January 2013

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From the Dean

jay akridgeThe new year always starts in a sprint for the College. The Spring semester is now a week old; the next eight weeks are packed for our Extension Specialists and Educators with winter meetings (the Green Expo, which serves the turf and landscape industries in Indiana and surrounding states, drew about 1800 last week in Indianapolis and the Hort Congress, among many other programs, is on deck); Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of NIFA, will be visiting the College January 24-25; the Ag Alumni Fish Fry is February 2 (keynote speaker NPR Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep)….Our new President will join us this week; and we plan to have the on-campus interviews for the Head of the Food Science Department and our Associate Dean and Director of Purdue Extension before Spring Break. As I said, we always seem to start the new year in a sprint!

I originally planned to use this column to outline some of our key initiatives for the Spring, and there are many—among other initiatives, we will spend time as a College this Spring reviewing the COACHE/Civil Rights Compliance Review results and discussing how to use the resulting insights to make this a more welcoming and inclusive College. Instead, this month I thought I would share a note I received over the holidays. When I opened it, I expected a holiday card. Instead, it was a plain white notecard with the following message:

“Jay, every time I see the successes my children have had I think of you and Purdue’s Ag Program.  Your school was a wonderful experience for our family.”

As we begin a new semester, this simple message is a reminder of just how important our teaching/learning mission is. Helping young men and women become successful, in whatever way the term ‘success’ is defined for them personally, is ultimately what our teaching mission is all about. Our strategic plan has captured that idea in the phrase ‘students prepared to make a difference’. My deepest thanks go to all of our faculty and staff in the classroom this semester.  

The other phrase from this note that struck me was ‘wonderful experience’. I imagine that creating a ‘wonderful experience’ for this family went beyond what happened in the classroom. It probably started with a visit to Purdue when these young people were exploring college options, or maybe it was a 4-H or FFA event they participated in, or maybe a Hoosier Agribusiness Science Academy (HASA) experience. Someone along the way did a great job of recruiting them to Purdue. Maybe someone else helped them with a scholarship question. A Purdue Agriculture faculty or staff member may have taken them on a study abroad experience, or helped them find an internship.

Someone may have advised one of the student clubs they participated in, or a graduate TA may have helped them through a tough class. Perhaps a faculty member spent some time with the family when they were back on campus for Family Day, or one of our clerical staff went took extra steps to help them with directions to an awards convocation. Someone else may have helped these students polish a résumé or prepare for an interview or written a graduate school recommendation letter. I could go on….  Ultimately, faculty and staff were there to congratulate the family and see them off at our Commencement reception. 

It takes all of us working together to insure that notes like this keep coming. The Purdue Agriculture Experience is what happens in the classroom for sure, but it’s really so much more. And, while this note focused on our undergraduate program, we could just as easily be talking about the experience of a graduate student, a 4-H member, an Indiana farmer, a small business owner, a visiting scientist, or even one of our own colleagues—to name just a few possibilities. As we all know, positive experiences don’t just happen – they happen because people care about students, visitors, community members, stakeholders, and fellow employees.

These experiences also happen when every member of the Purdue Agriculture family has respect for what each of us brings to creating those experiences. You’ll see an item below on the activities planned for Diversity Awareness Week—as we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I hope we all are reminded of the importance of mutual respect across roles, gender, race/ethnicity…  When we care deeply about those we serve and when we bring an attitude of mutual respect to our work every day, I am quite sure more note cards will be in the mail.      

All the best,


Purdue Agriculture People

Ag Research Spotlight: Lori Hoagland

Lori HoaglandThe Ag Research Spotlight shines each month on an individual whose work reflects our commitment to the six strategic themes that guide Agricultural Research at Purdue. This month's spotlight is on Lori Hoagland, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, whose work underscores the theme “Utilizing molecular approaches to expand the frontiers of agriculture and life science.”

Full story: https://ag.purdue.edu/arp/Pages/spotlight.aspx


NIFA director to visit Purdue Agriculture

Sonny RamaswamyDr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and former associate dean and director of Agriculture Research Programs at Purdue, will visit the campus on Thursday and Friday, January 24 and 25. On January 24, faculty, staff and students are invited to attend a seminar by Dr. Ramaswamy titled "Setting the table for a hotter, flatter, more crowded earth" at 2:00pm in the Pfendler Hall Deans Auditorium, followed by a faculty/staff discussion and listening session and a reception.



ConnectionsNOW! features 2012 in pictures

Connections NowWhile the widespread and prolonged drought might be our lasting image of 2012, there were others that evoked an array of feelings and emotions during the year, too. ConnectionsNOW! compiled and shared some of these images as captured by the camera of Connections Managing Editor Tom Campbell.

