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2017 February ABeNotes

2017 February AgrAbility News

The National AgrAbility Project located in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering is hosting the 26th National AgrAbility Training Workshop in Knoxville, TN, March 20-23, 2017. Over 225 rehabilitation professionals and farmers with disabilities will come together to explore and share strategies for removing barriers to agriculture-related employment. There will be a special track just for Veterans with disabilities interested in beginning or returning to farming or ranching. There is funding to help cover the cost for Purdue students who are veterans to attend. If interested contact Cindy Chastain at

Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist Steve Swain exhibited at the 2017 Illiana Vegetable Growers Symposium.  The symposium is a daylong workshop presenting research and field results by Illinois and Purdue University extension educators and specialists.  Twenty-five exhibitors had the opportunity to introduce themselves and their companies and products to approximately eighty attendees during the morning session and to talk to individuals at their displays.

The Indiana Horticultural Congress is an educational meeting designed to meet the needs of fruit, vegetable, wine, organics, and specialty crop growers and marketers in Indiana and surrounding states.  The three-day event provides the opportunity for attendees to network, talk with exhibitors, listen to producers panels, and learn about research from researchers, professionals and extension educators.  Indiana AgrAbility was one of over 50 exhibitors and provided information on farming with a disability, assistive technology on the farm, Farm Service Agency and beginning farmer resources, and veteran resources.

The 28th Annual Fort Wayne Farm Show was held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  The show draws over 30,000 farmers, their families, professionals, and exhibitors.  Indiana AgrAbility staff and volunteers presented AgrAbility publications, veteran resources, Farm Service Agency publications, and showed a John Deere tractor with a Life Essentials lift.

Biological Engineering: Cellular Design Principles

Professor Jenna Rickus is teaching a course on EdX this semester - Biological Engineering: Cellular Design Principles! James Nolan is the graduate teaching assistant for this course. There are more than 2200 students enrolled, and they represent more than 116 countries. Congratulations, Professor Rickus, for moving out into this bold, new frontier!

For more information, email Dr. Rickus.

2017 February Faculty News

Professor Dennis Buckmaster, Learning Community Instructor for the Agriculture Technology and Innovation LC, has received the 2016-17 Learning Community Student Impact Award. The Student Impact Award is given to Learning Community Instructors who have demonstrated exceptional success in connecting students to peers, faculty and professional staff, campus resources, and the community at large. Congratulations to Dr. Buckmaster for representing us so well!

2017 February Student News

ABEGSA is holding its 4th Annual Graduate Industrial Research Symposium February 16, 2017. This unique opportunity provides a chance to network with industry representatives, meet others outside of the department with similar work, showcase research, and meet students who are visiting with the department. This year's featured speakers are Dr. Linda Prokopy and Dr. Alison Goss. Registration is available online.

Each year our Seniors work toward the culmination of their Purdue education: The Capstone/Design Experience, scheduled this year for April 20, 2017. After Thanksgiving, they did progress reports and received feedback from various alumni and industry leaders. Their second opportunity for this helpful feedback is on February 27. We have many alumni who graciously give of their time and expertise to help our student teams stay on-track for completing their projects. This presentation will be on the technical aspects of the projects and the reviews will take place in numerous locations around the building from 4-7 pm. Graduate students who would like to evaluate projects can contact Carol Weaver. We are adding underclassman participation this year as well. If you have questions, please direct those to Dr. Bob Stwalley.

Purdue Student Soybean Innovation Competition
Award Ceremony
Tuesday, March 28th
Indiana Roof Ballroom – Indianapolis
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Watch for more information!

Luke Schmit was celebrated at Senior Night for the Men's Wrestling Team. Beginning with the team as a red-shirt freshman, Luke completed his fourth season with a record of 11-28 in the 165# class. Standing in support were (l to r) Zach Horn, Nolan Monhollen, Anderson Smith, James Marshand, (Luke Schmit), Zach Hurd, Austin Bossaer, Ryan Romanowski, and Grace Baldwin.


Congratulations to the new initiates to Alpha Mu, the Agricultural Systems Management honorary society. Pictured here (L to R):

Devin Tracy, Mitchell Petersen, Katie Carnahan, Tressa Steward, Darren Seidel, Derek Neuhoff




All members present at the ceremony (L to R) were:


Bryce Kleiman, Jentry Flesher, Mitchell Petersen, Will Field, Katie Carnahan, Josh Shafer, Tressa Steward, Devin Tracy, Austin Bitting, Derek Neuhoff, Darren Seidel, Tyler Vigar, Cole Mundell.

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