Purdue Agriculture InFocus

September 2020

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

Karen Plaut
Let me start by saying how proud I am of our students. They have taken the Protect Purdue Pledge to heart so we can continue offering a residential experience this fall.

I have talked to a number of students and it is clear, they want to be on campus and want to be known for the tremendous achievement of staying in a residential setting for the semester.

Our students are also developing interesting places to study. They are using the study tents set up around campus. Others have strung hammocks between trees to study. Some have found quiet hideaways that others do not know about…I would tell you where, but I promised I would keep it a secret!

At the same time, our faculty are putting forth extraordinary efforts to make it an interesting and fun semester despite the limitations in place. Our instructors are engaging students in many different ways. 

Whether it is Horticulture, Botany and Plant Pathology, Forestry and Natural Resources or Animal Sciences, instructors are taking advantage of the outdoor environment so their courses can meet in person. Students wear masks and stay distanced from each other, but they are meeting and instructors are finding new ways to teach that take advantage of the natural environment.

Instructors are also fostering student creativity by enabling them to use their own environment as a lab. For example, Entomology’s forensic investigation labs have provided take-home kits so students can generate their own crime scenes to study fingerprinting and other techniques related to crime scene investigations.  Many students have now employed their sisters, brothers and parents as actors in their investigation. 

Botany and Plant Pathology developed plant specimens on laminated cards for each student to take home and use to identify plants around their house or on a walk. The department is also using Wi-Fi enabled microscopes allowing students and instructors to see an image from the microscope directly on their mobile devices. This allows the whole class to see an image without having to touch the same microscope.

Instructors teaching large online classes are also finding new ways of doing things. Some have moved away from a lecture-based format to a project-based approach to foster more engagement. This allows students to work in teams interacting virtually with each other. Others have opened chat rooms to encourage discussions about the course and have seen extraordinary participation, including students organizing independent groups to connect with each other. 

All of these changes are designed to enrich the student experience. While some of these techniques will be used just during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, others more than likely will be adopted long-term and result in more engaging classes than ever before. 

I am proud of all the College has accomplished in the first five weeks of the semester.  We move forward with the goal of continuing our residential experience through Thanksgiving while knowing we need to take it one day at a time. Thank you to all of our faculty, staff and students for the part you are playing in helping to make this semester a success. 

All the best,
Karen signature

Finalists Named for Head of Animal Sciences

After conducting a national search, three finalists for the position of Department Head of Animal Sciences will interview in October. Each candidate will give a 40-45 minute Zoom presentation followed by questions. Finalists and their presentation dates are below. All presentations may be accessed at 9:00 a.m. ET via the following link - https://purdue-edu.zoom.us/j/97915433423.

Candidate information, including CVs and feedback survey links, are available on the ANSC Department Head Search link.
  • Dr. John Blanton, Mississippi State University - Tuesday, October 6
  • Dr. Cody Wright, South Dakota State University - Thursday, October 8
  • Dr. Nora Bello, Kansas State University - Thursday, October 15

Purdue Ag People

Emma Lendy Graduate Ag Research Spotlight: Emma Lendy

The Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. The September spotlight is on Emma Lendy, PhD student, Biochemistry.
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Jessie Elliott FNR Graduate Student Named a 2020 Esri Student of the Year

Jessie Elliott, a master's degree student under Dr. Songlin Fei and Liz Flaherty, Forestry and Natural Resources, was among 22 students selected as 2020 Esri Development Center Students of the Year. 
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Kamryn Dehn Kamryn Dehn Featured on Full Steam Ahead Podcast

Kamryn Dehn, Forestry and Natural Resources, was born to be a Boilermaker. However, her path to Purdue was a long, hard-fought battle. Dehn, the 2020 Tyler Trent Courage and Resiliency Award winner is featured on the Full Steam ahead podcast.
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Saraswat Purdue Professors to Develop Course on Agriculture Informatics 

A team from Purdue University, under the leadership of Dharmenda Saraswat, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, received funding from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop a curriculum to better prepare students for agriculture informatics careers.

