When this semester ends in December at Purdue University, Dan Gottschalk, a long-time veteran educator will say goodbye to students for the last time, turn out the lights in his office and get ready for a lifestyle change.
Gottschalk is ending his career where it began – teaching agriculture education principles to students at Purdue who want to be ag education teachers. Some also become extension educators or go into other businesses related to agriculture.
How long has Gottschalk been around? Let's just say he taught me in my teaching methods class in the early 1970s, and I wasn't his first student. I went on to teach four years at Cascade and Whiteland High Schools before becoming a field editor with Indiana Prairie Farmer in 1981.
Gottschalk ventured into other fields in the years after that, serving as a banker specializing in loaning to farmers in north-central Indiana. He also has offered help in farm management.
For many years, he was a panelist on the Profit Planners column in Indiana Prairie Farmer magazine. If you recognized his name, that may be where you first read it. He offered advice on a number of key farm management issues during the recovery period in the 1980s when many farmers were struggling to get back on their feet financially after the ag recession.
At some point, his love of FFA and teaching, especially teaching those who want to teach, brought him back to the Purdue Ag Education staff in the Youth Development option. That's from where he will retire in just a few short weeks.
Gottschalk plans to move south to enjoy better weather with his wife upon retirement. Congratulations on a long, productive career, Dan!