Nov. 8, 2013

 

around the college

In this issue:
Students given insight to starting a business
Bordelon chosen as Outstanding Extension Specialist

Purdue agricultural alumni who spoke to students on Entrepreneurship Day are (from left) Johann (Joe) Garwood, co-founder and managing member of Fulcrum Exploration of Dallas; Kim (Schwarzkopf) DeWees, founder of Vision Ag Inc. of Rensselaer, Ind.; Mona Baker Wolf, president and founder of The Wolf Group of Cincinnati; Barbara Cohen, founder and CSO of Arex Life Sciences Inc. of Boston; and Malcolm DeKryger, president of Belstra Milling Co. Inc. of DeMotte, Ind. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)


Students given insight to starting a business

Purdue University agriculture students learned what it takes to start a business when they heard the stories of alumni who became successful entrepreneurs themselves.

Daylong interaction Nov. 7 with business owners who are College of Agriculture alumni culminated with presentations from five speakers on the topic of "Life Lessons from an Entrepreneur" in Pfendler Hall's Deans Auditorium. The event extended to the entire college the Entrepreneurship Day that the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering held last year.

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann tells students of the need for entrepreneurship in local communities and about how the state encourages entrepreneurship through a variety of programs. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)

"Entrepreneurship Day provided our students the chance to meet and learn from a very creative group of people who have launched and managed various types of businesses," said Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture. "Hopefully, this will inspire some of these students to become the next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs."

Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and Dan Hasler, president of the Purdue Research Foundation, told the students about financial incentives and other opportunities for developing, promoting and licensing innovative products. Ellspermann said starting a business enables entrepreneurs to help the economies of local communities.

The five alumni who spoke — along with the advice they gave to the students — were:

  • Barbara Cohen, founder and CSO of Arex Life Sciences Inc. of Boston, representing the biochemistry department. On creating a service or product, consider the greater purpose: "Bring something forth that can benefit other people."
  • Malcolm DeKryger, president of Belstra Milling Co. Inc. of DeMotte, Ind., representing animal sciences. On commitment, dedication and drive: "Will your vocation be your 'addiction'? It takes just that. You have to want it that bad."
  • Kim (Schwarzkopf) DeWees, founder of Vision Ag Inc. of Rensselaer, Ind., representing agricultural economics. On taking risks: "You take a risk, and that is part of what drives you. Whatever you want to achieve, go with your gut and do it."

  • Johann (Joe) Garwood, co-founder and managing member of Fulcrum Exploration of Dallas, representing agricultural and biological engineering. On mentorship and getting help from smart, talented people: "You've got to know where to go to get the right advice. You don't have to be the sharpest knife in the drawer. Just surround yourself with those who are sharper than you are."

  • Mona Baker Wolf, president and founder of The Wolf Group of Cincinnati, representing food science. On realizing your potential and possibilities: "If you never dream, you'll never get there."

Bordelon chosen as Outstanding Extension Specialist

Bruce Bordelon of Purdue University's Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture is the 2013 recipient of the Outstanding Extension Specialist Award. Bordelon is known particularly for his expertise on cultivar adaptation and small fruit crop management in the Midwest and eastern United States.

Bruce Bordelon (left) is passionate about grapes and about teaching. The 2013 recipient of the Outstanding Extension Specialist Award, Bordelon is shown teaching students about the wine-making process at Purdue’s vineyard this fall. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)

He received the award at the Purdue Extension annual Professional Development Conference luncheon Nov. 7.

Bordelon is a leader in the creation of regional peer-reviewed production manuals for commercial small fruit growers. He has made presentations on a variety of topics at more than 150 conferences and workshops during the past 22 years and has collaborated on many others, including the Purdue grape and wine workshops, Indiana Wine Grape Symposium, the Indiana Horticultural Congress and the Heartland Grape and Wine Symposium. He has also led international Extension study courses for the wine grape industry to Italy, Chile and Argentina.

Bordelon's research has benefited the wine industry in Indiana and the region; essentially all new plantings of grapes are of superior cultivars identified by his research. His research on Traminette has made it the most widely grown cultivar in the region.

For additional news about Purdue Extension awards, please see the following articles:

ConnectionsNOW! provides the latest news for students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of Purdue Agriculture. Find out more -->