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Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Awards

Purdue Ag salutes 9 outstanding alums

The 2010 class of Distinguished Agriculture Alumni will be honored during a campus ceremony March 5.

“This group of honorees represents the true breadth of the College of Agriculture,” said Jay Akridge, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture.

Started in 1992, the award honors mid-career Purdue Agriculture graduates who have made significant contributions to their profession or society in general and have a record of outstanding accomplishments.

The 2010 honorees are:

David D. Anderson, BA ’86, Carmel, Ind., global director of seeds operations for Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis. Anderson is responsible for more than $300 million in budgets and 450 full-time employees worldwide. Before joining Dow in 2008, Anderson was vice president of production for AgReliant Genetics in Westfield, Ind.

Mona Baker Wolf, BS ’72, Cincinnati, Ohio, president of The Wolf Group, a leader in the field of sensory testing. The Wolf Group works with retail products companies to determine initial and ongoing product acceptability. Baker Wolf was the 2007 small businessperson of the year in Ohio.

Gregory W. Deason, BS ’86, West Lafayette, Ind., vice president for real estate and research park development director, Purdue Research Park. Deason is also president of the Association of University Research Parks, based in Tucson, Ariz.

Eric Jon Gustafson, PhD ’92, Rhinelander, Wis., research landscape ecologist, project leader and director of the Institute for Applied Ecosystem Studies, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station. His research focuses on the ecological implications of historic and projected changes in the composition and structure of landscapes.

Douglas E. Hoerr, BS ’79, Chicago, senior partner, Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects. Hoerr has designed more than 500 private gardens across the United States and is the chairman of the Mayor’s Green Roof Committee in Chicago. He is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Patricia L. “Patsy” Houghton, PhD ’86, McCook, Neb., owner, general manager and president of Heartland Cattle Co., a professional heifer development and research center that she formed in 1990 after a career as an Extension beef specialist at Kansas State University. Steady expansion of the company has resulted in the artificial insemination of nearly 71,000 heifers placed into 31 states. In addition, more than 115,000 calves have been weaned, more than 75,000 cattle have been fed to finish, and nearly 40 research projects have been completed.

Janis E. McFarland, MS ’82, PhD ’86, Chapel Hill, N.C. McFarland is head of North American regulatory affairs for Syngenta Crop Protection, where she leads the company’s NAFTA Regulatory Affairs Department, which is responsible for all agricultural chemical registrations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. More than 150 products and 15 new seed treatments have been approved under her leadership. McFarland was elected a fellow in the Weed Science Society of America in 2005.

Craig Pikaard, PhD ’85, Bloomington, Ind., Carlos O. Miller Professor of Plant Growth and Development in the Department of Biology at Indiana University. An accomplished researcher, Pikaard also is forging new paths as an educator. Students in his Bio 4024 “Plant Cells and Proteins” course help with real-life research projects, both cloning and using genetic engineering to express numerous RNA polymerase subunit genes.

Edward Vondell, BS ’85, Mexico City, Mexico, director of product engineering for Chrysler Automotive in Mexico and Latin America. Vondell oversees the engineering work for car and truck platforms that generate more than $2 billion in sales annually. Under his leadership, Chrysler de Mexico received the Premio Nacional de Tecnologia (national technology award in Mexico) for 2007. He also is the president of the Mexico section of the Society of Automotive Engineers.


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