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Purdue University Names New Extension Director

Purdue University Names New Extension Director
Federal Reserve Bank leader will fill empty chair.

Dean of the College of Agriculture at Purdue University Jay Akridge Tuesday announced that Chuck Hibberds' empty spot as Director of Extension is now officially filled. Hibberd resigned to return to a similar position in his home state of Nebraska last year. A search committee interviewed four candidates, and the process resulted in the announcement.

Jason Henderson is the new Extension director. He will leave his post as a vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He was in charge of rural outreach and research programs in that position.

New leader: Jason Henderson will become Purdue's new leader of Extension in May.

As well as becoming Director of Extension, he will also become an associate dean at Purdue. A Purdue University graduate, he begins his new role on May 28.

Akridge said that the committee looked for someone who could build on Extension's strong role in Indiana. He believes they found that person in Henderson.

"He's been instrumental in shaping outreach programs for the Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve, and is one of the country's leading voices on agricultural and rural community issues. He generated widespread support not only from our search committee who formally interviewed him and the other candidates, but also from Extension specialists and educators who were involved at some point in the selection process."

His major area of emphasis is economics. He attended a financial health workshop as a speaker at the Beck Center today. He was introduced also as the incoming director of Extension at Purdue.

An Iowa native, growing up on a dairy farm in northwest Iowa in the 1980s, he learned a lot about rural communities. Part of Extension's challenge in Indiana is to include rural communities in any growth plans, not just the large suburban and metropolitan areas. While Indiana is not as rural as Nebraska or Iowa, it still has many areas where rural communities depend upon agriculture to survive in the long haul.

He received a masters degree from Purdue University in 1996 and a doctorate degree in 2001.

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