Welcome back! I hope you had a great holiday and were able to enjoy some ‘down’ time with family and friends. In our College, the new year truly starts with a bang and schedules fill to overflowing quickly with the launch of the new semester. Most of us make a few resolutions—and who knows, maybe you have managed to keep yours for these first 11 days! Whatever your opinion about resolutions, they do make you think about something you personally want to accomplish in the coming year.
My comments here often focus on accomplishments of the College and there are always plenty of people, awards, and impact to lift up. But this month, in the spirit of the New Year and associated resolutions, I will concentrate on the future. As much as we have to celebrate, as much as we have accomplished, we must stay focused as a College on what actions we need to be taking today to insure that we will continue to deliver on our three missions at the highest levels. What changes in our undergraduate curriculum do we need to explore to serve the student who will enter the job market in 2020? What investments in people, facilities, and equipment will it take to insure that our researchers have adequate support to do world class science over the next decade? Where does technology fit in helping us expand the reach and impact of Extension/engagement activities? What activities and partnerships should we cultivate to help us in our ongoing mission to improve agriculture, natural resources, and food systems around the world? These are just a few of the questions we need to be asking ourselves, because our stakeholders expect us to make the changes needed for this College to be even more relevant and impactive going forward.
We are about 2½ years into our 2009-2014 strategic plan, and while our progress has been discussed at faculty meetings, during department/unit visits, at brown bag lunches, in InFocus, etc., we have not yet compiled a complete progress report on the plan. We will be doing that this semester. Many of you are helping us with a comprehensive strategic facilities planning activity that will help us develop a roadmap for the College’s long term facilities footprint. That activity will be wrapped up in late spring this year.
Beyond these two planning activities, I also hope to hear from you over the course of the semester about some of the key issues and questions on your mind and, more importantly, your thoughts on how we should position ourselves for the future and the actions it will take to get there. I want to take advantage of my department/unit visits this semester to listen to your thoughts on our future as we start the second half of our strategic plan.
As many of you know, 2012 will mark the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, the legislation signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln that ultimately created what we now know as the Land Grant university system. It is an interesting time to reflect on what a world class land grant College of Agriculture looks like in the 21st century. That is a question top of mind for me, and I look forward to getting your thoughts on it as well. Even more importantly, I look forward to working with you to build that national model of a 21st century land grant College of Agriculture here at Purdue.
Wishing you all a terrific 2012!
All the best,
Events set to commemorate Diversity Awareness Week in CoA
The Diversity Action Team in Agriculture (DATA) has organized four days of activities to commemorate Diversity Awareness Week in the College of Agriculture, January 17-20. Following the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday on Monday, January 16, the College will have activities each day to educate and raise diversity awareness among Agriculture faculty, staff and students.
Master Gardeners make a difference for Noble County inmates
The Noble County Purdue Master Gardeners, with help from ANR Extension Educator Hanson Young, teamed up with Chain O’Lakes Correctional Facility Superintendent Michael Cunegin to offer the inmates an intensive training program in horticulture and landscape design. The program was designed to educate the inmates to make them more employable upon release from prison. The Master Gardeners presented an 80-hour course based on the Master Gardener training program with an emphasis on landscape design and installation, greenhouse production, rain gardens, and other horticulture skills. The project was named a First Place 2011 Search for Excellence Special Needs Audiences Award Winner.
Historic publications find a home in Purdue libraries
If you want to know how folks were Shopping for Wood Furniture in the 1950s or Keeping It Cool (milk after milking, that is) 1970s-style, take a look in the Extension section of Purdue Library e-Pub archives: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/agext/ Retired, historic Extension publications now have found a home in the Purdue Libraries’ digital archives. Becky Goetz, coordinator for the Agricultural Communication Publishing Unit and Education Store, says staff found a treasure-trove of old documents when they cleared the corners of the warehouse that formerly housed the Education Store. They were thrilled when Purdue Libraries enthusiastically accepted not only the old print publications but Ag Comm’s online intranet archive of PDFs as well. "Most (but not quite all) of what we have given them is now in the Libraries’ e-Pub archive," Becky says. "This was the beginning of what we hope will be a wonderful relationship with Purdue Libraries: as current and future Extension publications are retired, they’ll be added to the digital archive." Everyone is invited to dig through a little Extension history. You may just find out how to Repair a Heating Appliance Cord or pick up Economic-Engineering Techniques in Planning Ice Cream Operations. And, of course, for current publications stop by The Education Store and see what they’ve got.
Food security focus of Buffett speech at Purdue Ag Fish Fry
Farmer and philanthropist Howard G. Buffett will speak on the need for global food security in his featured presentation during the annual Purdue University Agricultural Alumni Association Fish Fry on Feb. 4 on the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. Buffett, son of billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett, operates a 1,240-acre farm in central Illinois, manages a 400-acre, family-owned farm in eastern Nebraska, and oversees two research farms the Howard G. Buffett Foundation owns: a 1,300-acre farm in Decatur, Ill., and a 9,200-acre operation in South Africa. Volunteers are still needed to be servers at the Fish Fry. Visit the Ag Alumni Web site or call 494-8593 to purchase Fish Fry tickets, sign up to volunteer as a server, or get information on tickets, parking permits and on-site child care for the event in the Marsh Blue Ribbon Pavilion.
