ABE Extension & Engagement

The Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department helps agriculture be more efficient, promotes the safety and health of people working in agriculture, and provides tools and education that enable Hoosiers to restore and protect natural resources, be prepared to deal with natural disasters/emergencies, improve energy efficiency, and provide renewable energy. 

Agricultural Air Quality

Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)

We conduct on-farm measurements of indoor and outdoor air quality, performance of building environmental control systems, and emissions of odor and regulated air pollutants. An odor setback model for livestock farms that will help to resolve conflicts between livestock producers and neighbors has been developed and validated. 

Al Heber, Professor

Agricultural Water Management

Indiana’s cropland contains some of the most productive land in the world yet can experience both excess water and a lack of water in some locations. We provide information on agricultural drainage resources in Indiana, and lead the “Transforming Drainage” multi-state program to increase drainage water storage, reduce excess, requiring drainage, and water deficit that benefits from irrigation. Purdue Extension partners with Michigan State University Extension to provide irrigation information and strategies for using water more efficiently.

Jane Frankenberger, Professor, and Lyndon Kelley, Irrigation Educator (joint with Michigan State University)

Agricultural Safety and Health

Ed Bell with modified tractorWe assist rural residents in making their homes, work places and communities the safest and healthiest possible places to live and work. Programs include agricultural injury prevention, emergency preparedness, homeland security, and rehabilitation services to farmers impacted by disability.  General information on agricultural safety and health and related links, can be found at Farm Safety or Agricultural Confined Spaces.   The Breaking New Ground Resource Center is internationally recognized as a source of information on rehabilitation technology relating to agricultural worksites. It manages the National AgrAbility Project, providing training and resources to the 20 state and regional AgrAbility Projects in collaboration with national disability organizations and the Indiana AgrAbility Project, which provides services to Indiana farmers and rural residents impacted by disability.  Resources for rural caregivers and youth employed in agriculture are also provided. 

Bill Field, Professor; Paul Jones, Manager, Breaking New Ground Resource Center; Steve Swain, Rural Rehabilitation Specialist; Cindy Chastain, Veteran Outreach Coordinator; Chuck Baldwin, Special Populations Outreach Coordinator; and Ed Sheldon, Veteran Job Coach/Engagement Coordinator.

Grain Post Harvest 

Grain facility at ACREIndiana is the fifth largest producer of corn and soybean in the United States, and utilizes about one billion bushels of corn annually for the production of fuel ethanol and distillers grains in eight ethanol plants in the state. Purdue grain post-harvest specialists in Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Entomology, Botany & Plant Pathology, and Agricultural Economics provide up-to-date research-based information on post-harvest grain quality, stored products protection and grain marketing. Applied research and outreach efforts include grain drying and conditioning, stored pest management, stored grain monitoring, organic grain management, and value-added processing

Klein Ileleji (pronounced E-Le-Le-Jee), Professor

Manure Management and Anaerobic Digestion

Animal agriculture produces approximately 9.51 million tons of animal manure each year, equivalent to about 1.45 tons per resident per year in Indiana. Manure can be used as soil amendment, provide crop nutrients, and produce renewable energy. However, manure can also cause environmental pollution to affect water and air quality if managed or used improperly.

The Manure Management extension program provides research-based science, applicable technology, safety information, and regulatory resources to livestock and poultry producers, crop growers, and other stakeholders.

Ji-Qin Ni (pronounced Jee-Chin), Professor and Extension Specialist.

Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency

Wind TurbinesThe Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program builds capacity for the successful adoption of renewable energy technologies, and develops practices for improving energy efficiency of existing systems on farm. Efforts focus on commercial production of biofuels, wind power generation among rural communities, and on-farm energy and fertilizer production by anaerobic digestion systems. Information on solar energy, on-farm energy efficiency, and the utilization of co-products from corn ethanol production is also available.

Klein Ileleji, Professor

Rural Emergency Preparedness

Although not all 1.5 million rural residents in Indiana are directly linked to production agriculture, they are often directly affected when a disaster/emergency occurs on or associated with one of Indiana’s 58,700 farms. The IN-PREPared (Purdue Rural Emergency Preparedness) program is designed to serve Indiana’s rural residents by enhancing the capacity of Extension staff, first responders, and rural communities to meet the challenges of emergency management including preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery. IN-PREPared is structured as a unifying program for many Purdue resources, as well as government, both state and federal, and non-profit organizations. IN-PREPared has and will continue to develop relationships with organizations relating to the preparation for mitigation of, response to and recovery from emergencies.

Shawn Ehlers, Assistant Professor and Ed Sheldon, Safety Specialist

Watersheds and Water Quality

We provide education and tools for improving watershed management, reducing nutrient and pesticide losses to surface and ground water, and protecting drinking water. The Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy trains watershed coordinators and others through a combined distance and face-to-face education program to bring about effective local watershed management programs. The Safe Water for the Future program helps communities and families protect their drinking water, and provides information to the 1.5 million people in Indiana that rely on private water systems.

Jane Frankenberger, Professor

Youth Engineering Sciences

Retirement of “Baby Boomers” from the workforce coupled with the increased need for workers with technology and engineering expertise is creating a huge demand for young workers in the technology and engineering disciplines. We provide opportunities for youth to explore agricultural engineering related opportunities though hands-on learning experiences. These include the development and dissemination of youth-based curricula through 4-H and FFA or through Purdue campus-based immersion experiences working with university faculty and staff designing a solution to an agricultural-related challenge. Current activities include the application of robotics to agricultural production, evidence-based curriculum for delivering safer work practices and the design of 21st century agricultural machine systems.

Roger Tormoehlen, Professor