Skip to Main Content

Visionaries: Effective management keeps farmers in business

Listening to growers’ feedback is one of many tasks Janna Beckerman, professor of botany and plant pathology, performs.

Beckerman is a researcher, but there are many other tasks she performs, including teaching, extension, and listening to growers’ feedback. Listening to vegetable and plant growers’ feedback is so important in her job because they tell her what kind of plant diseases they are fighting and what methods work to control them. This gives her research a pathway because she must fight to find ways to manage a disease before they take over the growers’ farms and put their farms out of business.

One of the growers, Paul Howard, works with Beckerman nearly every day as a farm technician at Purdue Meigs Horticulture Farm. He cares for Beckerman’s research plots along with others. However, Howard also owns his own orchard at home as well. When Beckerman and Howard work together, they not only talk about what is happening at Meigs farm, they also discuss his own orchard.

Beckerman said talking with Howard can remind her that her advice can be difficult to act on due to financial restraints of running a farm or lack of time. This reminder allows Beckerman to stay in touch with the growers every day and understand some of the backstories of the farms when she is trying to diagnose diseases during farm visits.
Paul Howard, Chloe Richard, and Janna Beckerman (From left) Farm workers Paul Howard, Chloe Richard, and Purdue researcher Janna Beckerman communicate their findings at Meigs Farm.
Meet the Filmmaker/Blogger
Bonnie Witt, student filmmaker and blogger Bonnie Witt, student filmmaker and blogger

Bonnie Witt is a junior dual majoring in agricultural communication and in animal sciences with a focus on production and industry. She is from Sullivan, Indiana, and hopes to utilize what she learns in agricultural communication to support her work in the animal science industry.

This blog and video are part of the Visionaries series, which highlights the work and lives of researchers in the Purdue University College of Agriculture. The content for this series is created by the students of ASEC 280 (Digital Storytelling).

See More Visionaries Stories

Explore other videos and blogs created by our student-filmmakers
Videos are also available on the Purdue Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication YouTube channel

Featured Stories

Izaak working with bee hives
Cultivating the Future: Izaak Gilchrist

The spider hanging upside down from the corner of your room and the silverfish that crawled out...

Read More
Dave Case delivers a keynote speech
FNR Names Dave Case as 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources is proud to name Dave Case as its 2023 FNR Lifetime...

Read More
Purdue College of Agriculture.
Student draws welcomed attention to Agronomy department through social media

Ruby Slentz was featured in a Purdue Agronomy promotional video released this month, gaining very...

Read More
Maya Fulton stands against the Continuum sculptures outside of Lynn Hall.
How an entomology student made her veterinary school dreams a reality

As a first-year student in the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine, Fulton has quickly become...

Read More
Student Matthew Haan stands with another person in front of mountains in the Philippines
Horticultural and Landscape Architecture student discusses summer research and training in the Philippines

With limited international travel experience and a student’s budget, Matthew Haan was...

Read More
corn silk
Stalk and Ear Rots: The Importance of Identifying Them Now to Help with Harvest Decisions

It is now time to evaluate fields for any stalk or ear rot symptoms. This will aid in making...

Read More
To Top