Purdue Agriculture InFocus

February 2019

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

Karen Plaut
Looking back and looking forward.

This year’s Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry was a very special one, as we celebrated Purdue’s 150th anniversary by inviting four of my predecessors to help us take a look back and a look forward at our college, the agriculture industry, and the land grant mission. Former Deans Bob Thompson, Vic Lechtenberg, Randy Woodson, and Jay Akridge and I had a great discussion, moderated by agriculture broadcaster Max Armstrong. Our audience of about 1,500 enjoyed the recollections and the laughs, but one thing that came out loud and clear is that our land grant mission will continue to be central to the College of Agriculture and to Purdue University for the next 150 years. Teaching, research and Extension in both a local and a global context require hard work, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and they are as central to what we do now as they were many years ago. 

At the Fish Fry, we introduced a number of new ideas that reflect that hard work and entrepreneurial spirit. One of the great successes of the day was the new Boiler Tracks Ice Cream. The recipe was developed in a Food Science Senior Design class and then was developed and marketed by Craig and Christy Coon of Round Barn Creamery in Kewanna, Indiana. I have no doubt that you’ll see more of this ice cream in the future! 

A group of Agriculture students also introduced a commemorative edition of The Purdue Agriculturalist, a magazine that was written and produced by Purdue students from 1906 to 1969. Under the guidance of Associate Dean Marcos Fernandez, Kevin Smith and Allan Goecker worked with our students to produce current edition of the magazine featuring great stories about the future for each of our departments, along with excerpts from some of the previous issues of The Purdue Agriculturalist highlighting many of our alumni. You can read a bit about the history of The Purdue Agriculturalist here, and the commemorative issue will be online soon.

Along Agriculture Avenue was a section called the “Purdue Startup Farm” where individuals with startup companies developed at Purdue could show off their products--from Professor Torbert’s Orange Corn through Gryfyn, a digital agriculture company that develops advanced software for predictive analytics.

Even one of the more traditional features of the Fish Fry, the Certificate of Distinction Awards, honored individuals representing the innovation, hard work, and entrepreneurship of the land grant mission: Ted and Dana Huber, who launched Indiana’s first winery; Ken Huseman, who for many years has represented Purdue as a volunteer on the Council on Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching; Donya Lester, who introduced many new programs and activities during her tenure as the Executive Director of the Purdue Ag Alumni Association; Jim Moseley, who not only runs his own farm but served two stints with the USDA for a total of six years; Steve Shifley, who during a long career with the US Forest Service Northern Research Station saw the potential of using computer modeling to analyze forest trends; and Paul Singleton, who helped beginning farmers get their start by making and servicing more than 500 loans over 35 years.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the hard work and innovation led by Danica Kirkpatrick, who played two roles at this year’s Fish Fry. She guided her team to pull off a very successful 150th anniversary celebration (the photo below my message shows the great job they did in making the anniversary front and center on the stage), and she addressed the audience for the first time as the Executive Director of the Purdue Ag Alumni Association, telling great stories of her background, her career and her connections at Purdue.

All of these people have had an impact on Purdue Agriculture and they have made a difference in the lives and livelihoods of others.  So while our programs have changed over the last 150 years, we have built a solid foundation for continued impact in the US and around the world, in the classroom, the laboratory and the field, fulfilling the land grant mission in the 21st Century and beyond.

All the best,
Karen signature
Fish Fry stage

Purdue Agriculture People

Shelby Gruss Graduate Research Spotlight: Shelby Gruss

The Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. The February spotlight is on Shelby Gruss, Agronomy.
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Anna Olek Behind the Research: Anna Olek, Botany and Plant Pathology

Many people are involved in the remarkable range of programs, services and facilities that undergird research in the College of Agriculture. This feature profiles people whose work supports the six strategic themes of Agricultural Research and Graduate Education. This month, meet a manager whose work strengthens our commitment to “Utilizing molecular approaches to expand the frontiers of agriculture and life sciences.”
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Certificate of Distinction Winners Purdue Ag Alumni Association honors career contributors

Seven noted graduates and contributors associated with the Purdue University College of Agriculture have received the Agricultural Alumni Association’s highest honor – the Certificate of Distinction. This year’s honorees are Ted and Dana Huber; Kenneth Huseman; Donya Lester; Jim Moseley; Steve Shifley; and Paul Singleton
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Justice for All Don’t forget to track Civil Rights and Diversity Training 

The College of Agriculture is committed to policies and practices that assure that race, ethnicity and gender are not barriers to success. All Purdue Agriculture faculty and staff members are required to receive training in civil rights (the regulations), diversity awareness or sexual harassment 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, civil rights or sexual harassment. Please use our Qualtrics survey tool to report training activities.
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Current and Former Deans
Deans reunite at 2019 Purdue Ag Fish Fry

