Chuck Hibberd is wrapping up service as the Purdue University Director of Extension within the Purdue University College of Agriculture. A Nebraska native, he will leave his post to assume a similar position at the University of Nebraska. His duties there begin Oct. 1.
Until a new person is identified and hired, Jim Mintert will assume the role of associate dean and interim director of Purdue Extension. Dean Jay Akridge made the announcement last week. Dean Akridge has appointed a search committee to find a replacement for Hibberd. A similar search committee recommended Hibberd when he came to Purdue.
Mintert was a professor in ag economics and prolific writer of scientific articles, primarily about economics and the livestock industry, during a 23-year career at Kansas State University. He came to Purdue three years ago. Mintert did his bachelor's and undergraduate training at Purdue, and received a doctorate degree from the University of Missouri.
It was his work coordinating Purdue's efforts in response to this summer's drought that caught Dean Akridge's attention. Mintert spearheaded efforts to get as much help as Extension could offer out to farmers and rural residents, even before the drought became severe. He was the main mover behind an early July meeting at the Indiana State Fairgrounds that brought Purdue Extension educators, state specialists, the media and other major stakeholders together to learn various perspectives on what might lie ahead, and to brainstorm solutions if the drought worsened.
The rest is history. The drought worsened, and Purdue Extension educators on the ground and specialists have been at the forefront in providing information to farm families. With the wide range in income expected this year, Purdue specialists are expected to stay at the forefront, offering everything from tax advice to how to cope with depression when things go sour.
Dean Akridge has yet to announce a formal timeline for replacing Hibberd on a permanent basis.