sealPurdue News

July 1999

Petritz named head of Purdue Extension

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The dean of the Purdue University School of Agriculture announced today (6/4) that David C. Petritz has been named director of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, effective July 1.

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David C. Petritz
Petritz, a 27-year veteran of Purdue Extension, serves as assistant director and leads the agricultural and natural resources program.

"We're very excited to have Dave in this new role," said Dean Vic Lechtenberg. "Because of his many years working with the people of Indiana, Dave brings a strong understanding of the problems and opportunities Hoosiers face and of the Extension programs that stretch from farmers to families."

Purdue Extension is a cooperative effort among federal, county and state governments that puts research-based university expertise in every Indiana county. Extension educators work with youth and families, agricultural producers, civic leaders and businesses to address local issues. These programs include rural and urban land use, parenting classes, 4-H, economic development and environmental stewardship.

Petritz said his first priority will be to make sure that Extension's diverse clientele continues to be well-served.

"We work with a lot of different people in many different ways, from tutoring programs for at-risk youth to helping farmers and rural economies compete in a global marketplace," Petritz said. "Our job is to help Hoosiers take charge of their future.

"For instance, kids haven't changed, but society has. Children are born with the same potential they've always had. One of our important thrusts is to teach parents, and children, the skills they need do their best. That happens in 4-H and Homemaker clubs, in Extension classes and through publications and distance education courses.

"At the same time, we're working with livestock and crop producers to help them compete with neighboring states and neighboring countries. The beauty of Extension is that it works on global issues at the community level."

Petritz came to Purdue in 1972 as an assistant professor of agricultural economics working in farm management. He became a full professor in 1982 and took over as assistant head for Extension education in Purdue's Department of Agricultural Economics. He became agriculture and natural resources program leader in 1989.

He replaces Hank Wadsworth, who has served as the head of Purdue Extension and associate dean of the School of Agriculture since 1983. One of Wadsworth's foremost achievements as director was maintaining a strong county-based Extension system, Lechtenberg said. Wadsworth will retire at the end of June.

Source: Vic Lechtenberg, (765) 494-8391

Dave Petritz, (765) 494-8494

Writer: Chris Sigurdson, (765) 494-84155

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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