Outstanding service recognized by Purdue Extension

November 7, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue Extension honored an educator, specialist and others Thursday (Nov. 7) for the exceptional service they have provided to their profession, the university and the people of Indiana.

Special awards presented during the Extension's annual Professional Development Conference luncheon and the honorees were:

* Outstanding Extension Specialist: Bruce Bordelon of Purdue University's Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. Bordelon is known particularly for his expertise on cultivar adaptation and small fruit crop management in the Midwest and eastern U.S.

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.   

* Paul B. Crooks Award: Roy Ballard, Extension educator in Hancock County. The award is presented annually to an Extension educator with at least 10 years of experience and who has made a significant impact in their assigned areas, displayed excellence in teamwork and collaboration, and developed exceptional Extension programming.

Ballard has coordinated webinars to engage beginning and experienced farmers looking to expand their markets and learn more about farming. He also is a leader in the establishment of the Farm Sustainability Tours in 2007 and 2008 for operators of small and organic farms. He developed agritourism sessions offered as part of the Indiana Horticultural Congress.

Ballard took a lead role in establishment of the Hancock Harvest Council and the Hoosier Harvest Market, both of which have provided new marketing opportunities to small farmers and increased central Indiana residents' access to local foods.

As the Indiana coordinator of U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, Ballard provides funds for educator training and support for innovative growers throughout the state. He also is director of Hancock County Soil Waste Management District, coordinating recycling efforts in the county and providing programming such as pesticide applicator recertification program and the Master Gardener training programs.

* Purdue Extension Director's Award: Former Purdue Extension Directors Dave Petritz and Hank Wadsworth, and Karen Plaut, senior associate dean for research and faculty affairs;

Petritz served as Purdue Extension director from 1999 to 2007, when he retired. He gave 35 years of service to Purdue, including as associate vice provost for engagement. As Extension director, Petritz had the role of helping the university become more engaged in trying to find solutions to the problems facing Indiana. Among his accomplishments, Petritz worked on several programs to help farm families deal with difficult financial times and coordinated the 1988 drought response effort.

Wadsworth was Purdue Extension director from 1983 to 1999, during which time he also served as an Indiana State Fair director. He previously worked in the Purdue Department of Agricultural Economics as an Extension specialist in farm management and community development from 1962 to 1973. As chairman of Food Finders Food Bank in Lafayette, Ind., Wadsworth oversees a food bank that last year distributed more than 2.5 million pounds of food to 180 food pantries in 16 north-central Indiana counties.

Jason Henderson, who became director of Purdue Extension this year, said he was proud to follow in the footsteps of Petritz and Wadsworth.

"Their leadership and passion for Extension have left a strong foundation and legacy," he said.

Plaut provides leadership of research programs in agriculture, food and natural resources, including fiscal management, and regulatory functions assigned by the state Legislature. Among her responsibilities, she coordinates agricultural research with the College of Health and Human Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine and assures linkage with other campus research communities and Extension.

"As a provider of research-based educational programming, partnerships between research and Extension are essential," Henderson said. "The support of Karen Plaut in building these relationships are core to great Extension programming that makes a difference in communities in Indiana and across the nation. "

Writer: Jennifer Piotrowski, 765-494-8402, mailto:jpiotrow@purdue.edu

Source: Jason Henderson, 765-494-8489, mailto:jhenderfson@purdue.edu

Note to journalists: Photos of the award recipients will be available at http://www.ag.purdue.edu/extension/awards/.

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