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Purdue Extension Martin County Blast July 3, 2023


The State Tractor Contest is Wednesday, August 9th at The Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis, Indiana. Only Area qualifiers may proceed to compete at State Contest. 


VOLUNTEER opportunities

Have you ever thought about a talent you have or a talent you want to develop alongside youth in the 4-H Program? 

Purdue Extension & Martin County 4-H is seeking adults to work to MAKE THE BEST BETTER through 4-H programs. Contact Dena to explore how to work together in this way.  No matter how much time you have, volunteering with 4-H makes a difference by helping youth explore and discover the skills they need to lead for a lifetime. There are lots of ways to get involved! Currently, 4-H Club Leaders are needed for All Terrain Vehicle Program, Shooting Sports and STEM/Robotics. Various content specialist and general volunteers are also needed. Looking to help with the 4-H Fair and have some ideas?  Join one of the committees. Wonder how we can continue to bring fun and learning to youth through 4-H all year long? Do you have ideas?  NOW IS THE BEST TIME TO GET INVOLVED!

Parents, family and adult friends of 4-H members are often a natural fit to help with programming and is one way to spending quality time with the youth in your lives!




One way to earn admission into Purdue University is through Fast Start. Indiana Students can take the Modern States online courses for free.  Those who pass a minimum of five corresponding College Board CLEP exams and meet Purdue’s standard admission requirements are assured admission to Purdue and designated Klinsky Scholars. CLEP testing centers are now open along with online options. The Purdue Extension Martin County Office staff are available to help local students access this opportunity! 



2023 INDIANA STATE FAIR – JULY 28 – AUGUST 20, 2023 Closed Monday & Tuesdays




MARTIN COUNTY 4-H FAIR 2023 Schedule of ALL Activities


*More activities to be added/subject to change* updated 6-23-2023



Wednesday, July 12

6:30 pm                                    Clean up *All 4-H members & 4-H volunteers/leaders*


Monday, July 17 to Friday, July 21

8:00 am – 3:00 pm                    Static projects (except foods & garden) for the Indiana State Fair are to be provided to the Extension Office or as individually scheduled by calling 812-295-2412. Floriculture members are encouraged to consider individually scheduling. 


Monday, July 31

8:15 am to 9:30 am                   Foods & garden projects for the Indiana State Fair are to be provided to the Extension Office or as individually scheduled by calling 812-295-2412.





Books are now live at the following address:





4-H began over 100 years ago and has since grown into the largest youth development program in the nation. 4-H prepares young people to be leaders in their community and around the world through hands-on experiences alongside their peers and caring adults. Backed by a network of more than 6 million youth, 540,000 adult volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 60 million alumni, 4-H delivers research-based programming around positive youth development. 4-H is delivered through America’s 109 land-grant universities and the Cooperative Extension Service, reaching every corner of our nation.


In Indiana, 4-H can be found in all 92 counties delivered through Purdue Extension. Community clubs, afterschool programs, school enrichment, camps/workshops, and special interest programs are all ways youth across Indiana can be involved with the 4-H program. The impact of 4-H for life skill development providing college & career pathways is proven.  Volunteer leadership in 4-H provides a part of the critical competencies required for 4-H programming. Thank you to all volunteers! 


We invite all youth, kindergarten to twelfth grade, to join 4-H! The program provides opportunity for all!



Help the local food banks at the 4-H Fair, July 7-11. For every 5 pounds of non-perishable food items, one state fair ticket will be given ($14 per ticket value). The tickets are limited, but the need for food is not. Please come out and support the food banks. Cash donations for Fairs Cares Program will also be accepted.



WHERE:  Southern Indiana Purdue Ag Center, Dubois, IN

WHEN:  Friday, September 29, 2023 – Beef Focused Program

               Saturday, September 30, 2023 – Sheep & Goat Focused Program


From Ryegate,  MT. Curt Pate uses his personal experience incorporating effective stockmanship principles, supports a “for profit” mindset and focuses on highlighting the increased economic benefits of handling stock correctly.  In addition,  Curt recognizes the growing public scrutiny surrounding livestock production and the impact that improved livestock handling practices create for the sustainability of the cattle industry.



WHEN:  July 27, 2023   

WHERE:  Purdue Student Farm, (

1491 Cherry Lane, West Lafayette, IN  47906

REGISTRATION:  Open Now at: &

TIME:  Registration 8:00 to 9:00 am EST

DEMONSTRATIONS: 9:00 – 12:00 noon EST

Food trucks will be on site for those who would like to purchase lunch after demonstrations end. 