Call for International Travel Grant applications
International Programs in Agriculture (IPIA) announces that Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) International Travel Grants will be awarded for fiscal year 2012-2013 to support participation in international meetings. The College of Agriculture will receive 16 awards of $1000 each. The funds are to assist research and tenured or tenure-track faculty members in scholarly attainment by providing a portion of the travel costs to those who will have an active role (presenting papers or serving as officials) at recognized international meetings/conferences. Deadline for submitting applications is Friday, February 12. Awardees will be announced by mid-March 2012.
Guidelines and Application: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2012/January/InternationalTravelGrantGuidelinesandApplication.pdf
Dean Jay Akridge was elected Secretary of the Administrative Heads Section (AHS) of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU). The AHS is a unit of the APLU Commission on Food, Environment, and Renewable Resources of the Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA). Members of the section are the chief administrators of the APLU-member universities' agricultural programs.
Bill Hoover, professor and extension specialist in Forestry and Natural Resources, received the Career award from the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialist Association (PUCESA) at the Purdue Extension Professional Development Conference in November. The Career award is given to specialists who have significantly contributed to the state and beyond through Purdue Extension.
Kevin Keener, Food Science, has been elected to the Board of Trustees of The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). A 23-year member of ASABE, Keener received two of the Society’s major awards: the Nolan Mitchell Young Extension Worker award and the IAFIS-FPEI Emerging Food Engineer award. He has served on numerous ASABE governance and technical committees. During his two-year term of office, he will lend his leadership and expertise to the governance of all Society operations, reviewing and guiding its mission, policies, services, and needs, and helping to ensure that adequate resources for Society activities are secured and appropriately allocated.
Michael Ladisch, distinguished professor of agricultural and biological engineering, was named one of the "Top 100 People in Bioenergy" as voted by the readers of Biofuels Digest and the Digest's editorial board. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack headed the list, which also included BP Biofuels chief Philip New and the heads of Raizen, POET, Solazyme and Amyris.
Melissa Shepson,Outreach Coordinator and Emerald Ash Borer Program Assistant in Entomology, received the department's Outstanding Service Award. Department Head Steve Yaninek presented her with a plaque upon which a clock is mounted, along with an attached plate acknowledging the award. There is also a monetary gift which accompanies the honor.
RaeLynn Butler, M.S. student in Botany and Plant Pathology under the direction of Dr. Kevin Gibson, won first place in the Graduate Student Oral Presentation at the 2011 AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society) national conference.
Agricultural Economics graduate student Jing Liu received an A. H. Ismail Interdisciplinary Program Doctoral Research Travel Award. The A.H. Ismail Interdisciplinary Program Doctoral Research Travel Award competition provides funds to assist students in the presentation of their doctoral research at a national or international conference.
The Center for Food and Agricultural Business staff used “Thumbs Up” to express their thanks to Allan Gray, Mike Boehlje, Scott Downey and Brent Gloy (Agricultural Economics): “Thank you for your creativity and compassion. As a result of your generosity, donations were made to Food Finders Food Bank, the YWCA women's shelter, Klondike Middle School, the Backpack Program at Edgelea Elementary School and Lafayette Urban Ministry.”
Purdue Agriculture is a participating institution in a multistate partnership that received the National Excellence in Multistate Research Award at the 124th annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land Grand Universities (APLU). The multistate project is titled “Improving the Sustainability of Livestock and Poultry Production in the United States.”
Wheat can't stop Hessian flies, so scientists find reinforcements
Wheat's genetic resistance to Hessian flies has been failing, but a group of Purdue Agriculture and USDA scientists believe that other plants may soon be able to come to the rescue. The Purdue and USDA research team developed a method to test toxins from other plants on Hessian fly larvae. The test simulates the effect of a transgenic plant without the lengthy and costly procedures necessary to actually create those plants. "For years, people have tried to develop a bioassay, but that hadn't happened until now," said Richard Shukle, a research scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service Crop Production and Pest Control Research Unit working in Purdue Entomology, whose findings were published in the Journal of Insect Physiology. Christie Williams, a research scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service working in Entomology, is a co-author of the findings.
Pill someday may prevent serious foodborne illness, scientist says
Modified probiotics, the beneficial bacteria touted for their role in digestive health, could one day decrease the risk of Listeria infection in people with susceptible immune systems, according to research by Arun Bhunia, professor of food science; Mary Anne Amalaradjou, postdoctoral researcher; and Ok Kyung Koo, a former Purdue doctoral student. They found that the same Listeria protein that allows the bacteria to pass through intestinal cells and into bloodstreams can help block those same paths when added to a probiotic. "Based on the research, it looks very promising that we would get a significant reduction in Listeria infections," said Bhunia, whose findings were published this month in the journal PLoS One.
