sealPurdue News

April 12, 2002

Purdue Extension Land Use Team honored for community efforts

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The 2002 recipient of the Agricultural Dean's Team Award is the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service Land Use Team. The 22-member land use team was the first-ever collaboration of county educators and campus specialists devoted to working on a public issue, such as land use.

The Purdue Extension Land Use Team collaborates with other state and local organizations, including Ball State University, Indiana Land Resources Council, Indiana Land Use Consortium, Indiana Farm Bureau and Indiana Planning Association to develop and deliver timely educational programs on land use and related public issues.

Rick Chase, land use team interim program leader, says the team's biggest effort has been providing training for plan commissions in Indiana. In the last three years, the team has helped train more than 1,300 local plan commission members and staff. The group also has delivered several programs and resources to local citizens, elected officials, organizations and youth.

"We have an extremely diverse collection of knowledge, experience and backgrounds," Chase says. "Individually we are limited, but together we have great impact."

The team recently put together a Web site that offers resources for anyone who has an interest in how decisions are being made that affect land use in Indiana.

"The online publications and articles offer information that can help the public make better land use decisions, and this delivery method allows us to get information out more quickly," Chase says.

The land use team will be honored May 14 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in Stewart Center, Room 302. The team also will give a presentation about their programs and receive $10,000 to continue outreach efforts.

The Dean's Team Award annually recognizes the faculty and staff achievements of those collaborating on interdisciplinary teams. The land use team comprises specialists and educators from 11 counties and five educational areas.

Victor Lechtenberg, Purdue's dean of agriculture, says the land use team has impacted the future of many Indiana communities.

"Land planning is one of Indiana's top challenges, and the outreach efforts of this team have helped rural and local communities work through planning and zoning decisions," Lechtenberg says. "This diverse group exemplifies teamwork, and their endeavors are helping communities balance economic development with protecting the environment."

The land use team members are:

  • Janet Ayres, Purdue Extension agricultural economics specialist

  • Chris Bitler, Purdue Extension educator in Newton County, deceased

  • Jon Cain, Purdue Extension educator in Hendricks County

  • Rick Chase, Purdue Extension Central District director

  • Lawrence DeBoer Jr., Purdue Extension agricultural economics specialist

  • Gerald Dryden, Purdue Extension educator in Harrison County

  • Bernard Engel, Purdue Extension agricultural and biological engineering professor

  • Michael Ferree, Purdue Extension educator in Bartholomew County

  • Jane Frankenberger, Purdue Extension agricultural and biological engineering specialist

  • Phil Gordon, Purdue Extension educator in Elkhart County

  • Gerald Harrison, Purdue Extension agricultural economics specialist

  • Laura Hoelscher, Purdue Agricultural Communication Service

  • William Hoover, Purdue Extension forestry and natural resources specialist

  • Don Jones, Purdue Extension agricultural and biological engineering specialist

  • Brad Lee, Purdue Extension agronomy specialist

  • Robert McCormick, Purdue Extension forestry and natural resources specialist

  • Brian Miller, Purdue Extension forestry and natural resources specialist

  • Roger Moll, Purdue Extension educator in Allen County

  • Phillip Schmidt, Purdue Extension educator in Spencer County

  • Valynnda Slack, Purdue Extension educator in Whitley County

  • Mark Spelbring, Purdue Extension educator in Parke County

  • James Woolf, Purdue Extension educator in Tipton County

    Writer: Jennifer Doup, (765) 494-6682,

    Sources: Rick Chase, (317) 736-7842,

    Victor Lechtenberg, (765) 494-8391,

    Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

    Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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