QUESTIONS:  Petrus Langenhoven at 765-496-7955 or Lori Jolly-Brown at 765-494-1296

Visit the website listed above for description of demonstrations.

We are excited to announce that the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center Field Day is scheduled for    June 28, 2023, at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center (SWPAC), 4669 N. Purdue Rd. Vincennes, IN.

Purdue researchers and NRCS representatives will present their current research and demonstration projects in fruit and vegetable production conducted at SWPAC. The topics include a cover crop demonstration, high tunnel tomato cultivar evaluation, high tunnel tomato and cucumber disease and insect management, benefits of companion plants, strawberry production, irrigation management, weed management in organic sweet potato, soil health and pepper production, the effect of cover crops on pest and beneficial insects in watermelon production and more! Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from fruit and vegetable production experts.




4-H'ers, families, and volunteers: we need your input!  Click on the above link and complete this survey to tell us about your 4-H priorities & experience. Your answers will help us submit a strong

Lilly Endowment, Inc. funding proposal that has the potential to benefit every IN 4-H'er.


PURDUE DIGITAL AG SHOWCASE: Today’s Practical Applications and Tomorrow’s Innovative Solutions

This year’s Digital Ag Showcase is at the Beck Agricultural Center in West Lafayette, Ind. on Friday, July 14, and features a variety of speakers from across the Purdue College of Agriculture in both field demonstrations and classroom presentations. The event is free with pre-registration includes lunch! Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. and the program runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

New this year are sessions focused on livestock and specialty crops, as well as sessions specifically for high school educators. Learn about digital tools and technology available for use on farms today as well as exciting research projects focused on making agriculture even more data-driven in the future. One lucky participant will win a Tello mini drone just for attending (and filling out the post-event survey).

For a list of sessions and additional details about the Digital Ag Showcase, visit



Have you ever wanted to be a part of a program that:

  • Provides hands-on leadership?
  • Allows you to meet people with similar interests from around the state?
  • Introduces you to potential future professors and employers?
  • Ignites your passion for the dairy industry?
  • Looks great on the resume you develop during the program?

Information and Academy Applications are available by contacting the Extension Office at 812-295-2412



GRANT FUNDING AVAILABLE. Grant funding allows Indiana participants to complete the certificate for $50.00 compared to its regular price of $199.00.

To help entrepreneurs, freelancers and employees enhance their remote work skills, the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) and Purdue Extension have partnered to offer the Remote Work Professional Certificate course. Grant funding allows Indiana participants to complete the certificate for $50 compared to its regular price of $199.

The Remote Work Professional Certificate course equips individuals with the skills needed to excel in a remote work environment. The course covers topics such as time management, communication, collaboration and strategies for staying focused and productive while working from home. Participants will learn about the latest tools and technologies that are essential for remote work success.

“Remote work is the future of work, and we are thrilled to offer this course to help individuals thrive in this new environment,” said Emily Del Real, PCRD engagement specialist. “With grant funding, we are able to make this course accessible, regardless of financial circumstances.”

The online certificate course consists of nine self-paced core modules and four interactive workshops. The modules will cover how to set up a virtual office and communicate professionally, as well as understanding task management and project tracking, the legal precautions of working online, problem solving, and remote professional development. Participants will need reliable access to broadband, a web camera and microphone, and basic computer proficiency. Program coaches will be available throughout the course to answer questions and guide participants through the modules. 

To register for the online course and take advantage of the grant funding program, visit and enter discount code RBDG_Grant22.

An information session will be held Thursday, May 11, 2023, at 11 a.m. ET. Register for this free session to learn more about the course at

About the Purdue Center for Regional Development

The Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) seeks to pioneer new ideas and strategies that contribute to regional collaboration, innovation and prosperity. Founded in 2005, the center partners with public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to identify and enhance the key drivers of innovation in regions across Indiana, the U.S. and beyond. These drivers include a vibrant and inclusive civic leadership, a commitment to collaboration and the application of advanced data support systems to promote sound decision-making and the pursuit of economic development investments that build on the competitive assets of regions. Learn more at

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last five years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at




In recent years, Purdue University’s Katy Rainey and Keith Cherkauer have worked to predict soybean biomass from drone imagery in Indiana.

