Purdue’s Plaut: ‘We Need More Students in Agriculture’

Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell threw for four touchdowns and over 200 yards, three of those touchdowns to wide receiver Charlie Jones, leading the Boilermakers to a dominant 56-0 win over Indiana State Saturday. Now you’re thinking, “This isn’t the type of news I typically get from Hoosier Ag Today.” No, we didn’t change formats- we’re still focused on agriculture. Saturday was Ag Day at Ross-Ade stadium where Purdue football helps to spread awareness for the industry and honors all those who work in agriculture.
Purdue Ag Dean Karen Plaut took in the festivities Saturday and talked with Hoosier Ag Today at the Purdue Ag Alumni tailgate. She says that while enrollment in the College of Ag has been moving higher, “We still need more students in agriculture, and we need to continue to get them trained in data science, trained in the technologies that are really important for the future. That’s one of the things we’re really actively working on.
“We need to bring students over from computer science and engineering because the challenges for agriculture are multi-disciplinary. So, we have to bring teams together across the whole university to continue to move agriculture forward.”
Plaut explains that a workforce focused on digital agriculture and data science is what Indiana’s ag employers are looking for and where Purdue graduates can shine.
“So, we have a new minor in digital agriculture, we continue to push that forward. We’re actually, over the next year, developing some online courses so that you can get a certificate in data in agriculture online for people that are already in the workforce because many of our businesses are also talking about retraining some of their workforce to have these skills.”
Plaut’s pitch to students around the state to consider the College of Agriculture at Purdue: “We make a difference. Food and feeding people is a fundamental to everything we do. And so, what happens when you come into agriculture, whether you’re passionate about food or the environment or agriculture production, we have a place for you. You can use some of the best skills you have in engineering, in computer science, and apply them to real world problems. So, we want every one of you to come to Purdue Agriculture.”
Saturday was the fifth Ag Day for Purdue football. The Boilers are now 1-1 on the season.

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