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Purdue Ag Alumni Gone Fishin’ event features new business pitches

February 1, 2021

Thirteen individuals will pitch their ideas at 2 p.m. Friday (Feb. 5) for agricultural businesses for cash prizes during Purdue Ag Alumni’s Gone Fishin’ Fish Tank event. They will present in front of Purdue agriculture alumni and other potential invest…

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Michelle Egger and Bottle

Forbes recognizes young entrepreneur and her formula for success

January 20, 2021

Michelle Egger, co-founder and CEO of BIOMILQ, woke up on Dec. 1 to an inbox full of congratulatory emails that left her completely confused.

“I’d been so focused on the scientific milestones we were working toward that it took me a couple of hours to figure out what in the world the emails were referring to,” Egger recalled. “It was like the rest of 2020. Low lows and high highs, both coming out of nowhere.”

Forbes selected Egger for its 30 Under 30 list for 2021, an annual compilation of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs.

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Purdue Ag Alumni’s annual fish fry has gone fishin’

January 12, 2021

Since 1949, Purdue University agriculture alumni have gathered for an annual meeting and fish fry. The fish fry has become a major event held the first weekend in February at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, attracting major speakers, Purdue leadership, …

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Purdue Agriculture’s 20 most-read stories of 2020

January 4, 2021

“2020 was a year unlike any other, with numerous challenges, opportunities and accomplishments across our college,” said Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of the College of Agriculture. “Through it all we were proud to share Purdue Agriculture’s stories with the incredible community of faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and so many other supporters.”

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Biochemistry Ph.D. graduate recognized for groundbreaking research in the Middle East

December 9, 2020
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Whittington hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer makes scents to Purdue alum

November 18, 2020

John Whittington, BS ’96, is always looking for the next big thing. An entrepreneur at heart, Whittington operated a large trucking company with his father, owned and operated an RV park in Florida, managed a fleet of hazardous waste trucks in Ohio and been a part of a successful NASCAR team.

In 2004, he bought an abandoned lumberyard in Morristown, Ind, and turned it into a successful biodiesel fuel-manufacturing site.

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Purdue Ag Alumni Swiss Cheese being made

Purdue Ag Alumni Swiss Cheese tradition continues at Indiana creamery

November 16, 2020

Purdue Ag Alumni Swiss Cheese was first produced in 1969 when Dave Pfendler, an associate dean of agriculture, launched the program in the now closed Purdue Creamery to raise money for student support. The program has encountered twists and turns over the past 50 years, but the latest turn brings it back to an Indiana creamery and its original recipe.

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Former Purdue Pete in front of bus with local family

Ag alumni share their Purdue Pete lore

November 9, 2020

Each school day afternoon, the busses line up outside Woodbrook Elementary in Carmel, Ind. In bus #168, driver Van Betulius, BS’76, and passenger Brayden Krueger patiently wait to get to the front of the line by playing math games.

“There must be seven buses in front of us,” says Betulius, intentionally miscounting the number to challenge Krueger’s math skills.

The two became bus buddies earlier in the school year when Betulius told Krueger he had once been Purdue Pete.

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Mark and Jenny Smith by building

Purdue family creates jobs, getaways during pandemic

October 16, 2020

“There’s an element of gambling to lumber,” said Mark Smith. “Lumber is a commodity market so it’s up and down all the time.”

Purdue alumni Mark and Jenny Smith faced the fluctuations for 31 years as suppliers of lumber and plywood, but never experienced shifts as abrupt as those in 2020. Within a span of months, the owners of Great Lakes Forest Products, Inc. saw their expanding business reduced to a bare-bones crew before unexpectedly needing to hire a record number of employees.

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Jones family portrait

Family farming roots run deep at Purdue

October 12, 2020

Jones’ family began dairy farming in Star City, Ind., in 1942. Four generations later, the family is still milking cows along with growing corn, soybeans and alfalfa, mainly used to feed back into the dairy herd. They were the first dairy farm in Indiana and the tenth in the nation to adopt robotic milking practices. Jones’ parents, Sammy and Pam, manage the day-to-day operations with her brother, Josh, who is a Purdue Agriculture and Biological Engineering graduate. Amy helps on the farm each month along with her sister, Christy, a Purdue Animal Sciences alumna, and her brother, a Purdue Liberal Arts alumnus.

