, educating women and girls, promoting options for women in leadership, and organizational leadership and change management. If you do not have tickets, you can order them here.   

We are always energized by working with our stakeholders, alumni and future students around the state. The new ideas we teach (and learn), the excitement of welcoming our newest Boilermakers, and the friendships we build all help make a long winter seem exceptionally bright!


All the best,
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Purdue Ag People
Stephen Russell

Graduate Research Spotlight: Stephen Russell

The Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. This month’s spotlight is on Stephen Russell, Botany and Plant Pathology.

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
College events to commemorate Diversity Awareness Week
The Diversity Action Team in Agriculture has organized four days of activities to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Awareness Week, January 15-19, sponsored by the Colleges of Agriculture and Health and Human Sciences. This year's theme is Celebrating Diversity:  "The Influences of MLK Jr." Following the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday on Monday, January 15, faculty and staff are invited to participate in activities each day to educate and raise diversity awareness.
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Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry

You can be part of the 2018 Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry!

Calling all volunteers for the Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry on February 3 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds! We need your help to be servers at lunch. Servers receive a free meal, get to enjoy the Fish Fry program, and are offered free transportation to and from the fairgrounds, if they wish. Click below to get information and volunteer.

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Indiana Invasive Species Council

Invasive Species Council to hold conference

The Indiana Invasive Species Council (IISC) will hold its third Biannual Conference, “Grassroots Networking and Resources to Manage Invasive Species in Indiana,” on February 15 in Danville, Indiana. The IISC helps government agencies detect, prevent, monitor, and manage new and long established invasions, as well as increase public awareness about invasive species. Steve Yaninek, Entomology, represents the dean of Purdue Agriculture on the Council and a number of Purdue Agriculture faculty, specialists and educators are involved in the conference.

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College names 2018 Distinguished Agriculture Alumni

Nine individuals have been chosen to receive 2018 Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Awards. The Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award was created in 1992 to recognize mid-career alumni of the College of Agriculture. Recipients will be recognized in a convocation on Friday, March 23.

The 2018 Distinguished Agriculture Alumni:

  • Jerry Flint, Global Initiatives and Sustainability Leader, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont  (1983 BS – Agronomy)
  • Edwin M. Grote, DuPont Research Fellow, DuPont Pioneer (1992 MS, 1995 PhD – Agronomy)
  • David Hefty, Chief Executive Officer, Hefty Wealth Partners (1999 BS – Ag Econ)
  • Stacy Hefty, President, Hefty Wealth Partners (1999 BS – Ag Econ)
  • Shibu Jose, Professor and Director, School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri (1994 MS, 1997 PhD – Forestry & Natural Resources)
  • Kay Lawton, Vice President, Intellectual Property, Metabolon, Inc. (1990 PhD – Horticulture & Landscape Architecture)
  • Rebecca Schroeder, President, Whiteshire Hamroc  LLC (1996 BS – Animal Sciences)
  • Eric Steiner, Director of U.S. Government Affairs, Elanco Animal Health (2002 BS – Youth Development & Agricultural Education)
  • Jane Ade Stevens, Executive Director, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana Corn Growers Association (1976 BS – Agricultural Communication)
Bravo Awards

College participates in Bravo Awards Program

Purdue Agriculture is participating 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. 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.

Reminder: 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
Levon Esters
Levon Esters, Youth Development and Agricultural Education, was selected to serve on the Roundtable on Systemic Change in Under-graduate STEM Education.The Roundtable supports a national effort of the Board on Science Education of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to use systems approaches to address issues in undergraduate STEM education. More
Songlin Fei
Research on tree migration by Songlin Fei, Forestry and Natural Resources, was listed as 59th among the top 100 discoveries in 2017 by Discover magazine.
APSAC Professional Development Awards

APSAC awards professional development grants

The Administrative Professional Staff Advisory Committee (APSAC) has awarded nearly $13,000 in individual professional development grants to 21 administrative and professional staff members, including four Agriculture staff members: Megan Gunn, Molly Hunt, Marcella Wilson, and Ryan Wynkoop.  

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Purdue Agriculture in the News
Food Science Baking Competition Team

Food Science student team hopes cookie stacks up at national baking competition

A team of graduate students in Food Science has developed a crispy, buttery, crunchy, chocolatey and gooey-in-the-middle cookie, and members hope it will delight the senses of judges in this year’s American Society of Baking (ASB) Product Development Competition.

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Study suggests new targets for improving soybean oil content

Scientists working to increase soybean oil content tend to focus their efforts on genes known to affect the plant’s seeds, but a study led by Jianxin Ma, Agronomy, shows that genes affecting other plant parts deserve more attention.

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Purdue Extension Logo

Learn farm ownership succession planning in Purdue Extension workshop

Farm families can learn how to ensure a successful ownership transition from one generation to the next in a workshop sponsored by the Purdue Extension Succession Planning Team.

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Damon Lisch and Jianxin Ma

Study uncovers distinctions in major crop genome evolutions

Damon Lisch, Botany and Plant Pathology, and Jianxin Ma, Agronomy, teamed up to study the evolution of maize and soybean genomes. They wanted to understand the ways in which genomes duplicate - creating multiple copies of genes - and how those genomes change over time.

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Ag Barometer December

Weak future outlook drives producer sentiment lower

Agricultural producers indicated they have reduced optimism heading into 2018, according to the December reading of the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.

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Indiana State Chemist logo

State chemist office offers required training for dicamba applicators

The Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC) is offering state-required training for commercial and private applicators working with the new dicamba herbicide products Engenia, FeXapan and XtendiMax. These and other herbicide products containing at least 6.5 percent dicamba are now classified as restricted-use pesticides (RUPs) in Indiana.

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Staff Retirements
Juanita Robertson, College of Agriculture Business Office
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Dates and Deadlines

January 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (University Holiday)

January 16-19: Martin Luther King, Jr. Diversity Awareness Week

January 19: Agriculture/Engineering Event on Collaborations

January 23: PCARET Legislative Luncheon, Indianapolis

February 3: Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry
March 23: Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Awards Convocation
March 28: College of Agriculture Faculty Meeting
For more dates and deadlines, check the Purdue Agriculture calendar.
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University News

Purdue to add two-factor authentication for all faculty and staff during spring semester

Coming soon, all of Purdue’s faculty and staff will need to begin using two-factor authentication, known at Purdue as BoilerKey, to log into the new employee portal, SuccessFactors, improving security of personal and University data alike.

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Feedback sought for data science initiative

Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity, and Suresh Garimella, executive vice president for research and partnerships, invite all faculty and staff to review a report on Purdue’s new data science initiative and provide feedback by Jan. 22 via a brief Qualtrics survey.

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Nominations sought for Lu Ann Aday, Arden L. Bement Jr. and Herbert Newby McCoy awards

Nominations for Purdue's most prestigious University-wide awards for research, scholarly or creative works are being accepted through Feb. 14.

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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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