Indianapolis, IN | Certificate of Distinction: 2009
Ned Kalb is a consultant specializing in agricultural and economic development for several projects in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. He retired in 1997 from Purdue Extension, after spending more than 20 years of his 33-year career as the county extension director in two of Indiana’s most populous counties, LaPorte (1974-89) and Marion (1989-97). A native of Elkhart County, Kalb graduated from Purdue University in 1963 with a B.S. in Agriculture, and earned his M.S. in Extension Education in 1966, also from Purdue.
Kalb distinguished himself during his Purdue Extension career as a leader in community and leadership development, building partnerships among various community stakeholders to solve problems. Immediately after graduating from Purdue, he spent two years as the extension youth agent, followed by a year as the assistant radio editor in the Communication Department at Purdue. In 1967 he was hired as the agricultural extension educator in LaPorte County, an area he would serve for the next 22 years as both a county and area educator. He established a Row Crop Farmers organization that hosted numerous educational and farm management programs. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s he was on the cutting edge of agricultural programming, teaching computerized record keeping to farmers and agricultural banker. For two years as the area Community Development Agent (1972-74), he worked to build partnerships between Extension, local government and community leaders to solve the problems of a growing area and the problems of urbanization. For 15 years, from 1974-89, he was the County Extension Director for LaPorte County. He was a member of the county Plan Commission and the Park and Recreation Board, serving as president of each board. Kalb served for 15 years on the Board of Directors of the Greater LaPorte Chamber of Commerce as the representative for agriculture. During this time, he served on a Community Development Study Committee for the county and, identifying a need for qualified community leaders, helped to found LaPorte County Leadership, Inc. in the early 1980’s. The program continues to this day, providing 25 to 30 people per year with intensive leadership training. He also worked extensively with competing interest groups on issues of the Kankakee River Basin, an area important to agricultural production and environmental and wetland preservation, helping each side to achieve a portion of their objectives. He also worked with the Lt. Governor’s Commission on Agriculture and Rural Development, assembling data and leading the discussions dealing with activities of the Cooperative Extension Service. Kalb spent the last eight years of his Extension career (1989-97) as County Extension Director in Marion County, with responsibility for the community and economic development program.
After his retirement from Extension, Kalb worked on the Purdue-Krakow University project in Poland, helping to develop programs for information transfer for agricultural producers and businesses. Beginning in 1998, he consulted with Mercy Corps International on agricultural projects in both Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. From 1998-2001, Kalb worked part-time for Winrock International’s Farmer-to-Farmer program as the program director for Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, assessing local needs and orienting volunteers and evaluating their efforts on behalf of local agriculture. He then spent a year as Winrock’s project coordinator for the Women’s Integrated Legal Literacy Project in Uzbekistan. Since 2002 he has managed a number of projects, including serving as managing director of Kelajak Ilmi, the International Business School in Uzbekistan through a University of Michigan partnership. He developed educational programs on nutrition and other factors affecting tuberculosis infection and recovery rates as a consultant for the Federation of the American Red Cross / Red Crescent Society of Uzbekistan. And he is currently the senior agribusiness advisor to the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF) which facilitates funding of agricultural enterprises in rural communities. From 2006-2008, he has conducted several studies and produced recommendations for the Asian Development Bank for the development of cotton production and ginning enterprises in both Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Kalb owns and manages a 250-acre family farm in northern Indiana, which includes 40 acres of woodlands and over 200 crop acres. His professional affiliations include: National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA); Indiana Extension Educators Association (IEEA) which he served as president 1985-86; Epsilon Sigma Phi and Gamma Sigma Delta. Kalb has been honored for his achievements with several professional and community awards: Outstanding Citizen – LaPorte Jaycees (1987); IEAA State Senior Community Development-Public Policy Award (1989); Epsilon Sigma Phi State Distinguished Service Award (1991); and NACAA Distinguished Service Award (1994).