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October 23, 2002

Purdue agriculture encourages students to 'GO in AG'

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's School of Agriculture is kicking off a recruiting campaign that encourages Indiana high school students to "GO in AG."

"Many promising students are not aware of the School of Agriculture's opportunities in food, agribusiness, life sciences and natural resources," said Dale Whittaker, director of academic programs in the School of Agriculture. "We want to raise awareness of our academic programs and increase the pool of undergraduate students applying by 200 for fall 2003."

Close to 50 Indiana high school teachers and counselors, Extension educators and Purdue alumni are volunteering their time to help with the new campaign by scouting for promising students. During the fall and winter, recruiters will encourage high school seniors to apply and commit to Purdue. In spring 2003, these scouts will identify promising high school students and talk with them about career choices through the School of Agriculture, Whittaker said.

Recruiters are equipped with resources that help them guide prospective students into the agriculture major best suited to their interests. They also can offer scholarships up to $1,500 to eligible incoming freshmen.

"The School of Agriculture has a network of supporters and friends in the state that care about the future of agriculture and our students," Whittaker said. "We want to exercise this network and give high-potential students the information they need to decide if Purdue's School of Agriculture is for them."

The Positively Purdue recruiting campaign is driven by the new GO in AG Web site, http://www.purdue.edu/GOinAG, that allows prospective students to learn about Purdue's 45 agricultural majors, set up a visit, read student and alumni perspectives, and apply online.

Whittaker said the diversity of Purdue's agricultural programs makes the school unique and offers students a variety of opportunities, even if they are not from farm backgrounds. In 2000, close to 40 percent of the freshmen admitted in the school were from non-farm backgrounds. In that same year, 4 percent of undergraduate agricultural students were minorities and close to 47 percent were female.

"The School of Agriculture is much different now than when I went to school 10 to 15 years ago," said Joyce Grimble, volunteer recruiter and guidance counselor at Lafayette's Jefferson High School. "We need to show our young people where agriculture can take them in a career today."

Purdue's School of Agriculture has 45 majors in its 10 academic departments. Majors range from agricultural economics to agricultural communication and agronomy to food science.

For more information about the Positively Purdue recruiting campaign, contact the Office of Academic Programs in the School of Agriculture toll-free at (888) EXT-INFO.

Writer: Jennifer Doup, (765) 494-8406, doupj@purdue.edu

Sources: Dale Whittaker, (765) 494-8472, dwhittak@purdue.edu

Joyce Grimble, (765) 772-4700, jgrimble@lsc.k12.in.us

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu; http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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