By TOM CAMPBELL
The impact of Purdue Agriculture reaches all over the globe. Just look at the stories in this special issue of Purdue Agriculture Connections, which also illustrate the huge variety of careers undertaken by Purdue Ag grads.
We reconnected with the 53 people featured in the Alumni Profiles we have published since 1992 and
found they live as far west as Hawaii’s Jeanne Vana (17), as far east as Africa’s Mamou and Simeon Ehui
(27 & 28) and as far north as Switzerland’s Tim Richmond (26).
But the one that best illustrates the community that is the College, or perhaps the family, of Agriculture is
El Salvador’s Baltasar Ferreiro (19).
Unfortunately, we lost touch with the gregarious coffee grower sometime after we profiled him in 1999. When we contacted each of the 53 profile subjects for this project in February, we had to put Ferreiro on the “Missing in Action” list.
I tried all of the traditional lines of communication: e-mail, phone and snail mail. Nothing.
I Googled Baltasar, but I wouldn’t Twitter him. I don’t think he was that kind of guy. And quite frankly, neither am I.
In football parlance, it was time for a “Hail Mary.” Totally appropriate, I thought, since the man on the receiving end of the Hail Mary was a Catholic priest, Ben Hasse, BS ’01.
Ben was an Eagle Scout and the recipient of the Ross Award as the top male senior at Purdue in 2001. He spent 31 months as a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador, during which time he wrote several stories about his adventures for this publication while befriending, it seems, most of the citizens of El Salvador.
“I’ll do my best,” Ben promised.
He contacted Mike Wise, the Peace Corps’ country director in El Salvador. Mike’s dad, Louis N. Wise, had
earned his PhD in agronomy at Purdue in 1950.
“I know Baltasar,” Mike responded. “I don’t know where he is now, but I can find him.”And he did. We hope you enjoy catching up with each of these people who proudly wave the Purdue Agriculture banner around the world. It really is a small world, especially when your family is so big.