• Volume 18 Number 2
    Spring 2009

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18.
Al Pell, BS ’58
 South Bend, Ind.  •  Profiled: Winter ’99

Agribusiness director, AgDay

For years, and for thousands of viewers, Al Pell was the friendly face of agriculture, reading the daily news on television’s AgDay program.

Pell has smoothly transitioned from being the newsreader to being the station’s agribusiness director.Al Pell

“My responsibility now is more directed at the issues that cause farmers and agribusiness to either make or lose money,” Pell explains. “I spend a lot of time analyzing the markets, especially the things that make markets move.”

And that means staying current with technology that relates to production agriculture.

“The challenge with this is to try to learn how much more money farmers can make using the new technology that can mean higher yields, less labor, fewer inputs and more efficient record keeping. My job is to translate all this information into the profit or loss column for producers.”

He not only has to keep an eye on developments in the U.S. but worldwide, as well.

“We are now a world economy in agriculture, and trade with other countries has become more important and can affect the income of U.S. producers,” Pell says.

In college, Pell wasn’t sure what the future would hold for him. He knew his family farm was too small to support him after graduation.

“I thought I was going to be an agriculture teacher or maybe go into ag banking or the Cooperative Extension Service.”

With his reporting duties to the viewers on AgDay, Pell is doing all of that, and then some.

The voice of experience: Agriculture is always changing. The future belongs to the students who think ahead. Graduates with agricultural knowledge and a degree in agriculture from Purdue University are in great demand.  —  Al Pell