Purdue Agriculture InFocus

Summer 2022

Purdue Ag People
Purdue Ag in the News
Dates and Deadlines
University News
Purdue Next Moves Updates
From the Dean 

The Land-Grant Mission: Making an Impact

Purdue Agriculture’s faculty, staff and students are deeply embedded in the ideal of making an impact. The most obvious way the College does this is through training our students for their future careers, but our impact can be seen well beyond the classroom.

Through Extension, we support local communities with programs targeted at mental health and wellness, food safety, production agriculture, soil quality, cover crops and so much more. Through 4-H, we impact young lives by helping them develop important life skills and introducing them to a myriad of career opportunities. 

We also make an impact through the cutting-edge research that truly touches almost every part of our daily lives. From new methods of insect detection to work with new feed additives that decrease carbon emissions, our faculty work to solve grand challenges facing the world today. We also develop new drugs to treat cancer and coronaviruses, such as COVID-19, and help to regenerate soils, improve water quality and manage forests. 

Entrepreneurship is the newest avenue our College has to make an impact. With an investment from the Purdue President and Board of Trustees, we have launched a program called Digital Innovation in Agri-food Systems Lab, known as DIAL. This is part of the new Purdue Applied Research Institute and is a brand-new venture for us. The executive director is Allan Gray, Land O’Lakes Chair and professor of agricultural economics, whom many of you may know through the Center for Food and Ag Business. Allan has built DIAL into a venture studio model unlike any other in the nation. 

The concept behind DIAL is unique. First, it utilizes a cohort of innovation fellows, who come from all walks of life but have a few key qualities – they want to learn, innovate and they want to be an entrepreneur. These individuals do not have to have an agricultural background but they have to be passionate about agriculture and food. The first applicant pool had 300 applicants which was narrowed to six fellows. Similar to what our Extension faculty and staff do, the fellows work with producers and industry to learn what problems in today’s food supply chain can be improved – or even solved – using innovative, digital solutions.

Then of course, they do research to figure out whether they can clearly identify the problem and build a digital solution. As they are located on campus, the DIAL fellows tap into the expertise of our faculty as well. The fellows work with High Alpha Innovation to hone their messages and begin to develop a digital solution. The ideas are pitched to a group of investors and if the idea is chosen, they work with High Alpha to develop a new company. While it will take quite a few years before we know how successful we have been, it is exciting to see us use the skills of teaching, research and Extension to develop digital solutions to global issues. 

This new model represents another tool to keep Purdue University on the forefront of innovation. It will enable us to incubate, accelerate and use investors to capitalize new startups that will make an impact in agriculture and food systems here in Indiana and beyond. 

While this may represent a new way of doing business, it is definitely a way to celebrate the ethos of the land grant mission and make an impact around the globe. We are excited about the future and the innovations that we will see as DIAL continues to develop.

Purdue Ag People

Two New Department Heads Named

Dr. Jessica Gurevitch, distinguished professor and co-chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, will become Head of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, effective January 18, 2023.

Dr. Rama Radhakrishna, professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education and assistant dean for graduate education at Pennsylvania State University, will become Head of the Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication, effective August 15, 2022.
Megan Hughes Graduate Ag Research Spotlight: Megan Hughes

The Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. The June spotlight is on Megan Hughes, PhD student, Agricultural Economics.

May Spotlight: Uriel Urbizo Reyes, PhD student, Food Science 
April Spotlight: Maddie Carpenter, MS student, Entomology
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Jason Deitrich Behind the Research: Jason Deitrich

Many people are involved in the remarkable range of programs, services and facilities that undergird research in the College of Agriculture. Collectively they are integral to the college fulfilling its research mission. This month’s spotlight is on Jason Deitrich, Facilities Manager, Agronomy.
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Linda Lee Board of Trustees names Lee a distinguished professor

The Purdue University Board of Trustees has named Linda Lee, Agronomy, a Distinguished Professor. This designation acknowledges creative and productive faculty who have made distinctive contributions to the university and whose outstanding achievements in discovery and learning are recognized internationally.
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Grace Hasler Spring commencement student responder aims to "meet the moment"

Grace Hasler was the student responder at Purdue's spring commencement ceremony in May. Hasler graduated with degrees in agricultural communications and agricultural sales and marketing.
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College of Agriculture Logo 6 ag students earn Academic All-Big Ten Honors

Six College of Agriculture students received academic honors for spring sports, including Jackson Smeltz, agricultural economics; Kasey Whilhoit, agronomy; Emma Tate, botany & plant pathology; Payne Turney, biochemistry; Tessa Sheets, animal sciences; and Leah Keesling, food science.
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Brad Kim Animal Sciences professor named journal editor

