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Spotlight   |  Spring 2006

Talking points

Purdue Agriculture Students

In a spirited competition, Purdue Agriculture students teamed up to debate whether or not Indiana should double pork production. Representing Block & Bridle, (from left) Alan Duttlinger, Brian Arnold and John Downey prepare to argue their position. (Photo by Jill Steiner)

Purdue Agriculture students took sides on a controversial issue facing Indiana agriculture today—whether or not the state should double pork production.

A strategic goal of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, the topic was selected for the Townsend Outstanding Communicator in Agriculture Debate Competition held last fall. Student teams had to be well versed in both the pros and cons, because they didn't know until a few minutes before the debate which side they would argue.

“All of the debate teams did a wonderful job, and I was very impressed with their research and arguments,” says Natalie Federer, agricultural communication academic advisor and debate coordinator. “Each team approached the topic in a different way, taking economic, technology, environmental, social and community perspectives.”

A team representing Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow won the final debate with their opposition argument. “The debate encourages students to become more engaged in current events that are taking place in the agricultural industry within the state,” says Julie Douglas, Flat Rock, Ind., a member of the winning team. Her teammates included Amber Miller, Brownstown, Ind., and Veronica Novak, Logansport, Ind.

The debate is funded by Wayne Townsend, a Purdue Agriculture Distinguished Alumnus who served for many years as a state legislator and member of the Purdue Board of Trustees.


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