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February 27, 2013

9 alumni to receive Purdue Agriculture's top award

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Nine Purdue University College of Agriculture alumni will receive the college's highest honor, the Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award, at a ceremony Friday (March 1) on campus.

The annual award honors mid-career Purdue Agriculture graduates who have made significant contributions to their profession or society in general and have a record of outstanding accomplishments.

The award will be presented during a convocation at 3:30 p.m. in the Purdue Memorial Union North Ballroom. A 2:30 p.m. reception, open to the public, will precede the ceremony.

Timothy Adms

Timothy Adams
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"These nine people are terrific representatives of what we do so well - prepare students to make a difference,” said Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture. "They are businesspeople, farmers, scientists and entrepreneurs working in both the public and private sectors - and they are all leaders. We take great pride in our alumni, and these are nine of our best."

The 2013 recipients are (all academic degrees from Purdue):

Rick L. Brandenburg

Rick L. Brandenburg
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* Timothy Adams (B.S. '82) of Martinsville, Ind., an independent consultant with MBO Partners since retiring from the U.S. Army as a brigadier general in 2012 after a 33-year military career. Adams headed the U.S. Army Public Health Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, and he also was commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, the Army's assistant surgeon general for force projection and chief of the Veterinary Corps.

Michael Emerson

Michael Emerson
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* Rick L. Brandenburg (B.S. '77), the William Neal Reynolds Professor of Distinction in the Department of Entomology at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. Brandenburg is co-director of the Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education and is an internationally recognized authority on insect pest management in turf and peanuts. He recently joined an international project to improve the agricultural infrastructure in Liberia and is working to develop projects to address diet and nutrition problems in West Africa.

Zarrell Gray

Zarrell Gray
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* Michael Emerson (B.S. '88), senior vice president of international design company VOA Associates, based in Chicago. Emerson's design credits include Chicago's Navy Pier; the city master plan for Su Qian, China; the University of Cincinnati's Marriott Kingsgate Conference Center; the Cleveland Waterfront Master Plan; and the Jockey Club in Miami. Emerson was a project leader for Purdue's Hanley Hall, which houses the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

Lisa Koester

Lisa Koester
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* Zarrell Gray (B.S. '90), executive vice president and chief operating officer of Teays River Investments in Carmel, Ind. After graduating from Purdue, Gray worked alongside his grandfather, father and uncle to learn the family business, Gray's Seed Inc. of Fairland, Ind. He became owner and business manager before joining with his college friend, Richard Halderman, to form Teays River Investments. Gray has served on the board of directors and as president and vice president of the Indiana Seed Trade Association and the Indiana Crop Improvement Association.

Scott Lineback

Scott Lineback
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* Lisa Koester (B.S. '94), an implementation leader/moderator for Beck Ag and part-owner of Koester Brothers Farms in Wadesville, Ind. At Beck Ag, Koester has helped to engage more than 1 million agricultural professionals in customized peer-to-peer and expert-to-peer strategies. Koester works with clients to develop customized marketing solutions.

Charles E. Owubah

Charles E. Owubah
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* Scott Lineback (M.S. '89), vice president of process innovation at ConAgra Foods in Omaha, Neb., where he leads a team focused on identifying, evaluating and commercializing new process technologies. Lineback previously held leadership positions with companies such as Tropicana Products, PepsiCo, Barilla America and Nestlé Foods.

Muhammad Abdur Razzaque

Muhammad Abdur Razzaque
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* Charles E. Owubah (MS '92, Ph.D. '99), regional vice president of World Vision East Africa, a humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities in tackling the causes of poverty in more than 100 countries. A native of Ghana, Owubah oversees leadership and management of nine national offices in East Africa with an annual budget of $546 million and more than 6,000 staff. 

Jeffrey Veenhuizen

Jeffrey Veenhuizen
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* Muhammad Abdur Razzaque (Ph.D. '83), minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh Ministry of Food and Disaster Management since 2009.  Razzaque has worked to reduce disaster risks while enhancing community resilience. Razzaque started his professional career as a scientific officer of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, the apex organization of National Agricultural Research System, and was promoted to the rank of chief scientific officer. He also was national coordinator of integrated farming system research and development. 

* Jeffrey Veenhuizen (B.S. '81), director of regulatory strategy/operations and chief of staff for Monsanto Co. in St. Louis. He started his career with Monsanto as a senior research biologist in 1989 after a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Georgia.

Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, robins89@purdue.edu

Source: Jay Akridge, 765-494-8391, akridge@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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