The past two weeks have been almost surreal – we are all enjoying a beautiful Indiana early Fall and Purdue football (some games more than others), farmers are starting to get their crops harvested, and the Purdue semester rolls on. At the same time, the world’s financial markets are experiencing upheaval unprecedented since the time of the Great Depression. Literally daily we get news of firms with household names being bought out, bailed out, or allowed to go bankrupt.The sheer magnitude of the funds involved is almost beyond comprehension, and only the experts truly understand the sophistication of the financial instruments involved. As Congress struggles to craft a politically viable bailout plan, the volatility of the financial markets is just plain terrifying for the general public, and the proposed (short-term) solutions have left that same public angry and confused.
This is certainly a time that demands the very best thinking and objective insight. Ag Economics experts Phil Abbott, Mike Boehlje, Larry DeBoer, and Chris Hurt, organized by Interim Department Head Ken Foster, have been involved over the past few weeks in conference calls and face-to-face briefings with our Indiana Congressional delegation and their staff, working to provide them the best possible information as they make literally historic decisions. As always, when called to serve, faculty in the College of Agriculture step up and the work of this group is much appreciated.
In response to this crisis, we have arranged a brownbag seminar on Monday October 6 at noon in Pfendler Hall Deans Auditorium, where a panel of experts will help us understand the causes of the crisis, our policy options, and the implications going forward. Mike Boehlje will moderate the panel consisting of Larry DeBoer and Phil Abbott from Ag Economics, David Hummels from the Department of Economics in the Krannert School of Management, and Sugato Chakravarty from the Consumer Sciences and Retailing Department of the College of Consumer and Family Sciences. To reach beyond the campus, we will also be broadcasting this event via the Web and archiving it for future viewing. Expert perspectives and open exchange of ideas on topics of great importance to our society…this is what our university is all about! I encourage you to bring your lunch and join us for this important and timely discussion.
All the best,
Experts to help explain financial crisis at Oct. 6 discussion
Uncertainty reigns supreme in financial markets, as Congress considers legislation to stabilize the banking industry and Wall Street. Purdue economists will discuss how the financial crisis developed, what it means and where markets go from here, during a panel discussion from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 6 in the Dean's Auditorium in Pfendler Hall. The public is invited.
"We'll have a discussion about the implications of the current financial dilemma for the overall economy and for the state of Indiana, and what might happen in the short term and with overall budget deficits if we have a government response," said Michael Boehlje, agricultural economist. "We want to try to help people understand the issues involved and what it all means for the typical citizen and taxpayer, rural economies, the agricultural sector and the business community. This discussion won't be only about agriculture."
Boehlje will moderate the panel discussion, which is expected to address such issues as credit, farm loans, stocks, bonds and other instruments. Boehlje is a farm and agribusiness management specialist, and serves on the faculty of the Purdue Center for Food and Agricultural Business.
Other panelists include:
Large freshman class boosts Agriculture enrollment
Enrollment in the College of Agriculture reached an 11-year high this fall, buoyed by a strong freshman class. Total enrollment in our 42 agricultural majors is 2,535 - four shy of fall 1997. Of this fall's enrollees, 581 are first-semester freshmen and 115 are transfer students. "Interest in agriculture is taking off," says Dr. Dale Whittaker associate dean and director of academic programs. "Our enrollment is going up because students see agriculture as offering strong, viable careers where they can make a living. There's also a new idealism among young people. Students want to make a difference in the world, and they see agriculture as a way to do that in areas such as climate change, clean water, bioenergy and world hunger."
A/P Staff Advancement work begins
The 2008-2009 Administrative/Professional Staff Advancement Program is underway. All A/P staff should have received the materials via email. Advancement documents are to be processed and approved through the individual department committees this fall before they are submitted to the Dean’s Committee for evaluation (due January 14). It is recommended that staff update their advancement documents each year. This will be helpful in the year they are eligible to submit a document for advancement. Visit the College of Agriculture’s A/P Staff Advancement Program web site at http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/apadvancement/ for more details.
NSF picks Purdue to lead effort to attract women to STEM disciplines and agriculture
Purdue is launching a national model program to increase the number and diversity of successful women faculty members in the STEM disciplines - science, technology, engineering and mathematics - as well as agriculture. A National Science Foundation grant of more than $3.92 million will support the research and programming for "institutional transformation" and create the Purdue Center for Faculty Success. The center will provide targeted research, programs and university-level coordination to not only attract more women, but also to help them succeed. What is learned will be shared with other institutions across the nation. Dr. Linda Mason, Entomology, will serve as Agriculture's point person on the Purdue team.
Purdue project among NSF/AAAS 2008 Visualization Challenge Winners
Genomics Digital Lab: Plant Cells, an interactive computer game/laboratory developed by graduate student Tommy Sors and Professor David Salt, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, to help young (and older) students learn about plant organelle function within the larger context of functional genomics has won First Place in the National Science Foundation / AAAS Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge in the category of Interactive Media. Created in collaboration with subcontractor Spongelab Interactive, the project was funded through grants to David Salt from NSF and ASPB.
First genomics breeding program to benefit poultry industry
The first breeding program in the world to use an entire animal genome is beginning under the direction of university scientists and two of the largest international poultry breeding companies. Animal Sciences professor Bill Muir is project co-director for the multimillion dollar research effort to determine the viability of using whole genome DNA selection to improve the accuracy and efficiency of breeding methods.
Hardin writes about meeting that changed the world
Agriculture in developing countries was transformed when scientists met aid officials at the 1969 Bellagio Conference on Agricultural Development and convinced them to invest in research. Dr. Lowell Hardin, assistant director of International Programs in Agriculture, was a participant in the conference, and believes that today's food crisis demands a similar vision. Dr. Hardin writes about the meeting in the September 25 issue of Nature.
Food Science remembers the past, looks to the future
Current and Former Department Heads Suzanne Nielsen and Phil Nelson invite you to join us in celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Food Science Department as we reflect on how far we’ve come and where we’re going. We invite you to participate in a discussion of industry trends and how Purdue Department of Food Science can position itself to address future needs of the industry.
Thursday, October 9, 2008, 8:30 a.m.-noon
Phil Nelson to address Indian summit
Dr. Phil Nelson, Food Science, has accepted an invitation from the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) to be the Millennium Speaker at the 6th Global Knowledge Millennium Summit “Bio Nano:The Global War on Hunger” in New Delhi, India later this month. The focus of the summit is on biotechnology and nanotechnology and their revolutionary impacts on agriculture, food systems and human welfare. ASSOCHAM, established in 1920, is the premier Chamber of Commerce of India and serves industrial and service enterprises including agro-based industries situated across the country.
Students get firsthand look at Indiana agriculture
A group of students in the Agriculture Honors Learning Community got an education in the breadth of Indiana agriculture on Saturday, September 27. During a day-long excursion fashioned after the highly successful New Faculty Tours, John Baugh and Dale Whittaker took the group to visit the ASREC Aquaculture Unit, a Benton County wind farm, the Kankakee Sands Nature Conservancy property, the Fair Oaks Dairy, Remington Hybrids, and the Huffman & Hawbaker Farms.