Purdue Agriculture InFocus
August 2018
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From the Dean

Karen Plaut
Looking back and Moving Forward
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In September, the entire university will kick off a full year of celebrating the 150th anniversary of Purdue University. With many special activities and events planned across the campus, this will be a great time to look back at what we have accomplished and use that as a springboard to move forward. The university’s overall goal for the 150th is to “redefine the scope of land-grant universities and challenge global leaders to take GIANT LEAPS in solving worldwide problems.“ (https://takegiantleaps.com/) Under the “Giant Leaps” umbrella, the themes for this year of celebration include Giant Leaps in 1) Space Exploration, 2) Artificial Intelligence, 3) Health and Longevity, and 4) Sustainable Economy and Planet.   

Over the next year, I will use this column to talk about some of the giant leaps that our College is taking in all the land grant mission areas.  Our students are very innovative and in turn, we offer innovative teaching and learning. In Extension, we develop, deliver and assess innovative programs and activities and deliver them face-to-face and to those who are far away from our campus.  Our scientists are conducting both fundamental and applied research using (and sometimes inventing) the latest technologies; and we are working to reach out in new and innovative ways in both international programs and in our diversity and inclusion efforts.  

Our newest students began their college journey this week. What will be their giant leaps? Their first giant leap was choosing Purdue.  Many students have left the safety of home and a school where they knew everyone and knew what to expect, and now are adjusting to a place where everything is new and unfamiliar. You can see the excitement and sometimes anxiety on their faces as they anticipate this next adventure. Our job is to make them feel comfortable and accepted, and to help them feel assured that the people of the College of Agriculture are here to help and support them. And, just as important, we are here to help inspire them and help them find and pursue their dreams.   

In Agriculture, we are connected to the Giant Leaps in Space Exploration in our teaching, research and Extension. I am an example of that, as I worked for NASA as the Lead Scientist for the International Space Station Biological Research Station and I conducted research on the space shuttle.  But today, we are focusing on the student experience.  

Last year, Purdue Agriculture students were part of a team that went on a two-week mission to the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. “Boilers to Mars,” as the team was called, spent its time in an Earth-based facility that requires inhabitants to develop the skills required for human space exploration.  It is surrounded by desert that simulates the Mars environment. The team posted a short video describing their mission: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uHVS7_MFkA&feature=youtu.be. You can also read about the mission here.     

This incredible experience not only allowed the student team members to develop new ideas for space exploration and experience growing their own food in a greenhouse with microgreens as if they were in space, but they also learned interpersonal interactions and teamwork. But this is not the only Purdue Agriculture connection to space exploration! The Giant Leap in space exploration goes across the land grant mission. There is more to cover—from “shuttle gum” trees to building habitats for biological specimens on the International Space Station. In the months to come, I’ll talk about these and many more Giant Leaps for College of Agriculture students, faculty, and staff. We are excited about the opportunities to celebrate 150 years of Purdue University and look forward to the next 150!  


All the best,
Karen signature
Purdue Ag People
Julius Eason Graduate Research Spotlight: Julius Eason

The Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. The August spotlight is on Julius Eason, Entomology.
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Monika Ivantysynova College mourns loss of Monika Ivantysynova

Dr. Monika Ivantysynova, Maha Professor of Fluid Power Systems and Director of the Maha Fluid Power Research Center, passed away on August 11 after a battle with cancer.
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Donya Lester Reception to celebrate Donya Lester

Faculty and staff are invited to a reception on August 29 from 2:30-4:30 in Creighton Hall to honor Donya Lester as she retires as Executive Director of the Purdue Ag Alumni Association.
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Unnaturally Delicious book Purdue Ag Alumni launches Common Read

The Purdue Ag Alumni Common Read will debut this fall in honor of Purdue’s sesquicentennial celebration. Purdue Agriculture alumni and other readers from around the world will read “Unnaturally Delicious” and participate in three live-streamed Q&As with the book’s author, distinguished professor and agricultural economics department head Jayson Lusk, along with special guests.
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Hovde Award Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence nominees sought

Purdue Extension is accepting nominations for the 2018 Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence, which is given annually to a member of Purdue University's faculty or staff who has displayed outstanding educational service to rural Indiana.
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Agriculture Students
College Welcomes Students to Campus

Rain soaked students on Purdue’s first day of classes, but it didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. Lecture halls brimmed and coffee bar lines swelled as students, faculty and staff kicked off the fall semester. 
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Awards and Recognitions
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Purdue Ag in the News
ScaleUp logo Purdue partners with African Development Bank to host first ever Scale Up Conference

Purdue University will host the Scale Up Conference on Sept. 25-27 to address how the large scale adoption of technologies can shift agricultural innovations from research institutions into the developing world. Hosted in collaboration with the African Development Bank, the conference will feature Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, Purdue alumnus, and 2017 World Food Prize Laureate as the keynote speaker.
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Maple Leaf Farms logo Tuckers make first endowed chair possible for Animal Sciences