See the photos here: http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/Connections/NOW/Pages/2012TheYearinPictures.aspx



Events set to commemorate Diversity Awareness Week in CoA

Martin Luther KingThe Diversity Action Team in Agriculture (DATA) has organized four days of activities to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Awareness Week, January 22-25, sponsored by the Colleges of Agriculture, Health and Human Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine. Following the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday on Monday, January 21, faculty and staff are invited to participate in activities each day to educate and raise diversity awareness.

More information: https://ag.purdue.edu/omp/Documents/DATA%20MLK%20WEEK%202013%20BROCHURE(3).pdf  


Business Management calling for 2013 Eleanor O. Kaplan Award nominations

ribbonDo you know an outstanding Business Office administrative or clerical staff member who deserves recognition?  If so, please take a few minutes to nominate that person for the Eleanor Kaplan Award for Exceptional Customer Service. Recipients of the award receive a $100 cash prize, have their names engraved on a plaque displayed in Freehafer Hall, and be recognized during an award ceremony. Nominees for the award must currently work in the Business Management area on the West Lafayette Campus as a Business Manager/Post-Award Specialist, Account Assistant/Business Assistant, or Account Clerk; have at least three years of service in Business Services; and have exhibited exceptional customer service in one or more of the ways listed on the nomination form. If you know someone who meets these criteria, please submit a Nomination Form located here and/or a letter of recommendation that cites specific examples of exceptional customer service. Letters of support from a variety of stakeholders will strengthen your nomination. Nominations and letters of support should be forwarded to Joanna Hutchins/DBM/FREH. You may also send Joanna an e-mail at: joanna@purdue.edu. The deadline for nominations is FRIDAY, February 8, 2013.


Research Roundtable to help recruit students for graduate work

Purdue logoFaculty are invited to participate in the 2013 Purdue Research Roundtable on February 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Purdue Memorial North Ballroom. The Roundtable presents a great opportunity for faculty to share their research with undergraduate students who are interested in exploring research opportunities and/or graduate school. Registration for the event can be done online here. The deadline to register is January 19.   For more information, contact Meredith Cobb in the Agriculture Research at Purdue office at mcobb2@purdue.edu.


Finalists set for Food Science Department Head

Three candidates have been invited to campus to interview for the Food Science department head position. Faculty and staff are encouraged to attend the seminar presentations of the candidates, which will be streamed and archived on the Food Science department head search link: https://ag.purdue.edu/foodsci/Pages/Food-Science-Department-Head-Search.aspx  The candidate credentials and feedback forms will also soon be available via this site. Finalists are:

Dr. Steven Ricke, University of Arkansas
Interview: Tuesday and Wednesday, January 29 & 30
Seminar: Tuesday, January 29, 9:30 a.m. in Deans Auditorium, Pfendler Hall

Dr. Brian Farkas, North Carolina State University
Interview: Thursday and Friday, January 31 & February 1
Seminar: Thursday, January 31, 9:00 a.m. in Deans Auditorium, Pfendler Hall

Dr. William Aimutis, Cargill, Inc.
Interview: Thursday and Friday, February 7 & 8
Seminar: Thursday, February 7, 10:00 a.m. in Deans Auditorium, Pfendler Hall


Awards and Recognitions

sylvie brouderSylvie Brouder, Agronomy, and Bernie Engel, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, were accepted for the Fall 2012 Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI), an executive leadership development program for academia, industry and government. FSLI is a two-year program that enhances personal and professional development by emphasizing leadership competencies, skills for organizational change, and a groad, interdisciplinary perspective of food systems. Other Purdue bernie engelAgriculture faculty members who have completed the FSLI program include Jim Mintert, Suzanne Nielsen, Dale Whittaker, and Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer.




douglass jacobs

The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Dec. 16 approved the appointment of Douglass Jacobs, Forestry and Natural Resources, as the Fred M. van Eck Chair in Forest Biology. Jacobs is a professor of forest regeneration and a University Faculty Scholar. His research explores eco-physiological development of young forest trees to facilitate reforestation and ecological restoration. He serves as editor-in-chief of New Forestsand associate editor of Annals of Forest Science. He has written more than 100 peer-reviewed research publications and has been awarded more than $5 million in grant support.


marshall porterfieldMarshall Porterfield, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, is president-elect of the Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE), a national professional organization that encourages inquiry and interest in biological engineering. Dr. Porterfield is currently taking a leave of absence from Purdue to serve as director of NASA's Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications Division.


Beth TranBeth Tran, Biochemistry, was notified that her Journal of Biological Chemistry paper, “The DEAD-box RNA Helicase Dbp2 Connects RNA Quality Control with Repression of Aberrant Transcription,” has been designated as one of the best papers published by the journal in 2012. The editors selected only 22 papers — out of the more than 4,000 that were published last year — to receive this special designation. All of the Best of 2012 papers are accessible at http://www.jbc.org/site/bestoftheyear.

gabe rangelGabriel Rangel, a senior from Indianapolis majoring in Biochemistry, has been selected to receive a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study. The Gilliam Fellowship is a four-year award for graduate study toward a Ph.D in the biomedical sciences.



