Home Indiana Agriculture News Bright Future for Ag Students at Purdue

Bright Future for Ag Students at Purdue


Good prospects for ag grads

Akridge-Elspermann-DanielsThe 2015 Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry is in the books. The annual gathering of Boilermaker faithful from the College of Ag was held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Saturday, and Dean of Agriculture Jay Akridge said it’s like a big family get together.

“I think it’s just a great day to celebrate the College and all of our alumni to get back together to share stories with their friends and put a big spotlight on everything we’re trying to do in the College. It’s just turned into I think a wonderful homecoming for the alumni.”

He told HAT the alumni ranks will grow further with about 600 students expected to graduate this spring and employment prospects look for those graduates. He said 85 companies will be at the spring career fair Wednesday, up twenty from last year. And for young people thinking about a college major and future career, no matter their background, Akridge explains agriculture is a great choice.

“I think most just don’t understand the breadth of opportunities we see under this umbrella we call agriculture. If a young man or woman is interested in science, we have opportunities to take that into the food and the plants and the animal space. If they’re interested in business, they can take it into the food or inputs world. Farming of course is an opportunity, but even policy, regulatory areas, communications, education, it’s just such a broad area. It’s an industry that’s alive and vibrant and there are just a lot of opportunities for any young man or woman who really wants to make a difference with their life.”

Daniels photo opMany of the students studying for a career in agriculture do not come from the farm or even rural areas.

“About half of our students come to us with really no rural or rural farm background, so they’re coming to us with urban, suburban and only about half are involved in 4-H and FFA,” Akridge explained. “So we’ve got a great group that come to us from more traditional areas, but about half come to us from very different backgrounds.”

He told the alumni that the College is now looking for more students interested in plant sciences and agriculture education.

This is a strategic planning year for the College. Dean Akridge explains the importance of that process in the HAT video.