The Department of Animal Sciences has established its first endowed chair in poultry science. The Chair will help support a faculty member conducting research, education and outreach on issues of importance to the poultry industry, which has an annual impact on the Indiana economy of more than $4 billion.
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UAV flying Purdue Extension helping Indiana farmers reach new heights with UAV demonstrations

To help Hoosier farmers take full advantage of the promising new UAV technology, Purdue Extension is hosting a series of demonstrations throughout the state this summer. Participants get hands-on, practical instruction in flight techniques and learn how to download and process the immense amount of data the drones can collect.
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Crop Basis Tool New tool helps ag producers mitigate risk in an uncertain market

The Center forCommercial Agriculture has unveiled the Crop Basis Tool, a new web-based tool that provides agricultural producers with access to weekly historical and contemporaneous corn and soybean basis data for local market regions in the eastern corn belt.
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Dan Szymanski Study finds key to plant growth control mechanism

A study led by Dan Szymanski, Botany and Plant Pathology, has mapped a complex series of pathways that control the shape of plant cells. The findings are an important step toward customizing how plants grow to suit particular agronomic needs and improving the quality of the cotton grown in the United States.
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Indiana field Report: Indiana agriculture will need to adapt as climate changes

Over the coming decades, Hoosier farmers will have to adapt to rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns that will affect row crops, livestock, poultry, specialty crops and soil health, according to the report Indiana’s Agriculture in a Changing Climate by the Purdue-based Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment.
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Purdue Extension logo Purdue Extension to hold Mental Health First Aid courses

Purdue Extension will host several Mental Health First Aid courses this fall to teach participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis, or has signs of substance use disorders, including opioid use.
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Dog in cage Research team studies dog welfare in commercial breeding kennels

The Stanton Foundation has awarded a grant of $1.98 million to Dr. Candace Croney and her research team to study the welfare of dogs and puppies in commercial breeding kennels. Dr. Croney serves as director of the Purdue Center for Animal Welfare Science and holds a joint appointment as professor of animal behavior and well-being in the College of Veterinary Medicine and professor of animal sciences.
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Zhou study Study sheds light on stem cell proliferation that may one day boost crop yields

A study led by Yun Zhou, Botany and Plant Pathology and the Purdue Center for Plant Biology, has uncovered mechanisms that lead to stem cell formation and maintenance in plants. The findings may one day allow scientists to manipulate stem cell production to increase biomass that can be used for biofuels or grain yield in plants like corn and soybeans.
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Center for Food and Ag Business logo Purdue to offer strategic marketing program in October

The Center for Food and Agricultural Business will present the 2018 Strategic Agri-Marketing seminar Oct. 9-11 at Purdue University. The program is designed for agricultural businesses looking to create an integrated and cohesive marketing strategy. Participants will use real-world case studies to better understand the decision-making process for effective marketing.
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Natalia Dudareva Researchers discover key to mass producing beneficial plant compounds

Purdue University scientists led by Dr. Natalia Dudareva, Biochemistry and the Purdue Center for Plant Biology, have discovered the switch in plants that turns off production of terpenoids, compounds that play roles in plant physiology and are used by humans in everything from fragrances and flavoring to biofuels and pharmaceuticals.
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July Ag Barometer Record decline in ag barometer as trade war concerns and low commodity prices weaken producer outlook

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer declined 26 points in July, the largest one-month decline in producer sentiment since data collection began in October 2015. The drop in sentiment was fueled by increasing trade war concerns and decreasing commodity prices.
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Dates and Deadlines
September 5: Study Abroad Fair, AGAD front lawn

September 7: Grad Student Welcoming and Networking Event

September 20: College of Agriculture Celebration of Teaching Excellence

September 22: Homecoming

October 2: Purdue Agriculture Fall Career Fair

October 9-10: Fall Break

October 23: 7th Annual College of Agriculture Entrepreneurship Event

November 2: Dean's Advisory Council Fall Meeting

For more dates and deadlines, check the Purdue Agriculture calendar.
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University News
This is one stat where Purdue is delighted to be at the bottom

Purdue University has sunk to the bottom of the Big Ten in an important measure for students and their families. In just seven years, Purdue has gone from the second-highest predominant room and board rates among Big Ten institutions to the lowest.
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Orientation for newly tenured faculty set for Sept. 11

An orientation program directed at newly tenured faculty will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 11 in Stewart Center, Rooms 218ABC. Registration is required by August 31.
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Purdue police warn of phone scams targeting international students

Purdue University police and the Office of International Student Services are warning of a phone scam that could fool students into divulging personal information, leading to identity theft.
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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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