sealPurdue News

March 12, 2003

Cordes heading Purdue Extension community development effort

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Sam Cordes, formerly a professor of agricultural economics and an expert on rural development from the University of Nebraska, is now leading the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service effort to help Indiana's communities improve economic development.

Sam Cordes

As Purdue Extension program leader for leadership and community development, Cordes will work with Purdue faculty and educators in partnership with local leaders and organizations across Indiana, addressing a broad range of issues. Among the primary areas of focus are:

• Community visioning and planning.

• Economic and business development.

• Work force development.

• Local government needs.

"Strong local leadership is the foundation for all these activities and is another essential aspect of our efforts," Cordes said. "Our goal is to help communities think about and plan for the future. Purdue Extension can provide them information, education and local organizational capacity to help make that happen."

"Purdue Extension is uniquely situated to help with these areas given our presence in every county of the state of Indiana," Cordes said. "Our educators understand local needs and community dynamics, are already engaged with the community, and serve as a link for local officials and organizations to tap into all the university's resources."

Purdue Extension director David Petritz said Cordes brings a variety of experiences to this position. "He has engaged in applied research and policy analysis in areas including rural health care issues, entrepreneurial agriculture, and asset-based community development."

Cordes, who began his new position in February, also is working closely with Don Gentry, Purdue vice provost for engagement.

Cordes served as department head of agricultural economics at Nebraska and the University of Wyoming and was on the faculty at Penn State University. At Nebraska, he also served as director of the Center for Rural Community Revitalization and Development, a fellow in the Center for Applied Rural Innovation, director of the Cooperative Development Center and senior associate in international programs.

Cordes received his bachelor's degree from South Dakota State University and his doctoral degree from Washington State University.

Writer: Beth Forbes, (765) 494-2722;

Sources: Sam Cordes, (765) 494-3573;

David Petritz, (765) 494-8489;

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

Related Web site:
Purdue Extension

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