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Purdue Extension Leader Reflects on his 5 years in Indiana

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With Purdue University director of Extension and Associate Dean of Agriculture Chuck Hibberd leaving the state in under a month, the interim plan has taken shape. Jim Mintert, assistant director of agriculture and natural resources for Purdue Extension has been appointed to the position on an interim basis. Hibberd will be heading to the University of Nebraska, but he will miss Indiana.

“I have a great opportunity to go back to the University of Nebraska. It’s my alma mater, it’s home, and there’s a big draw there. But, you know my five years in Indiana working for Purdue and Purdue Extension have absolutely been wonderful. It’s a great place to work and this is a great state to work in. The ag sector is so strong and they care so much. They’re so engaged in the future of agriculture, and this state is having the kind of conversation that we want to be part of.”

Hibberd explained, “If we kind of bury our heads in the sand and not engage then things are going to pass us by, but that’s not true in this state. These farmers and their leaders are heavily engaged in these conversations at it’s absolutely crucial if we’re going to feed the world.”

Asked what stamp he’s put on Purdue Extension, Hibberd pointed to the work local educators are doing this summer, work that is relevant and just in time when people need it.

“That’s what extension’s role is,” he told HAT. “I’ve seen our folks ramp that up in the last five years. They’re doing better work than ever before and that’s what it’s all about. That’s the investment that Hoosiers make in Purdue Extension, and our folks are following through on that investment.”

Hibberd starts at Nebraska on October 1st. Mintert, at Purdue since 2009, will assume his new role September 27th and serve while Dean Jay Akridge’s search committee does its work.

“Jay Akridge is launching a national search. He wants a really good, strong leader who can come in and make sure Purdue Extension is going in the right direction, kind of maintaining the trajectory that we’re on and the momentum we have right now. So they’re going to take their time and do that right, and that’s no small task.”

Mintert’s work most recently includes coordinating Purdue Extension’s response to this summer’s drought, the worst drought in more than 50 years.

“It is an effort that has been both important to our state and well received by our stakeholders,” Akridge said.

Before joining Purdue, Mintert (pictured) spent 23 years at Kansas State University as professor and Extension state leader for agricultural economics. He is also a professor of agricultural economics, holds bachelors and master’s degrees from Purdue and a doctoral degree from the University of Missouri.

Mintert is the author of more than 200 publications on the economics of the livestock industry. He also has received numerous honors, including Outstanding Extension Program Awards from both the American Agricultural Economics Association and the Western Agricultural Economics Association, and the AAEA’s Premier Forecaster Award for his livestock production and price forecasts.[audio:http://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/09/Chuck-Hibberd-on-Extension-changes.mp3|titles=Chuck Hibberd on Extension changes]