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

As the American Soybean Association celebrates 100 years, Claire Crum, ASEC, shares stories of her family's role in the organization's history. 
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Linda Lee Purdue Team Receives $2 Million NSF Grant to Create Global Network

Tom Hertel, Agricultural Economics, is the principal investigator on a project which just received $2 million from the National Science Foundation to build an international network of networks, called GLASSNET.
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Nominations Sought for Purdue Ag Alumni Certificate of Distinction: Due Oct. 22

The Certificate of Distinction is the highest award of the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association. It is presented at the Association's annual meeting, The Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry which takes place in early February each year. 

The Certificate of Distinction is intended to recognize those who have contributed significantly to agriculture, forestry or natural resources through professional accomplishments, activity in professional organizations, community service work, and other activities that make the nominees a credit to their profession. 

Deadline for nominations is October 22, 2020.

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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), 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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Awards and Recognitions

Andrea Vacca Jane Frankenberger Sarah LaRose
Andrea Vacca, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, received the 2019 Joseph Bramah Medal from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers during the Bath/ASME Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control. More. Jane Frankenberger, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, was named a 2020 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Fellow.        
Sarah LaRose, Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication, was recognized as Postsecondary Teacher of the Year by the Indiana Association of Career and Technical Education.
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Purdue Ag in the News

ABE Purdue ABE Department Ranked No. 1

The U.S. News and World Report Best College named Purdue's Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering the top-ranked undergraduate department in its discipline for the 10th year in a row. Top 10 reasons way ABE is #1.
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BentonCounty4-H Regional Rural Development Center Moves to Purdue University

The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development has moved to Purdue and Maria Marshall, Agricultural Economics, is the new NCRCRD director.
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Boiler Bee Honey Boiler Bee Honey's Second Batch: How Sweet It Is!

Alyson McGovern, Food Science, is the student lead on Boiler Bee Honey, a collaborative project between Food Science and Entomology. The team just finished the second batch of honey which is produced and processed at Purdue.
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Cover Crops Improved Tool Can Help Midwest Farmers with Cover Crop Decisions

The Midwest Cover Crops Council is rolling out an improved cover crop selection tool that will help farmers choose the right cover crop.
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Farmer to Farmer Purdue Farmer-to-Farmer Program Switches to Virtual Assignments

The Purdue Farmer-to-Farmer program has implemented a virtual volunteer assistance strategy to support host groups in Trinidad and Tobago.
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Extension Garden Build Purdue Extension: Growing Communities One Garden at a Time 

Purdue Extension partnered with local community members to put in a community garden within an Indianapolis food desert recently.

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Farm Safety Indiana Farm Fatality Summary Reminds Hoosier Farmers of Dangers

Purdue University's Agricultural Safety and Health Program released the annual Indiana Farm Fatality Summary with Historical Overview, coinciding with National Farm Safety and Health Week.
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Jayson Lusk Virus's Unseen Hot Zone: The American Farm

At the height of harvest season, some agriculture employers are not providing COVID-19 tests for seasonal workers. Jayson Lusk, Agricultural Economics, talks about undercounting ag workers who might have COVID-19.

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Dennis Buckmaster The Future of Farming Relies on Internet Connectivity

Farms could contribute billions more dollars to the U.S. economy with the help of precision agriculture technology, but this can't happen without more broadband, said experts, including Dennis Buckmaster, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, during a National Telecommunications and Information Administration webinar.
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Food Science Pilot Plant New Pilot Plant Equipment Expands Horizons for Food Science

Two recent equipment acquisitions by Purdue University's Department of Food Science's pilot plant will enhance every facet of the plant's capabilities and better prepare graduates to enter the job market.
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Dates and Deadlines

September 30: Jayson Lusk Lu Ann Aday Award Lecture, 2:00 pm

October 6: College of Agriculture Fall Virtual Career Fair, 9:30 am-3:00 pm

October 12-15: Big Data, Safe Food Virtual Conference

October 20:
Songlin Fei Ag Research Award Seminar, 3:00 pm

November 26-27: Thanksgiving Break (No classes Nov. 25)

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University News

Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Ed Puts Purdue among Country's Best

Purdue University continues to be recognized as one of the nation's top institutions with another top-10 ranking. Purdue was also named the fifth most innovative school in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

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Inari Expands Staff at its Purdue-based Seed Foundry

Inari Agriculture, a biotechnology company developing next-generation seeds, has secured $145 million since its founding and is expanding its operations at its Purdue Research Park-based Seed Foundry.

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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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