sealPurdue News

September 20, 1996

Purdue ag dean receives gold medal for Polish project

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue University Dean of Agriculture Victor Lechtenberg and Richard Quandt of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York City have received The Gold Medal from the Agricultural University of Krakow, Poland, for their leadership and support of The Purdue/Poland Project.

The 3-year-old project is aimed at developing a Polish extension system similar to the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. The system helps Polish agricultural universities provide scientific information and technical support to the nation's farmers and agriculture-related industries. "We work on opportunity rather than problems," said Purdue program director Richard Gelzleichter. He added that continued education of professionals throughout their lifetime is one of the primary goals of the project and was the missing link in Poland's former Communist-led university system.

The project also provides support for research and academic programs. The main areas of interest include agribusiness, water quality, rural development and leadership, food sciences, and horticulture. In addition, the program is updating Polish research textbooks. Gelzleichter said modern textbooks and translated materials are a vital part of the continuing education and extension training processes.

The program has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation since 1994. "That support has been essential in building our successful collaborations and programs," Gelzleichter said.

Krakow Agricultural University Senate Citations were awarded to the following Purdue people for their work on the project: Gelzleichter and Charles Rhykerd, from the Office of International Programs in Agriculture; Oscar Hopkins, formerly of the Department of Agricultural Economics, and Joseph Uhl and Janet Ayres, both from that department; James Chambers and Jay Marks, Department of Food Sciences; and Richard Edwards, Department of Entomology. Private citizens honored were Philip and Martha Smith of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Raymond and Nina Musselman of Mexico, Ind.; Jerry and Elizabeth McLaughlin, Donald Connelly and Patti Gelzleichter, all of West Lafayette; and Stephen Dlugosz of Countrymark Inc. in Indianapolis.

Also honored with the Senate Citation were Polish-American groups in South Bend that donated the seed money necessary to start the project.

The Purdue/Poland Project also is developing extension systems at the Universities of Warsaw and Poznan in Poland.

CONTACT: Richard Gelzleichter, (765) 494-8461; home (765) 463-3361

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