Dr. James Vorst has served agriculture well as an undergraduate teacher and advisor at Purdue University in the Agronomy Department for forty years. During those forty years he taught Crop Production and other courses to over 10,000 students and advised 20 graduate students, preparing them for successful careers in agriculture. He earned his B.S. and M.S. from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska.
Jim Vorst has made a tremendous impact on the agriculture industry in Indiana. Within the classroom, his grasp of agronomic knowledge allowed him to connect agronomy with other disciplines in agriculture as well as with business and other sciences. He has the unique ability to communicate and connect with a variety of students by adjusting the content and delivery to each situation. He fights for education and defends what he feels is the best solution to benefit students in the long run.
Jim does not believe that education stops outside the classroom. He helped lay the groundwork for the Certified Crop Advisor program, whose membership includes over 13,000 agriculturalists in the United States and Canada. The CCA program has significantly impacted crop production by increasing productivity and responsible management. Although Jim is retired from Purdue he is leading the expansion of the CCA into Southeast Asia and soon will be working in with Argentina. NRCS has also recognized Jim’s philosophy of education and asked him to develop educational guidelines for Technical Service Providers that worked nationwide.
The recognition he has received is a testament to his dedication and talent for education. At Purdue he is listed in the Purdue Book of Great Teachers, has received the University Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, and the Outstanding Teacher in Agronomy four times. He also has been awarded the USDA Food and Agricultural Science Excellence in Teaching Regional Award.
Along with his service to his profession, he has provided a great service to his community. Jim was on the Tippecanoe County 4-H Fair planning committee and took responsibility for the sheep show for many years. He is a member of Farm Bureau, Kiwanis, Lions Club, and the Benton Central FFA advisory board. If that isn’t enough, he is a member of St. Charles Catholic Church in Otterbein where he recently helped build all the sanctuary furniture.