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The College of Agriculture awards seven alumni to the ranks of Distinguished Ag Alumni

The College of Agriculture recognized Seven alumni at the Distinguished Agricultural Alumni Award ceremony on March 3rd.


alpert-andrew-2.jpgBiochemistry alumnus Andrew Alpert earned a PhD from Purdue in 1980. While at Purdue, he studied under Fred Regnier, a distinguished professor of analytical chemistry who was making significant advances in high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Alpert initially planned to be a professor, but instead created a company, PolyLC Inc., that provides life scientists with separation tools. Thousands of labs use its top product, PolyCAT A. “In effect, they found my research compelling enough to implement it themselves, which is hugely rewarding,” says Alpert, whose company is in Columbia, Maryland. “My main reward is being able to influence how analytical biochemistry is done.”


deatsman-janelle-2.jpgAnimal Sciences alumna Janelle Deatsman is senior communications manager for Maple Leaf Farms in Milford, Indiana. She’s been with the company since her Purdue graduation in 2000. Maple Leaf Farms produces about a third of the national commercial duck production. Her animal sciences connections remain strong. She has served on the poultry career panel, hosted the ANSC 18100 animal industry tour, and led discussions in ANSC 48100 as a featured speaker. In 2015, the department gave her a Distinguished Alumni Award, Early Career.



frimpong-emmanuel-2.jpgForestry and Natural Resources alumnus Emmanuel Frimpong earned a PhD in Aquatic Sciences and Resource Policy. Frimpong, a Ghana native, said his Purdue degree made him realize “the sky was my limit.” In 2005, he joined the faculty at Virginia Tech, where his research program focuses on fish ecology and aquaculture within the context of temperate (US) and tropical (Africa) freshwater ecosystems and environmental sustainability. He was chosen as a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow in 2015 and Fulbright Scholar in 2021, both times working in Ghana. Recently, Frimpong secured just over $1 million in National Science Foundation funding as the lead principal investigator to support an interdisciplinary project focusing on interspecies reproductive interactions in stream fishes.


 grogg-jeff-2.jpgJeff Grogg earned a bachelor’s degree in Food Science in 1992. His career began at Kellogg and Kashi. He spent 16 years there in a variety of roles before shifting to an entrepreneurial path. The 2015 recipient of the Purdue University Outstanding Food Science Award has founded and co-founded several companies in sports, real estate, manufacturing, sales and consulting. He’s led JPG Resources in Battle Creek, Michigan, since 2009. It has more than 65 team members and has launched more than 2,500 products. 



 kron-randy-2.jpgRandy Kron is the president of Indiana Farm Bureau. In 1983, he earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics at Purdue, then immediately began farming in southern Indiana. He and his wife, Joyce, persevered through difficult times, and Kron Farms is now a thriving enterprise that includes their son, Ben. Kron and Joyce received the Indiana Young Farmer Achievement Award in 1989 and the Master Farmer award in 2011. Kron was vice president of Indiana Farm Bureau for 14 years before becoming president in 2016.



shoaf-miller-samantha-2.jpgAgronomy alumna Samantha Shoaf Miller sets Corteva Agriscience’s regulatory strategy for product registrations in the U.S. She’s been with Corteva since 2020 after previous stops at Beck’s Hybrids and Oklahoma State University. Miller earned a PhD from Purdue in 2012. She’s chair of the Agronomic Science Foundation’s board of trustees and active in the Golden Opportunity Scholars Institute.





patterson-paul.jpgPaul Patterson earned a master’s (1987) and a PhD (1994) in agricultural economics from Purdue. He spent nearly 15 years at Arizona State University, capping his time there with two years as dean/director of Morrison School of Management & Agribusiness. In 2009, he returned to Auburn University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree, as a professor and associate dean of instruction.  In 2016 was promoted to dean of the College of Agriculture. Patterson is also the director of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, which has 17 outlying research sites and a budget nearly equal to the college’s.

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