Purdue Agriculture InFocus

October 2022

Purdue Ag People
Awards/Recognitions
Purdue Ag in the News
Dates and Deadlines
University News
Purdue Next Moves Updates
Share this email:
From the Dean 

It is so exciting to have faculty that continue to push the edge of science in so many directions. Our college has had an extraordinary year in research, including Dr. Clint Chapple being elected to the National Academy of Sciences. This is the highest honor any faculty member can receive for their research and we are proud of his accomplishments. In addition, under the direction of Dr. Bernie Engel, the college reached a record $85.6M in extramural grants. These are competitive grants awarded to Purdue researchers because of their innovative ideas and their ability to execute on those ideas. These grants cut across disciplines and departments to make an impact in many different ways. I thought I would take this column to highlight just a few examples of the innovative work being done in the college.

Digital Forestry
The launch of Purdue's Next Moves strategic initiatives by the university last year has allowed a signature investment in Digital Forestry. Led by Dr. Songlin Fei, the tools and techniques used to measure forest carbon, forest health and other parameters continue to improve through digital technologies. Recently, in partnership with the American Forest Foundation and others, Dr. Fei’s group received a $35M grant from the USDA Climate Smart Commodities to boost climate smart practices for landowners. Purdue will utilize advanced digital forestry technologies to do the measurement, monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon sequestration based on data collected by satellites and drones with various sensors. The work will result in a web-based tool that landowners can use to estimate and predict the climate-smart commodity market potential of their properties. 

Helping Entrepreneurs 
Dr. Dharmendra Mishra of Food Science is partnering with researchers in several departments to help entrepreneurs successfully develop and launch new value-added products and has received a $1.1M grant to support these efforts. The grant is funded by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR) and the United Soybean Board and focuses on helping small and medium sized entrepreneurs develop new soy-based products through the use of the college’s Skidmore Sales and Distributing Food Product Development Laboratory and Pilot Plant.

Advanced Manufacturing
With a $3M grant from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Shweta Singh of Ag and Biological Engineering is developing new tools to help advanced manufacturing become more sustainable. Starting with the pharmaceutical industry, she is creating the cyberinfrastructure that enables companies to have net zero waste. Once the cyberinfrastructure and other tools are developed, the opportunity to transition to other industries will also be possible.

Animal Well-Being
Dr. Darrin Karcher of Animal Sciences and colleagues are exploring how to maximize well-being for hens in cage-free conditions. With a $1M grant from USDA, he is developing various computer simulation models to better understand what environments hens prefer. They will then build out two or three environments and test the reaction of the hens. The goal is to maximize comfort and well-being for the hens while meeting the goals of the producer.

As you read through these examples, I hope your response is the same as mine – Wow! We have exciting things happening in the College of Agriculture.

Our innovative scientists have earned us the reputation of being #4 in the US and #8 in the world according to the QS World Rankings and it shows. I am proud of our college and all we do to continue to explore the giant leaps that move the world forward.








Dr. Gebisa Ejeta named Presidential Fellow

Gebisa Ejeta

Gebisa Ejeta, distinguished professor of Agronomy, has been named Purdue University Presidential Fellow for Food Security and Sustainable Global Development. Purdue University President Mitch Daniels announced the appointment on October 20. Dr. Ejeta is known worldwide for agricultural innovation and expertise in food economy, policy and security, and also serves as executive director of the Purdue Center for Global Food Security.
Read More

Purdue Ag People

Amanda Alvarenga Graduate Ag Research Spotlight: Amanda Alvarenga

The Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. The October spotlight is on Amanda Alvarenga, PhD student, Animal Sciences

Read More
Catherine Hill Hill appointed head of Entomology

Catherine Hill has been named head of the Entomology department by Karen Plaut, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture.
Read More
Tesfaye Mengiste Mengiste named head of Botany & Plant Pathology

Tesfaye Mengiste has been appointed head of the Botany and Plant Pathology department by Karen Plaut, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture.
Read More
Jianxin Ma Jianxin Ma appointed Dean's Chair in Soybean Genomics

Jianxin Ma, Agronomy, is the new Dean's Chair in Soybean Genomics after Purdue University Board of Trustees approval in early October. 
Read More
Stephen Lindemann Lindemann appointed Nelson Chair in Food Science

Stephen Lindemann, Food Science, was recently appointed to the Philip E. Nelson Chair in Food Science. 
Read More
Purdue Dairy Judging Team Dairy judging team places third at World Dairy Expo

The Purdue Animal Sciences dairy judging team placed third at the 101st National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest at the World Dairy Expo.
Read More
Back to Top

Awards and Recognitions

Kola Ajuwon Ag Research Award

Kola Ajuwon, Animal Sciences, is the 2022 Agricultural Research Award recipient. The award presentation and seminar is on November 9 at 3 p.m. in the Dean's Auditorium (Pfendler Hall 241) with a reception following in Leopold's Landing. 
Back to Top

Purdue Ag in the News

Students with Poultry Scholarship allows students to REACH for their dreams

To meet the demand for animal science graduates within Indiana’s poultry industry, Purdue’s College of Agriculture has created a program aiming to streamline career paths for interested students. 
Read More
Cover Crops USDA grant to explore ecology of organic cropping systems 

Purdue University has received a four-year, $1.5 million grant from USDA to explore the ecology of organic cropping systems in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Read More
Betty Feng Studies find ways to improve food safety education

Two recent studies from the Food Safety Human Factor Lab show how to improve awareness among low-income consumers, who suffer higher risks of contracting foodborne illnesses compared to other groups.
Read More
Pumpkin on Vine State's pumpkin yields vary

While genetics play a key role in a pumpkin’s potential size, the fall vegetable’s growth relies heavily on timely summer rainfall. Looking back at June and July’s precipitation totals, the hot and dry months pose possible cause for concern for many who grow and buy pumpkins.
Read More
Back to Top

Purdue Next Moves

DIAL Ventures Logo DIAL Ventures launch first startup

DIAL Ventures, an innovation initiative launched by Purdue University in partnership with venture builder High Alpha Innovation, is announcing the launch of its first startup company, Croft. 
Read More
Back to Top

Dates and Deadlines



November 24-25: Thanksgiving Holiday (University Holiday)

December 17-18: Purdue Winter Commencement

Check out Purdue's new Events Calendar.
Back to Top

University News

Borrowing a shape from a to-go cup lid, a drone wing could learn how to sense danger faster
Read More
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.
Back to Top