sealPurdue News

October 18, 2002

Purdue's Nelson appointed to USDA advisory board

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Phillip Nelson, head of Purdue University's Department of Food Science, is one of 11 new members of the U.S. Department Of Agriculture's National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board.

Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman named Nelson to the 30-member body, which will meet with the new appointees for the first time Oct. 28-30 in Washington, D.C. The members advise the agriculture secretary, land-grant colleges, and congressional agriculture committees and subcommittees on agriculture-related policies and programs and their success.

"It will be gratifying to work with the USDA agencies, the secretary, congressional committees, farmers, the general public and the other board members to access programs important to all aspects of agriculture," Nelson said. "It's important for us to promote these programs and to educate people about science and technology that can affect their daily lives.

"Our overall goals are to maintain a globally competitive U.S. agricultural production system, while ensuring a safe and secure food system, a healthy population and, at the same time, protect natural resources and the environment."

Nelson, who has served as head of Purdue's food science since the department's founding in 1984, recently announced he will step down from that position to return to research and teaching. He will continue as department head until a successor is selected.

The main focus of Nelson's research, both in industry and in academia, has been processing, packaging and storing of fruits and vegetables.

He is credited with developing aseptic bulk storage and contributing to creation of bag-in-box packaging, both now widely used by the food industry. He holds nine U.S. patents to these technologies, which have enabled processors to provide not-from-concentrate orange juice year-round throughout the world and gives processors more flexibility in the form of their final product.

Nelson will serve a three-year term on the board, which was established under the 1996 farm bill.

CONTACT: Phillip Nelson, (765) 494-8256,

Writer: Susan A. Steeves, (765) 496-7481,

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

Related Web site:
USDA National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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