“We’re now expanding that capability to all the public soybean breeding programs in the region,” said Rainey, professor of agronomy, who also directs the Purdue Soybean Center. Soon, she and Cherkauer will begin receiving drone imagery collected on a panel of 1,200 soybean varieties that breeders have planted in 11 states across the U.S. north-central region.

“Here at Purdue, we’ll do all the processing and modification of the images to predict biomass,” she said. The effort is part of the SOYGEN3 (Science Optimized Yield Gains across ENvironments) project. Consisting of eight universities, including Purdue, SOYGEN3 has more than $900,000 in funding from the North Central Soybean Research Program.

“The overarching goal in this experiment is to develop methods and models for selecting soybeans that will be high yielding in future extreme environments under climate-change scenarios,” Rainey said. “We know that the future environments we’re going to grow soybean in are different from the ones we have now because climate is changing. We’re getting more extreme weather, as well, from climate change.”

The project exploits software, called Plot Phenix, which rapidly converts aerial crop photographs into useful information for plant breeding, crop modeling and precision agriculture. Rainey and Cherkauer, professor of agricultural and biological engineering, and Purdue PhD alumnus Anthony Hearst, CEO of Progeny Drone Inc., patented Plot Phenix in 2022.

“I’m interested in water use, the effects of environments, and the ability to measure and simulate soybean across large areas,” said Cherkauer, who also directs the Indiana Water Resources Research Center. “Having locations that are farther apart increases the likelihood that we will have a range of environmental conditions.”

Minnesota soybean breeders and farmers plant different genetic stock than those in Indiana, for example, which requires more heat-resistant varieties. But even areas that share the same annual average precipitation could experience dramatically different years.

“We could have drought here in Indiana, and eastern Kansas could be having a normal year. Having access to so many locations that could be experiencing average weather conditions and drier conditions allows us to stretch the image analysis and the models we’re building beyond what we do right now,” Cherkauer said.

Eastern Kansas gets about the same precipitation as Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. But western Kansas receives about half as much precipitation. It resembles central-western Nebraska, the Dakotas and western Minnesota in that regard.

“Indiana is almost entirely rain-fed except for seed production and production in the sandy soils. Illinois is going to be similar. As you get into Iowa, they’re starting to see a bit more irrigation,” Cherkauer said.

Cherkauer is a co-founder of GRYFN, a Purdue-affiliated company that has provided a new drone for the project with funding from the departments of Agronomy and Agricultural and Biological Engineering and the College of Agriculture. Calibration flights for the new platform have already begun at Purdue’s Agronomy Center for Research and Education, a 1,600-acre farm facility located seven miles northwest of campus.

The SOYGEN3 collaboration will fly drones that collect imagery in red, green and blue (RGB, or true color, the type captured by regular cameras).

“SOYGEN3 is about starting with relatively inexpensive cameras and hardware systems at a variety of locations,” Cherkauer said. But the Purdue drone also will carry multispectral and thermal cameras, yielding better data sets that could lead to recommendations for their SOYGEN3 partners.

Such data could help the U.S. maintain its position as the world’s leading soybean producer. Revenues in 2022 topped $66 billion. This includes more than $34 billion in exports, according to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

“It’s a unique crop because it is very important to future protein food security,” said Rainey, who was featured prominently in the latest cover story of Seed World magazine. Yet soybean uses are mostly industrial, meaning that people consume only a small percentage of its production.

“You might occasionally eat a traditional soy food like tofu or edamame. But for the most part, 95% of soybeans globally are fed to chickens and pigs and are the basis of that food chain,” Rainey said. 

To maintain soybean’s burgeoning production, researchers will need a more finessed understanding of how weather and climate affect yield in a range of environments involving genetic variation. Breeders would then be able to select soybean varieties more strategically.

“The genetic variation is key because the most obvious way that breeders or breeding organizations in the private sector would use the data that we produce would be in what’s known as genomic prediction,” Rainey explained.

Given enough data over the entire soybean genome, genomic prediction allows breeders to create a statistical model that predicts yield for 10,000 untested lines.

“But the genomic prediction models need to be calibrated to environments and have more information in them than what’s currently in there,” Rainey said. Also needed is a model that includes biomass predictions. Such models are based on drone imagery and genetics. 

“In my lab, we work on combining that information. We’re just about the only ones to do that across the public and the private sector in soybean,” she said.



