ISU Names New Director Of Center For Sustainable Rural Livelihoods

ISU Names New Director Of Center For Sustainable Rural Livelihoods

A national program leader with USDA is named director of center at Iowa State University's College of Agriculture.

A national program leader with the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been named the new director of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods at Iowa State University.

Patricia Hipple starts her new duties on December 8. She has worked at the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture or NIFA, where she's served since 2002 as the national program leader for sustainable farm enterprises. In that position, she managed a nationwide portfolio of research, education, outreach and extension activities related to sustainable farming, ag and food security, and rural development.

NEWS AT ISU: Patricia Hipple is the newly-named director of Iowa State University's Center For Sustainable Rural Livelihoods. Also, ISU announced yesterday that registration is open for the 2015 Entrepreneurial Agribusiness Executive Conference at Ames.

Many ISU faculty and students have been involved in the center
For the past decade, the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has worked together with farmers and communities in rural Uganda to address hunger and poverty through agriculture, education and service. As a result, the lives of more than 1,200 families and more than 10,000 people have been impacted through dramatic improvements to food security, economic stability, nutrition, child welfare, safe water, health, sanitation and education. Many ISU faculty, staff and students have been involved in the center's educational, research and service learning activities. The center is supported primarily by donors.

"With her experience and expertise, Dr. Hipple is uniquely qualified to take on the leadership of this unique center," said David Acker, associate dean for academic and global programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "We look forward to her efforts to enhance the center's work, which serves as a model for other parts of the world in how to work together to combat hunger."


Hipple succeeds Mark Westgate, a professor of agronomy who served as the center's director for the past five years. Westgate is returning to the agronomy department faculty. Hipple previously worked for the State of Iowa, City of Des Moines and Iowa State. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology from the University of Northern Iowa in 1975 and 1988, and earned a doctorate in sociology in 1998 at ISU.

Register now for 2015 Entrepreneurial Agribusiness Conference
In other ISU news, registration is now open for the 2015 Entrepreneurship Agribusiness Executive Conference, hosted by ISU's Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative. The conference is designed for decision makers in agribusiness. The purpose is to promote discussions and insight on issues related to agricultural business development, strategic innovation and leadership.

"Today's agribusiness leaders must be entrepreneurial in order to pursue opportunities, incubate innovation, develop new resources and ultimately push their organizations forward," said Kevin Kimle, Rastetter Chair of Entrepreneurship and the director of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative. "There are significant challenges and opportunities facing the agriculture and food industry. The Entrepreneurial Agribusiness Executive Conference provides a unique forum for assessing emerging trends and issues facing agribusinesses."

Conference will be held Jan. 7-8 at ISU in Ames
Sessions will offer creative thinking techniques to address agriculture's biggest challenges, as well as how to create the most productive culture for innovation and business development. In addition, a lunch panel will speak to the future of corn production and world consumption. Panelists include: Harry Stine, president and founder of Stine Seed Co.; Dave Rettig, president and co-founder of Rembrandt Foods; Lloyd Le Page, president and CEO of Heartland Global.

The conference will be held Jan. 7-8 at ISU in Ames. Registration is limited to 60 participants. For more information and to register for the conference visit

The Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative at Iowa State University was established in 2005. The initiative works to broaden understanding of entrepreneurship among faculty and students of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University by providing educational experiences to develop students' entrepreneurial skills and increase interaction among students, faculty and agricultural entrepreneurs.

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