Please check back as projects will be posted as they are received.
Longitudinal summarization of bull performance
Location: Feldun Purdue Ag Center
Faculty Member: Terry Stewart
Summary: A student would work at FPAC being involved in the daily operations of the Bull Test program and cow herd management to gain practical experience. They would design a project utilizing the performance records from the previous bull test to summarize longitudinal changes in animal performance. For example, summarizing the incidence and duration of health issues of bulls, correlate that with the weather conditions in the period prior to the illness and also assess the impact of illness on the overall performance of a bull during the entire performance test. We would leave the exact parameters of the project open for the student to have input into the specifics of what they explore. Tying together the practical experience associated with daily operations and utilization of records to document performance will give the student a holistic view of animal research.
Organic tomato variety improvement
Location: Throckmorton Purdue Ag Center
Faculty Member: Lori Hoagland
Summary: Local production of organic tomatoes marketed directly to consumers is growing rapidly in the Midwestern region of the U.S. Growers serving this market often plant heirloom varieties because they are perceived to have superior flavor in comparison to modern hybrid varieties. However, heirlooms varieties tend to be highly susceptible to pathogens and other physiological disorders that affect the quality and yield of the fruit. Participatory plant breeding is a powerful, cost-effective approach for developing new regionally adapted crop varieties with improved agronomic and end-use fruit quality traits. These programs engage growers in the identification of traits and selection of best adapted germplasm during the breeding process. The student selected to work on this project will manage a participatory tomato breeding nursery, assist with disease ratings, and coordinate outreach activities including a field day and tomato variety taste test. They will also assist with other specialty crop research trials at the Throckmorton PAC and on working organic farms.