Purdue Agriculture in the News

Scientists learning how multiple-genome plants reproduce

Brian DilkesA study out of Harvard and Purdue universities is starting to unravel the genetic mechanisms that allow some plants to duplicate their entire genomes and continue to reproduce. Most plants, including crops, at some point in history have duplicated their genomes, giving them two or more copies of each of the instructions to build the plant. These plants have few problems reproducing normally. When scientists manipulate individuals and induce duplicate genomes, however, it is difficult - sometimes impossible - for the organism to sexually reproduce. Being able to create polyploids, organisms with three or more genomes, such as the crops peanut, strawberry, banana, canola, cotton, wheat and others, may allow scientists to improve those crops more quickly through breeding and create new polyploidy crop species. Breeding programs that use new polyploids are cumbersome because many do not reproduce easily. Brian Dilkes, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, is co-author of the findings published in the journal PLoS Genetics.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q1/scientists-learning-how-multiple-genome-plants-reproduce.html


Updated Purdue Extension corn, soybean guide now available

Corn Soybean guideA popular Purdue Extension pocket reference guide for corn and soybean producers has been updated and is now available. The 2013 Corn and Soybean Field Guide is an in-field reference to help farmers quickly identify and manage crop problems, such as weeds, diseases and insects. The 324-page guide has information useful from planting to harvest and features color photographs and reference tables to help farmers make fertilizer and pesticide application decisions. Other topics include crop development, nutrient deficiencies, planting decisions, soil fertility and herbicide injuries.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2012/Q4/updated-purdue-extension-corn,-soybean-guide-now-available.html

New biochip technology uses tiny whirlpools to corral microbes

Joseph IrudayarajJoseph Irudayaraj, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, is part of a team of researchers who have demonstrated a new technology that combines a laser and electric fields to create tiny centrifuge-like whirlpools to separate particles and microbes by size, a potential lab-on-a-chip system for medicine and research. The theory behind the technology, called rapid electrokinetic patterning - or REP - has been described in technical papers published for some time. Now the researchers have used the method for the first time to collect microscopic bacteria and fungi. The technology could bring innovative sensors and analytical devices for lab-on-a-chip applications, or miniature instruments that perform measurements normally requiring large laboratory equipment. REP is a potential new tool for applications including medical diagnostics; testing food, water and contaminated soil; isolating DNA for gene sequencing; crime-scene forensics; and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q1/new-biochip-technology-uses-tiny-whirlpools-to-corral-microbes.html

Fertilizer application rule protects farmers, water quality

fertilizer applicationA new set of fertilizer application regulations from the Office of the Indiana State Chemist helps ensure proper nutrient management and protects farmers and the environment, says Ron Lemenager, Purdue Extension beef specialist. The rule, which goes into effect Feb. 16, includes staging and application restrictions for both inorganic, or commercial, fertilizers and manure. It applies to anyone who uses fertilizer for the purpose of producing an agricultural crop, with the exception of those who apply less than 10 cubic yards in a year. While large permitted livestock operations that perform liquid nutrient applications already fall under the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's Confined Feeding Operation laws, the new Office of the Indiana State Chemist (OISC) rule extends to smaller producers who would mostly apply solid manure.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q1/fertilizer-application-rule-protects-farmers,-water-quality.html

Shocking Asian carp out of Midwest rivers not a viable option

Goforth with carpOne of the more promising ideas for controlling or eliminating troublesome Asian carp populations in the Midwest's rivers is impractical and unsafe, according to Dr. Reuben Goforth, Forestry and Natural Resources. Scientists had hoped to modify or expand low-voltage electrical barriers like those used around Chicago waterways to direct fish from particular areas. Goforth said the level of electricity needed to kill Asian carp eggs in the rivers where the invasive species has spread would be far too high. "We were really hoping this would be a viable way to control these Asian carp," said Goforth, whose findings were published in the early online version of Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. "We really need to look at other methods."

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2012/Q4/shocking-asian-carp-out-of-midwest-rivers-not-a-viable-option.html


Livestock, forage, grain forum to focus on trends and future

Forum logoPurdue University faculty and Extension staff will contribute to discussions of global food trends, risk management and drought recovery during this year's Indiana Livestock, Forage and Grain Forum. The forum will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 11 at the JW Marriott Hotel, 10 S. West St., Indianapolis. There will be discussions on the effects of global events on the food and agriculture industries as well as on individual farms and businesses.Forum sponsors, in addition to Purdue Extension, are the Indiana Beef Cattle Association, Indiana Board of Animal Health, Indiana Corn Growers Association, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana Dairy Producers, Indiana Farm Bureau, Indiana Forage Council, Indiana Horse Council, Indiana Pork, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Milk Promotion Services of Indiana Inc.

