May 21, 2013
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around the college

In this issue:
  FFA leader receives honorary ag degree
  Purdue senior appointed to ag leadership role
  Nominations sought for Women in Agriculture Awards

FFA leader receives honorary ag degree

The chief executive officer of the National FFA Organization can now add an honorary doctorate to his growing list of Purdue College of Agriculture degrees.

Dwight Armstrong

Dwight Armstrong

W. Dwight Armstrong, MS ’73, PhD ’75, was honored along with the 350 students who received undergraduate or graduate degrees from the College of Agriculture during Purdue’s annual commencement exercises May 11.

A native of Kuttawa, Ky., where he grew up on a small farm, Armstrong graduated from Lyon County High School and was an active leader in the National FFA Organization.

Armstrong earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Murray State University in 1971 before coming to Purdue to earn his master’s and doctoral degrees in animal sciences in 1973 and 1975, respectively. Armstrong joined the faculty at North Carolina State University, where he engaged in teaching, research and Extension work in swine nutrition from 1975 to 1982.

From 1982 to 2000, Armstrong worked with Akey Inc. in Lewisburg, Ohio, as director of nutrition and director of sales, and later became its president. Akey was a privately held animal nutrition solutions supplier that served all of the U.S.

The next edition of ConnectionsNOW!(Thurs., May 30) will reveal how the College of Agriculture fared in a worldwide ranking of ag schools.

In 2000, the company was sold to Provimi, a public company in the Netherlands. With Provimi, Armstrong was CEO of North American Nutrition Companies, director of the Americas and vice president of the Global Group. In this last role, he lived in the Netherlands and had operational responsibilities for Provimi’s businesses in the Americas, France and Switzerland, and also served as a global innovation leader.

In 2008, he retired from Provimi and started his own consulting business with a focus on animal nutrition and agribusiness. In 2009, Armstrong joined the National FFA Organization as its chief operating officer and was later named CEO, the position he currently holds.

Armstrong received Purdue’s Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award in 1995 and received Murray State University’s Outstanding Agriculture Alumnus Award in 2002 and its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2007.

Purdue senior appointed to ag leadership role

Purdue student Joe Rust, Seymour, Ind., has been selected as a member of the 2013–14 Agriculture Future of America Student Advisory Team.

Based in Kansas City, Mo., AFA is a nonprofit organization providing leader development, intern support, and leader and academic scholarships to young men and women pursuing careers in the agriculture and food industry.

Dwight Armstrong

Purdue senior Joe Rust is serving a one-year term as a member of the Agriculture Future of America’s Student Advisory Team.
(Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)

A senior majoring in agribusiness management, Rust served as president of the Purdue student body during the 2012–13 school year and is interning this summer with Elanco Animal Health.

“I am excited to serve AFA and the agricultural industry because of the purpose we have in making the world a better place,” Rust said. “I am proud to be a part of something that has such a huge impact on our future.”

Throughout the year of service, Rust and his fellow team members will serve as ambassadors between their college campuses and AFA and its corporate partners.

“AFA is a national organization that is developing college students to be the future leaders of the agriculture industry,” said Rust.

Rust and eight others were selected through a competitive application process. The team members met with the AFA campus ambassadors in April in Kansas City to kick off their year of service and go through training and goal-setting exercises.

“My involvement in AFA has already had a huge impact on my college career. I know my experience as a member of the Student Advisory Team will be instrumental in developing my skills as a leader in the agricultural industry,” Rust said.

Nominations sought for Women in Agriculture Awards

Nominations are being sought for the 2013 Purdue Extension Women in Agriculture Awards.

Two awards—the Leadership Award and the Achievement Award—are presented annually to women who demonstrate leadership and innovation and make positive contributions to Indiana agriculture through their work in agricultural enterprises, agribusiness, farms or commodity organizations.

The Leadership Award honors women who serve Indiana agriculture through agribusiness or policymaking, while the Achievement Award is given to women who are directly involved in a home farming operation. Both awards consist of a recognition plaque and registration and lodging at the 2014 Women in Agriculture Conference.

Women may nominate themselves or be nominated by peers. Nominations are due by May 31, and the awards will be presented Aug. 14 at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis. The nomination form is available here (PDF download: 235 KB).

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