Former deans Bob Thompson, Vic Lechtenberg, Randy Woodson and Jay Akridge joined Dean Karen Plaut at the Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry on Feb. 2 for a wide ranging discussion looking back over the last 30 years in the College of Agriculture as well as looking forward toward the future of the agriculture industry and the land grant mission. 
Read more and view the photo gallery
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Awards and Recognitions

Agriculture Future of America Students Nelson Knobloch, Agricultural Economics, and Chaela Minor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, were selected as Student Advisory Team members, and Morgan Lambrecht, Agricultural Economics, was chosen as an Ambassador by Agriculture Future of America for 2019-2020.
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Purdue Agriculture in the News

Ending Global Hunger Faculty and staff invited to register for Ending Global Hunger Colloquium

Thought leaders from around the world who deal with the complex issues surrounding global food security will gather at the Ending Global Hunger Colloquium on April 10-11 at Purdue. An Ideas Festival event, the colloquium will explore the question: What if we were able to end world hunger? 
More information and Registration
Digital Food talk Ideas Festival event to focus on Food for thought: What IF food was digital?

“What IF food was digital?” will be at the center of a discussion with Miles O’Brien, science correspondent for “PBS NewsHour,” and Caleb Harper, principal investigator and director of the Open Agriculture Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, on Feb. 26. They will also explore other issues in relation to how food and technology may intersect in the future. The event is free and open to the public.
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Kara Stewart Purdue researcher part of effort to improve swine health

Kara Stewart, Animal Sciences, is part of a project that is looking for ways to improve swine herd health and survivability to increase animal well-being and pork producers' profits. The project is being led by the Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University and also includes scientists from Kansas State University. The National Pork Board and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) are providing nearly $2 million for the five-year study.
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Evan Rocheford Orange corn launches in US markets

“Orange corn,” a more nutritious, naturally selected variety of corn is now available in the U.S. markets through Purdue-affiliated startup NutraMaize LLC. Torbert Rocheford, the Patterson Endowed Chair in Translational Genomics for Crop Improvement in the Department of Agronomy, used biofortification to naturally increase the amount of antioxidant carotenoids in corn, making the corn more nutritious, and creating a deep orange color. 
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Natalia Dudareva Purdue scientists nail down important plant compound pathway

Plant molecular biochemist Natalia Dudareva and her colleagues have described a complete second pathway used by plants to produce phenylalanine, a compound important for all living organisms.
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Microbiome Registration open for inaugural Microbiome Symposium

Purdue is poised to become a leader in microbiome sciences with the establishment of a new research network, Purdue Applied Microbiome Sciences, or PAMS, and hopes to gain momentum in this area of research by hosting the inaugural Microbiome Symposium on May 13-14. Online registration for the symposium is now open.
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January Ag Barometer Farmer sentiment improves in January

Agricultural producers were more optimistic about the agricultural economy in January, but they remain concerned about farmland values, according to results from the January PurdueUniversity/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer
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Dates and Deadlines

February 28-March 2: Indiana Small Farm Conference 

March 11: Spring Break begins 

March 21: College of Agriculture Staff Meeting 

March 21: College of Agriculture Faculty Meeting 

March 22: Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Awards Reception and Convocation 

April 1-5: Purdue Ag Week

April 6-7: Purdue Spring Fest

May 10: Graduate Student Commencement Reception

May 11: Undergraduate Commencement Reception

For more dates and deadlines, check the Purdue Agriculture calendar.
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University News

Purdue names vice provost for diversity and inclusion

John Gates, an administrator in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia, has been named as Purdue University’s vice provost for diversity and inclusion.
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Hero of the Hudson Capt. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger to speak at Purdue

Purdue alumnus Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger will speak Feb. 24 at Purdue University, 10 years after he became an international hero.Sullenberger will present “208 Seconds: A Lifetime of Lessons”
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New digital repository serves as one-stop portal for online teaching and learning resources

Purdue has launched the new Purdue Repository for online Teaching and Learning (PoRTAL) digital repository to serve as the go-to resource for anyone interested in online teaching and learning.
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Purdue Memorial Union Club renovations to begin this summer

Work will begin this summer to transform the Purdue Memorial Union Club into a world-class hotel with a formal restaurant and bar and upgraded event facilities nearby. The Board of Trustees on Feb. 8 gave approval to plan, finance, construct and award a construction contract for the planned renovation of the Purdue Memorial Union Club.
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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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