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October 27, 2003

Purdue Extension specialists honored for outstanding work

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialist Association (PUCESA) honored outstanding specialists Tuesday (10/21) during the annual Purdue Extension banquet.

The awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to Indiana through Purdue Extension, were given to:

• Don Jones, professor of agricultural engineering, received PUCESA's Career Award for his work in Extension agriculture. Jones developed 28 farm building plans, 37 Purdue Extension publications and other papers enabling builders and farmers to improve livestock housing, environment and manure management.

Jones, of West Lafayette, Ind., is co-director of the Center for Technology Transfer and Pollution Prevention. He also developed a program with the agronomy department in 1979 to promote innovative septic systems for Indiana soils and has since obtained six grants totaling more than $1.3 million to initiate research and information programs.

• Chris Johannsen, professor of agronomy, also received PUCESA's Career Award. Johannsen has served Purdue Extension for 26 years, focusing on the use of spatial technologies and global positioning systems in precision agriculture, land use and natural resources.

Johannsen, of West Lafayette, Ind., developed the first Extension agronomy land-use program used in distance learning as early as 1970. He helped initiate and direct both the Laboratory for Applications of Remote Sensing and the Site-Specific Management Center. Recognized nationally and internationally for his work, he is known as Mr. Remote Sensing of Agriculture for his contributions to the field of agronomy.

• Natalie Carroll, associate professor of 4-H youth, received the PUCESA Junior Award. Carroll develops educational resources for youth, volunteers and teachers primarily involved in environmental and natural resources. Her programs and publications include the areas of aquatic science, beekeeping, entomology, forestry, geology, soil and water conservation, shooting sports, sport fishing, weather, and wildlife.

Carroll, of Attica, Ind., received the 1999 Blue Ribbon Award in education aids from the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, the 2001 4-H Entomology Curriculum award from the Entomological Society of America and the 2002 Bronze Poster Award from the association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals.

• Bruce Bordelon, associate professor of horticulture, received the PUCESA Senior Award. Bordelon, of West Lafayette, Ind., was recognized for his work in Indiana's grape, wine and small fruit industries, resulting in a 560 percent increase in state wine production since he came to Purdue in 1991. Bordelon collaborates with Extension specialists throughout the region, holding meetings, field days, symposia and workshops. His publications are widely used by growers throughout the Midwest.

• The PUCESA Team Award went to the Executive Institute for Commercial Producers Team for developing and implementing a multisession workshop to help commercial farm managers make decisions to take advantage of their business strengths in a rapidly changing business climate.

The team is composed of: agricultural economists Michael Boehlje, of West Lafayette, Ind., Craig Dobbins, of West Lafayette, Ind., Cole Ehmke of Lafayette, Ind., Allan Gray of West Lafayette, Ind., and Allan Miller of Lafayette, Ind.; Betty Ottinger, of Lafayette, Ind., assistant director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business; James Pritchett, a former professor of agricultural economics; Linda Heckaman, senior program manager; and Aissa Slayton, program manager

• The PUCESA Special Award was presented to the team responsible for the Extension response to the Ralstonia solanacerum outbreak. They were honored for their efforts in the handling of southern bacterial wilt of geraniums, caused by Ralstonia solanacerum in Indiana greenhouses.

The team includes: Allen Hammer, of West Lafayette, Ind., professor of horticulture; Karen Rane, of West Lafayette, Ind., plant disease diagnostician; Gail Ruhl, of West Lafayette, Ind., Plant Diagnostic Clinic director; and Robert Waltz, of West Lafayette, Ind., entomologist and plant pathologist.

• Danita Rodibaugh received the Spirit of PUCESA Award. Rodibaugh has been active with the youth of Indiana, including being president of the 4-H Board of Directors in Indiana and the resource development chair for the Indiana 4-H Foundation Corporate Development Council.

Rodibaugh, of Rensselaer, Ind., has provided numerous presentations in support of Purdue Extension and agriculture. In 2001 she presented at the Purdue Ag Outlook Forum, in 2002 she presented at the Soil and Water Conservation Society Annual Conference, and in 2003 she led a group as hosts of Purdue President Martin C. Jischke and other university leaders during Purdue Day in Rensselaer.

• The Ann Hancock Award, jointly sponsored by PUCESA, Epsilon Sigma Phi and the Indiana Extension Educators Association, was presented to the Financial Security in Later Life Team. The team consists of Extension specialist Janet Bechman, of West Lafayette, Ind., and assistant professor of customer and retail sciences Elizabeth Kiss, of West Lafayette, Ind.; South East District director Natalie Fowler, of Aurora, Ind.; and Extension educators Rebecca Haynes Bordas, of Indianapolis, Lori Bouslog, of Sullivan, Ind., Cathy Burkett, of Rushville, Ind., Vickie Hadley, of Woodburn, Ind., and Carol Turner, of Terre Haute, Ind.

The team worked on a state action plan for implementing the national initiative. The team also implements professional Purdue Extension development programs throughout Indiana.

Writer: Meggie Issler, (765) 494-8402,

Source: David Petritz, (765) 494-8489,

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

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