Research helps shed light on medicinal benefits of plants
Scientists at Purdue and eight other institutions have developed new resources poised to unlock another door in the hidden garden of medicinally important compounds found in plants. The resources were developed by the Medicinal Plant Consortium, led by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. They grew out of a $6 million initiative from the NIH to study how the genes of plants contribute to production of various chemical compounds, some of which are medicinally important. Professor of horticulture and landscape architecture Natalia Dudareva was part of the research team. Her work included research on rosemary, a fragrant shrub often used in perfumes and cooking that produces a variety of pharmacologically active compounds.
Workshop to boost women's farm commodity marketing skills
Marketing expert Naomi Blohm will present a workshop in Winona Lake to introduce women to the sometimes complex world of farm commodity marketing. The Jan. 25 workshop, "Women to Women: Educating Women about Farm Commodity Marketing," will feature basic introductions to cash marketing tools, put and call options and futures contracts. Blohm is a marketing coach with the commodity marketing company Stewart-Peterson Inc., based in West Bend, Wis. Her presentation is being sponsored, in part, by members of Purdue University's Women in Agriculture who have heard her speak and want to share her expertise with other women, said Kelly Heckaman, Extension educator in Kosciusko County.
Farmers can develop succession plans at 32nd annual conference
Farmers looking toward the futures of their family businesses can begin to develop succession plans at Purdue Extension's Farming Together Workshop on Jan. 27-28 in West Lafayette. The workshop will focus on developing adult children, employees or other interested individuals into the future owners and managers of a farming operation. It will take place in Room 314 of the Stewart Center on Purdue's main campus. "This is an excellent program for farm families who are interested in adding a family member to the family farm business or developing a plan for transferring the family farm to the next generation," said Alan Miller, Purdue Extension farm business management specialist.
Book addresses Midwest cow-calf management issues
A book written by a team composed predominantly of Purdue Extension specialists provides management advice for an agricultural sector that often doesn't demand the same attention as some other commodities in the Midwest. Cow-Calf Production in the U.S. Corn Belt covers topics from breeding to marketing. The book contains information valuable to both veteran cattle producers and those new to the industry, said Don Jones, a retired Purdue agricultural engineer and one of the book's authors. "It's geared toward the cow-calf industry in Indiana and surrounding states because we felt that this industry, compared to at least the dairy and swine industries, is underserved by Extension," Jones said.
Search committee named for new HHS dean
A search advisory committee has been named to help find a new dean for Purdue's College of Health and Human Sciences. The new college was launched in the summer of 2010 as part of Purdue's New Synergies strategic plan to realign nine academic units and elevate Purdue's reputation in health and human sciences. "The dean of this college will have an exciting opportunity to facilitate a future that will see this college emerge as a leader in health policy, research and education," said Tim Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. "Many of the college's programs have a strong history in providing services for the state, and this leader will continue that mission while helping our land-grant university expand impact nationally and globally." Willie Reed, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, will chair the search committee.
Purdue announces energy master plan, seeks public comment
Purdue University is accepting comments on its Comprehensive Energy Master Plan that was presented on January 10 to the Board of Trustees' Physical Facilities Committee. Trustees requested the plan last February. Robert McMains, vice president for physical facilities, said his department worked to craft an energy plan that includes stakeholder input and aligns with the university's existing New Synergies and sustainability strategic plans. The plan was designed to meet the university's future energy needs in an affordable and sustainable manner. For the next 30 days, beginning Jan. 11, the public can review and comment on the plan at http://www.purdue.edu/ees/cemp
Training available on creating accessible PDFs
The Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance will be sponsoring training on creating accessible PDFs in January in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Equity and the Web Accessibilty Committee. Terrill Thompson, technology accessibility specialist from the University of Washington, will be providing the hands-on training. Thompson, a Purdue alumnus, is a nationally recognized trainer in the area of Web accessiblity. The training sessions that Thompson provided in October were recorded and are now available to view on the Web Accessibility Committee training Web page at www.purdue.edu/webaccessibility/training under the "Instructor-led Courses" section.
Tier 1 lab services now available on Purdue campus
The West Lafayette campus has a new location for Tier 1 lab services. The State Street Office Facility (SSOF), located at 1601 W. State St. and the current home of WorkLife Programs, now offers a Tier 1 lab draw site. A draw site is able to draw blood for lab testing and accept samples for urinalysis. The SSOF site is open 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The site is closed for lunch from 1 to 1:30 p.m. Employees and dependents covered under any of Purdue's three medical plans may walk in for service, or they may call 49-41872 for an appointment.
Check the College online calendar for all events, seminars and deadlines here: http://www.ag.purdue.edu/Lists/Agriculture%20Calendar/calendar.aspx