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2014 May ABe-Notes

May 2014 Breaking New Ground News

Author: Steve Swain

The National AgrAbility Project conducted the 2014 National AgrAbility Training Workshop at the Downtown Lexington Hilton in Lexington, Kentucky on March 31 thru April 3, 2014.  Near record-setting attendance of 227 AgrAbility staff, farmers with disabilities, Vocational Rehabilitation staff, and representatives from five 1890 land grant institutions attended plenary sessions, breakout sessions, a pre-conference tour of Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital, state and commercial exhibits, and post-conference farm tours.  The keynote speaker on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 was Janet LaBreck, Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration in Washington, DC.   The keynote speaker on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 was Josh Bleill, community spokesperson for the Indianapolis Colts.  Josh is a disabled veteran from rural Greenfield, Indiana and a Purdue graduate. 

Steve Swain, the rural rehabilitation specialist with Indiana AgrAbility/Breaking New Ground, presented to the Hancock County Extension Homemakers a session titled Gardening for People with Disabilities or Those Who are Getting Older.  A display of garden tools and modifications were used during the presentation as well as publications and information about Indiana AgrAbility.

France A. Cordova Leadership in Action Award

Event Date: April 22, 2014

Rebecca (Becca) Logsdon, a PhD student here in Agricultural & Biological Engineering as well as Ecological Sciences & Engineering Interdisciplinary Program has been selected to receive the 2014 France A. Cordova Award for Leadership in Action. The award was presented on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at the SAO Awards Presentation in the PMU North Ballroom.  Congratulations, Becca!

May 2014 Maha Fluid Power Laboratory News

Special Visitors

On April 28th, 18 John Deere executives visited Purdue to hear research presentations by various faculty. Dr. Ivantysynova presented on "The Green Hydraulic System- An Innovative Approach for Future Off-Road Machinery". Additionally, several Maha students spoke to the executives during a round table lunch meeting. Thank you to John Deere for their interest in Purdue and Maha research; we hope to interact again soon!

Several classes from local Jefferson High School visited Maha to learn about hydraulics and STEM opportunities. Naseem Daher and Andrew Schenk (PhD Candidates) served as excellent and interesting tour guides.

Maha Abroad

Dr. Ivantysynova, Dr. Vacca, and Andrew Schenk (PhD Candidate) traveled to Minneapolis, MN April 22-23rd for the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) 2014 NSF Site Visit. Similarly to the very scucessful Site Visit at Maha (Purdue) last year, the event gave the University of Minnesota the opportunity to showcase research facilities and provide other CCEFP member schools, industry participants, and NSF representatives with a forum for sharing projects and goals. Many of Maha's most recent successes were funded in part by the NSF and CCEFP.

Dr. Jiqin Ni completes Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program

In April, 2014, and with four other Purdue faculty and staff members, Dr. Jiqin Ni completed a two-year Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program (ALP) in Class 15, which began their study in July, 2012. Dean Jay Akridge of the College of Agriculture and Bernard Engel, Department Head of ABE, attended the ALP certificate and pinning ceremony in Indianapolis on April 21.

Dean Jay Akridge (third from left) and Department Head Bernard Engel with the ALP members from Purdue University after the ALP certificate and pinning ceremony: Scott Gabbard (first left), Tamilee Nennich (second left), Jeffrey Jones (fourth left), Danica Kirkpatrick (fifth left), and Jiqin Ni (right).


The ALP was sponsored by AgrIInstitute to create a cadre of self-assured, highly motivated professionals who possess the leadership capacity to serve Indiana agriculture and rural communities in public affairs at the local, state, national, and international levels. It provides individuals involved in agriculture and related industries and those who serve rural communities with the opportunity to improve leadership skills, gain understanding, and develop the expertise needed to provide leadership in public affairs for their businesses and communities. The program combines 12 seminars (including two travel study seminars) that allow participants to develop effective leadership skills and analyze public issues from various perspectives. The two travel seminars for Class 15 included a week in Washington, D.C., and two weeks of international study in The Netherlands, Belgium, and Liberia.  

The ALP Class 15 at USDA in Washington, D.C., in February, 2013.


The ALP Class 15 at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium in February, 2014.



Dr. Jiqin Ni (left) and Dr. Tamilee Nennich (right) of the Animal Sciences Department, Purdue University, teach anaerobic digestion and composting at the Liberian International Christian College March, 2014.

The Purdue iGEM Team Receives Recognition

In addition to the "Best New BioBrick Part, Natural" and Gold Medal at the Regional Jamboree for North America of the International GeneticallyEngineered Machine Competition, and participating in the World the Purdue iGEM team has also been recognized by the Office of the Dean of Students, Student Activities and Organizations with the BoilerMaker Pride Award at the Student Organization Leadership Awards 2014.

2014 Redbud Report

*This story has been edited for corrections*

For those unfamiliar with the tradition, ABE is down to one lone Redbud tree, just outside the northeast entrance to the building. Back in the day, we had two- the one extant specimen outside the NE entrance to the ABE Building, and a magnificent twin-trunk on the East end of the building near the picnic table. That tree actually had a bolt driven through the twin trunks in an effort to delay its demise, but finally had to be removed in 2008. Our Roving Redbud Reporter, Professor Richard Stroshine has been carefully documenting the bloom date (50% bud point) for almost 25 years:

This year’s Redbud Blooming date was April 29th which happens to be the same as last year’s date! This marks only the second time we have had repeated blooming dates in sequential years since Professor Stroshine began keeping records in 1991. Below is a table that summarizes the blooming dates:

March 23  2012
April 12    2010        
April 14    2000
April 15    1991
April 18    2001, 2004, 2005, 2007
April 19    1998, 2003, 2006
April 22    1999
April 23    1990, 2009, 2011
April 24    1995, 2008
April 25    1994
April 29    2013, 2014
April 30    1993
May 2       1996
May 3       1997  

SWAG: See What Ag Gives!

The College of Agriculture food drive to benefit FoodFinders Food Bank was a rousing success for a second consecutive year! Luanna DeMay, chair for the drive, reports that we had an 11% increase over last year's drive. Total Meals Provided for 2013 was 38,078; Total Meals Provided for 2014 was 42,164. The winning teams were calculated by meals provided – but we are all winners!

Department/Area or Club; Meals Provided 2014

Agricultural Economics; 14,190
Botany & Plant Pathology; 7,891
Agronomy; 6,448
Food Science; 4,981
Ag Administration; 2,680
Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab; 1,612
Horticulture and Landscape Architecture; 1,545
Animal Science; 1,450
Alpha Gamma Rho; 600
Agricultural & Biological Engineering; 483
Entomology; 284

Teaching For Tomorrow

Professor Abigail Engelberth has been selected as a recipient of the Teaching for Tomorrow Award! As one of only 9 junior faculty selected, she will spend the 2014-2015 academic year with a faculty mentor in a learning community addressing topics and experiences related to teaching and student learning.This opportunity is made possible by gifts from the Class of 1944 and 1945. Congratulations, Dr. Engelberth!

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