By MEGGIE I. FOSTER
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — For Purdue College of Agriculture graduates interested in catching up with old schoolmates or simply those who enjoy a good fish fry and an intriguing keynote speaker, the annual Purdue Fish Fry on Feb. 2 is must-attend yearly event.
“The Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry is essentially a family reunion for Indiana agriculture,” said Danica Kirpatrick, engagement program manager for Purdue’s College of Agriculture. “Not only do we draw alumni from Purdue, but it’s a great place to network for anyone interested in agriculture. Our keynote speaker, Steve Inskeep, has broad appeal and will share with us the lessons he’s learned through his life and making every second count.”
The annual Fish Fry will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Marsh Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. The 2013 featured speaker, Steve Inskeep is the host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition host.
A native of Carmel, Ind., Inskeep will speak on the theme of “Every Second Counts,” in which he will tell of his experiences in broadcast production as a metaphor for larger lessons in life.
Tickets to the Fish Fry are $25 each and will not be sold at the door.
More information on tickets, parking permits and on-site child care is available at www.ag.purdue. edu/agalumni or by calling the agricultural alumni office at 765-494-8593.
In addition to the always well-attended Fish Fry, Purdue University will also host the annual Ag Forecast which precedes the Fry at 9:30 a.m. “Balancing Act: Meeting the Growing Demands for Food, Enhanced Animal Well-being and Consumer Trust” will be the topic of discussion at the Forecast in the Grand Hall, also at the State Fairgrounds.
“Far too often discussions about animal well-being are political, and they can erode quickly,” said Candace Croney, a Purdue University associate professor of animal sciences who will lead the panel’s discussion.
“If we’re not objective in our discussions, then we polarize ourselves by pulling people farther apart. We want to help clarify what the conversation should be so that all sides are not just competing for sound bites on the newscasts.”
The public’s increasing desire to know where their food comes from and how it is produced must be part of that discussion, Croney said.
She added, however, that pressure from the public should not be the sole or primary impetus for changes in production practices.
Other panelists included in the Ag Forecast are Nicole Olynk Widmar, assistant professor of agricultural economics, also at Purdue, and Jeremy Marchant-Forde, research animal scientist in the Purdue-based Livestock Behavior Research Unit of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Olynk Widmar will also present research on concerns that consumers say they have about animal well-being. Additionally, Marchant-Forde will talk about what makes animal welfare issues, particularly sow housing, so complicated and often difficult to resolve.
For more details on the Ag Forecast, which is free and open to the public, visit www.ag.purdue.edu/agalumni