By: Katherine Jacobson – June 29,2023

Since COVID-19 sent everyone home to self-isolate inside, Purdue Extension Forester Lenny Farlee has witnessed a different kind of phenomenon. 

“More people have started taking advantage of time outdoors, and that’s a good thing. But more people going outside can lead to additional pressure on the environment if people don’t act wisely and responsibly.” 

As Indiana’s peak camping season picks up in June, Purdue Extension experts share tips on how campers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts can help protect parks and wildlife for all to enjoy.


It’s step number one: setting up camp. Farlee advises campers to restrict tents and equipment to existing and hardened campsites to prevent erosion and soil compaction of surrounding vegetation. 

“Thinking about existing guidelines as you establish camp is a big deal for conservation. I know some folks might feel constrained by this, but there are good reasons to practice this approach.” 

While they may look cute, animals like raccoons can become accustomed to being fed and cause problems looking for food in people’s tents and campers. According to Extension Wildlife Specialist Brian MacGowan, unless there are bears in the area, storing food in a locked vehicle will effectively keep wildlife out. Trash should be thoroughly discarded in locked containers or off the campsite. 

“One of the many joys of camping is seeing wildlife up close, but we have to remember to let wild animals be wild,” MacGowan said. “Even something like a cooler is not necessarily safe because a racoon can open that latch.”

When it’s time for tear-down, in addition to thoroughly picking up all trash, Horticultural Extension Entomologist Elizabeth Long suggests campers clean and inspect all vehicles, equipment and gear for signs of invasive species, such as spotted lanternfly egg masses on cars or grills or zebra mussels on boats. 

“Familiarize yourself with what egg masses look like. If you’re suspicious, just scrape it off.”


Nothing says camping more than roasting smores around a campfire, but in some weather conditions, starting fires can be dangerous. 

“Dry, windy, and low humidity conditions can pick up embers and start wildfires,” said Farlee. “Always check the fire conditions with the DNR or recreational area you’re staying at before you go.” 

If conditions are safe for a fire, campers should use only the provided rings or pits and keep water or a shovel nearby to extinguish any stray embers. If there are no existing rings, cleaning an area down to bare soil or using stones will safely contain the fire. 

“Think about where you’re placing any equipment that produces heat to avoid tree damage, protect surrounding vegetation, and prevent fires from starting,” said Farlee. “Make sure fine fuels are not close to fire—things like dry grass, leaves, or overhanging twigs.” 

Equally as important as where you start your fire is the firewood itself.  

Don’t move firewood,” said Long. “Although you can’t see them, wood-boring beetles like the emerald ash borer can be inside wood, even wood that has been dead or sitting awhile.”  

Instead, Long suggests buying firewood directly from the campsite or local gas station to prevent the spread of invasive species.


Although it may be tempting to venture off the beaten path, Purdue Extension experts agree that it’s important to stay on well-established trails to avoid erosion issues and habitat loss. Going off-trail could disturb habitats with rare plants or animals or delicate conditions, creating problems for the entire ecosystem. 

“One of the things we don’t think about is our capacity to spread invasive species through soil or residue on boots and clothing,” said Farlee. “One of the things I see along trails is a higher percentage of invasive species than in surrounding habitats, which is probably due to accidental human spread.” 

To minimize the spread of invasive species, experts suggest making sure clothing is free of seeds, ticks, and burrs and cleaning shoes before and after a hike, especially in wet areas. Clean boots and clothing to avoid spreading invasive species

“If you’re going into any kind of wetland, there’s a possibility of disease transmission from site to site. We treat waders or boots as well as sampling equipment with a bleach solution to kill pathogens that impact amphibians and reptiles,” said MacGowan. 

Not only does sticking to trails and sanitizing clothing help protect parks and habitats—it also protects the people who enjoy them. 

“Although it makes me sound like a lame hiker, if you’re not hiking on a well-managed path, you’re more likely to pick up ticks,” said Long.  

These tiny, bloodsucking parasites carry Lyme disease, and some tick bites can trigger Alpha-gal syndrome, a red meat allergy, posing a potential health risk. Hikers can wear long pants and sleeves to further protect themselves. 

If there’s one more thing experts agree on, it's that wildlife is meant to be enjoyed by everyone. Stay on the trail to prevent habitat loss.

“Take pictures!” said Farlee. “As tempting as it may be to take souvenirs like wildflowers, if everyone picked them, we wouldn’t have any. Take that low-impact approach and leave them in place for pollinators, and we’ll have even more next year.”







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