sealPurdue News

uly 5, 1996

Ayres becomes Extension director for community development

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Janet Ayres, professor of agricultural economics, has been chosen assistant director-program leader for leadership and community development of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.

She succeeds agricultural economist Bob Jones, who retired. Her appointment was effective Monday (7/1).

In her role as Extension leadership development specialist, Ayres teaches leaders how to understand and effect change in their communities. Some of her recent programs include Take Charge, a consensus-building program for rural communities; Leadership 2000, a leadership program for farm people; Partners in Community Leadership, a program for rural youth; and Sustaining Action in Community Issues. She helped initiate the Indiana Ag Leadership Program, the Family Community Leadership Program, and several other programs for rural communities. She now is developing materials on 24 basic leadership skills and conducting leadership training programs for 200 Extension educators in Indiana. She has developed and conducted leadership training in Poland and Hungary.

Ayres also works with state and federal agencies and private companies on rural development issues. She co-developed the Search for Solutions rural development program with Pioneer Hi-Bred International; served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Revitalization Task Force in 1989; and was appointed by Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh to chair the Rural Development Task Force in 1990. She is on the governing board of the Indiana Rural Development Council, chairs the board of directors of the Indiana Agricultural Leadership Institute, serves on the National Rural Development Policy Panel and is a member of the National Strategic Plan for Leadership and Volunteer Development.

Ayres was born and raised on a Carroll County dairy farm. She and her husband, Lynn Corson, live on a 150-year-old farm outside of Delphi. They are active in community and statewide historic preservation efforts.

Ayres received her bachelor's and doctoral degrees in sociology from Purdue and a master's degree in regional planning from Cornell University. She is a certified planner and was awarded a fellowship by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 1990 to participate in a three-year leadership development program, traveling to 24 countries to study leadership in emerging democracies. Through other programs, Ayres has traveled to more than 50 countries studying leadership and rural development.

With Purdue since 1977, she received the Junior Extension Specialist Award in 1987; the Epsilon Sigma Phi Meritorious Service Award in 1992; the Sharvelle Distinguished Extension Specialist Award in 1993; the Senior Extension Award in 1994; and the North Central Mid-Career Award in 1994.

The Purdue Extension Service is a federal, state and county partnership that provides scientific and technical information to improve Indiana food, fiber and feed industries and to enhance the quality of life for rural and urban residents. Backed by faculty and specialists in West Lafayette, educators based in each Indiana county provide science-based information on economic, environmental and social concerns.

Program areas include agriculture and natural resources, nutrition, 4-H, family resources, and community development.

ACS code/960705 AgR Ayres/no

Source: Janet Ayres, (765) 494-4215

Writer: Chris Sigurdson, (765) 494-8415; home, (765) 497-2433; Internet,

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page