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Covington smiling

Purdue Ag alum reflects on her success in master’s program

October 6, 2020

Eager to learn more about her field, Michaela Covington enrolled in Purdue’s Master of Science Biotechnology Innovation & Regulatory Science (BIRS) program six months after graduating from college, becoming the youngest person in the summer 2020 graduating class.

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A century shared in the soybean field

September 29, 2020

“Several years ago, I organized a soybean field day at the Agronomy Center for Research and Education (ACRE),” recalled Marshall Martin, professor of agricultural economics, the senior associate director of agricultural research and graduate education and assistant dean in the College of Agriculture.

“There were funny-looking plants growing in one of the soybean plots that I didn’t recognize. It looked like some kind of weed or vine on the ground— something that you’d plant as a ground cover around the front of your house. The plants had small pods with only one or two flat, black seeds each. They were soybeans.”

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Call for Purdue Certificate of Distinction nominees

September 14, 2020

The Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association is seeking nominations for the 2021 Certificate of Distinction award, the highest award of the association.

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Fouts Family

Great-great-granddaughter of American Soybean Association co-founder embraces 100-year legacy

September 10, 2020

“Early one morning, when my grandpa was just a young boy, his family traveled to the train station in Camden, Ind.,” said Claire Crum, retelling her favorite story. “There, he saw men shoveling our family’s soybeans into a fancy train. Someone in an expensive-looking suit walked up to my grandpa and shook his hand.”

The man was Henry Ford, who was interested in this new, rare crop. “Mr. Ford toured our farm and shared lunch before returning home with three train cars full of soybeans. He originally intended to use them as a fuel source, but instead used them in the black paint of his Ford cars.

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Jabaay with tractor in field

Meat science alumnus reflects on 50 years with industry leaders

July 30, 2020

“Purdue professors do a very good job of helping students learn how to address complex issues,” explained Ross Jabaay, who entered the world of meat science over 50 years ago. Whether in the military, laboratory or board room, Jabaay says he was able to use the tools he acquired at Purdue to find the answer to any questions he faced.

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Florist arranges for flowers to travel when loved ones cannot

July 23, 2020

For a company to stay in business for 100 years, it has certainly faced its share of hurdles. Lake Forest Flowers planted its roots northeast of Chicago in 1917 a few months before the Spanish Flu arrived. A century later, facing the COVID-19 pandemic, Lake Forest Flowers continues to find ways to meet changing needs.

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Alumnus adapts restaurant to protect the health of his business and patrons

July 20, 2020

Before electricity and modern refrigeration, icehouses were built to keep ice and snow frozen, and it was sold and shipped year-round. As refrigerators grew in popularity, icehouses shifted their business model. They became the predecessor to convenience stores, selling perishable groceries and cold drinks. 7-Eleven traces its origin to one such icehouse.

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Entrepreneurs find learning opportunities amid COVID-19 pandemic

July 14, 2020

As March 14 drew near, Purdue alumni Woody and Kayla Nichols grew increasingly concerned about the upcoming open house at their store, Prairie View Ag Supply. More than 400 guests were expected at the annual event, but COVID-19 and uncertainty were beginning to spreading.

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Carter with volunteers at Fish Fry

Purdue Ag Alumni Association volunteer earns national award

June 19, 2020

“Ben Carter is an outstanding servant leader for the Purdue Ag Alumni Association and the College of Agriculture,” said Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of the College of Agriculture. “He is always there to lend a helping hand, whether it is at alumni events, the state fair, or helping to advocate for agriculture. He can be counted on to deliver in all circumstances and does it with a smile.”

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Pork Research guide in gloved hands

Teacher of Purdue’s first meat science course reflects on lifetime of research

May 27, 2020

After 75 years, Max Judge still recalls a simple question that set the course for decades of progress in meat science.

Growing up on a farm in Henry County, Judge showed pigs through 4-H. “In 1945, I had the opportunity to host the county pig tour,” Judge recalled. “Lo and behold, leading the tour was Hobe Jones.” Jones taught animal sciences at Purdue for 38 years. “I was excited to tell Hobe that my brother had worked with pigs at Purdue under Cliff Breeden. My brother had told me that Cliff kept his pigs from getting too fat by feeding them by hand instead of on a feeder.”

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