More information and registration: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q1/livestock,-forage,-grain-forum-to-focus-on-trends-and-future.html


Horticulture Congress to educate, connect growers

Hort Congress logoFarmers, growers and owners of agritourism businesses can gain new information in their fields and connect with other professionals at the Indiana Horticulture Congress and Trade Show in Indianapolis. The congress, which typically draws more than 800 visitors yearly, will be held Jan. 22-24 at the Wyndham Indianapolis West. The conference will feature speakers from around the state on a variety of topics in areas such as agritourism, fresh fruits and vegetables, wine grapes, organics, farmers markets and raw products. "Our educational sessions are designed to meet the needs of growers, with information on production practices, pest and disease control, processing, marketing, agritourism, food safety and legislative and regulatory concerns," said Peter Hirst, associate professor of horticulture. Coinciding with the congress is the trade show with more than 70 exhibitors from equipment, seed, processed food and irrigation companies.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2012/Q4/horticulture-congress-to-educate,-connect-growers.html


Purdue Extension to bring expertise to Fort Wayne Farm Show

Fort Wayne Farm ShowPurdue Extension specialists and educators will offer expertise and a series of presentations and discussions at the 2013 Fort Wayne Farm Show. The show, which includes educational seminars and the latest in farm technology and machinery, will be Jan. 15-17 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Seminars are co-sponsored by Purdue Extension and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Northeast Indiana. Purdue Extension will have a booth where show attendees can interact with specialists and county educators.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q1/purdue-extension-to-bring-expertise-to-fort-wayne-farm-show.html


University News

Several Purdue events planned to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.

Several activities at Purdue University this month will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The 2013 celebration, with the theme The Fierce Urgency of Now: The Time is Always Right to Do What is Right, will begin Tuesday, Jan. 15 with Purdue Memorial Union dining services distributing free slices of birthday cake throughout the afternoon. The events have been planned by the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Planning Committee, which was appointed by the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion. Irwin Weiser, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and Renee Thomas, director of Purdue's Black Cultural Center, co-chair the committee.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q1/several-purdue-events-planned-to-celebrate-martin-luther-king-jr..html

Inaugural dean Ladisch becomes dean in new College of Health and Human Sciences

Christine Ladisch has been named the first dean of Purdue University's new College of Health and Human Sciences. Her appointment as dean is the result of a national search for the new leader. Ladisch, professor of consumer science, has served as inaugural dean since the college was launched in 2010. The college was formed as part of Purdue's New Synergies strategic plan to realign nine academic units and elevate Purdue's reputation in health and human sciences.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q1/inaugural-dean-ladisch-becomes-dean-in-new-college-of-health-and-human-sciences.html

Payroll Tax Changes Effective January 1, 2013

From the office of Al Diaz, executive vice president for business and finance, treasurer: The legislation passed in the early hours of New Year’s Day changed tax regulations and, thus, impacted employees’ personal income taxes and paychecks. Changes include general income tax rates and Social Security and Medicare Tax rates and withholding rates.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/apps/elist39/download.cfm?filename=TaxCommunicationArticle.pdf

Purdue appoints new leader for Center for Regional Development

Purdue has chosen Lionel "Bo" J. Beaulieu as its next director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development, beginning in April. In addition, Beaulieu will serve as a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics. Beaulieu has been director of the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University since 1997, where he also is a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics. Prior to that, he was a professor in the University of Florida's Department of Family, Youth and Community Services and assistant and acting chair of the Department of 4-H Youth Development.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q1/purdue-appoints-new-leader-for-center-for-regional-development.html

Nominations sought for Roberts, Ross graduation awards

Nominations are being accepted for the Flora Roberts Award (outstanding senior woman) and G.A. Ross Award (outstanding senior man) for 2013. Faculty and departmental staff members are being invited to nominate graduating senior men and women for these awards, which recognize the two seniors who best fulfill the requirements for scholarship, character, leadership, and service. A Student Selection Committee and representatives from the Office of the Dean of Students select the recipients of the awards, which are presented at the annual Student Activities and Organizations Awards Banquet in April. Nomination forms and more information are available by emailing Sara Ajagu at sajagu@purdue.edu. Completed nomination forms and up to three letters of support must be submitted by Feb. 5.

Report Hate and Bias

report hate cardPurdue University is a community where diversity is valued and incidents of hate and bias are not tolerated. Students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors who feel that they have been the victim of a bias related incident (or who have witnessed a bias related incident) are encouraged to report it online at www.purdue.edu/report-hate or to contact the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 765-494-1250. Your report can remain anonymous if you wish. Remember, if it is an emergency situation that requires immediate medical or emergency services attention, please call the Purdue University Police Department at 911 or 765-494-8221.