The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) recently announced that Brad Kim, Animal Sciences, will serve as the Editor in Chief for the Journal, Meat and Muscle Biology.
Statue of Liberty image Don’t forget to track Civil Rights and Diversity Training    

All Purdue Agriculture faculty and staff members are required to receive training in civil rights (the regulations) or diversity awareness each year. Rather than mandate a specific training, we ask that you attend any training that fits your needs and interests and enhances your knowledge and understanding of diversity or civil rights. Please use our Qualtrics survey tool to report training activities.
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Awards and Recognitions

Kolapo Ajuwon Zoltan Machaty Klein Ileleji
Kolapo Ajuwon, Animal Sciences, received the 2022 Purdue University Agricultural Research Award. Zoltan Machaty, Animal Sciences, named a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. Klein Ileleji, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, was named the Indiana and Great Lakes Region Exporter of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. He is cofounder and CEO of JUA Technologies.
Tom Creswell Marisa Erasmus Layi Adeola
Tom Creswell, Botany & Plant Pathology and director of the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab at Purdue, received the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Plant Diagnostic Network. Marisa Erasmus, Animal Sciences, received the National Turkey Federation Research Award from the Poultry Science Association. Olayiwola (Layi) Adeola, Animal Sciences, received the 2022 Gary L. Cromwell Award for Mineral Nutrition from the American Society of Animal Science.
Tamara Benjamin Jeff Fields Ashley York
Tamara Benjamin,
Extension, received the
Unsung Diversity Hero
Staff Award
Jeff Fields, Animal Sciences, received the MaPSAC Excellence Award recognizing a full-time management or professional staff member at Purdue University. Ashley York, Animal Sciences, received a Certificate of Merit, Outstanding Advising Award - Primary Advising Role from NACADA. 
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Purdue Ag in the News

Tesfaye Mengiste Seeds: An unlikely casualty of the war in Ukraine

Tesfaye Mengiste, Botany and Plant Pathology, spoke with Think Global Health, an initiative of the Council on Foreign Relations, about the importance of seed banks across the world.
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Lori Hoagland Leaf mold compost shows benefit for tomato plants in degraded urban soils

Researchers at Purdue, including Lori Hoagland, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, tested if leaf mold can help tomato plants produce more tomatoes.
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College of Agriculture Farm Credit Mid-America partnership supports diverse future ag leaders

Farm Credit Mid-America has a long history of partnering with the College of Agriculture, including a new program through the Office of Multicultural Programs.
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Maksym Chepeliev World Bank, European Parliament seek insight from Purdue global trade expert

Maksym Chepeliev, Agricultural Economics, spoke before the European Parliament and co-authored the World Bank report “The Impact of the War in Ukraine on Global Trade and Investment.”
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Spotted Lanternfly Lifecycle Satellite remote sensing could predict spotted lanternfly spread

The USDA Tactical Sciences for Agricultural Biosecurity program awarded nearly $1 million for a project to use satellite remote sensing to learn more about this mysterious pest and develop a model to predict its movements.
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USAID Peru Project Purdue faculty & staff collaborate on USAID project in Peru

The PERU-Hub project is a $15 million grant-funded effort to improve the economic conditions of farmers in the Huallaga Valley by building a base of knowledge in tropical agriculture and technology transfer.
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Purdue Next Moves: Plant Sciences 2.0

Consumer Food Insights May 2022 Consumer Food Insights Report shows difference in food insecurity, sustainable food purchasing between racial & ethnic groups

The Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability released the May 2022 Consumer Food Insights Report earlier this month.
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Ryan Skaar of NanoBio Designs Ag-Celerator fund invests in NanoBio Designs

NanoBio Designs LLC, a company that provides grain distributors and seed suppliers with onsite, rapid genetic detection solutions, has received a $100,000 investment from the Purdue Ag-Celerator, an agriculture innovation fund.
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single tree visualization Integration leads to leap in tech for forest inventory, management

Through integration of aerial and ground-based mobile mapping sensors and systems, a team of Purdue digital forestry researchers has used advanced technology to locate, count and measure over a thousand trees in a matter of hours.

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Dates and Deadlines

July 19-20: Farm Management Tour
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University News

Purdue names Chiang its next president

The Purdue Board of Trustees announced today (June 10) its unanimous election of Dr. Mung Chiang, currently the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering and Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, as the university’s next president. Dr. Chiang will replace current president Mitch Daniels effective Jan. 1, 2023. Daniels has served since January 2013.

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Boiler Up Against Hate and Bias logo 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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