West Lafayette, IN | Certificate of Distinction: 2008
Alan Sutton is Professor of Animal Sciences at Purdue University where he has served on the faculty since 1971. Sutton received his B.S. and M.S. from Iowa State University. He earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University in.
Sutton is known nationally as a pioneer and an active leader in the relatively young field of nutrient management. His research has focused on determining management practices to utilize animal manures as a resource and to minimize the threat of pollution from animal manures. In his early career he worked to identify factors affecting nutrient composition of manures and the effect of manure application rates and methods on soils and crop production. He did on-farm studies with cooperators to get “real life” data for his studies. Recent research has focused on diet manipulation to reduce nutrient outputs and to reduce odor emissions from manure.
One nominator said of Sutton that he had “helped establish Purdue University as one of the “places to go” for key environmental research and extension.” Sutton’s extension programs have focused on communicating current information on nutrient management to producers, consultants, industry, and other extension professionals. Among his most notable extension publications is the national curriculum on waste management he and Dr. Don Jones developed with USDA, EPA, NRCS, MWPS, LPES and many land grant universities. While on sabbatical with NRCS, Sutton assisted in developing the Nation Conservation Practice 592 (Feed Management Standard) and produced a series of technical fact sheets for its implementation. He is currently co-leader of a project to develop a curriculum for implementation of the 592 Standard.
As a counselor, Sutton serves as academic advisor to 20 to 25 students per year. For eight years he has been co-instructor for the Animal Industry Travel Study course, and he guest lectures in the department’s swine, poultry and dairy production courses. He teams with Professor Don Jones to teach ASM 333, Farmstead Planning, a popular class that addresses planning for efficiency as well as nutrient management, storage, disposal, and budgeting methods. Sutton also serves as an advisor to the Animal Sciences Ambassadors. His service to Purdue students extends outside the classroom, as well. Since 1972 Sutton has served as a House Advisor to Fairway Cooperative, a housing unit for Christian men that currently houses between 55 and 60 students.
Sutton’s professional memberships and service activities are numerous. He is a member and past board member of the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS); past chair of the Environment, Waste Management and Ecosystem committee of the Federation of Animal Science Societies; current member of the National Pork Board’s Environment Committee; domain editor of Environmental Stewardship for the Pork Information Gateway of the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence; and is a cooperator with the Livestock and Poultry Learning Center. He has helped establish the National Center for Manure and Animal Waste Management, and he frequently is called upon to lead regional and national committees and task forces and to provide Congressional briefings on nutrient management. Sutton’s work has been recognized internationally, and he has given invited presentations in at least 13 countries. Sutton was a member of a team that established an Environmental Center for Livestock Waste Management in Taiwan.
Sutton has been recognized with numerous awards including the ASAS Animal Management Research Award (1996), Indiana Pork Producers Association Meritorious Service Award (2003), USDA Foreign Agricultural Service International Honor Award (2000), Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence In Educational Service To Rural People of Indiana (2002), and the Purdue University College of Agriculture Team Award (2005).
He is active in Covenant Presbyterian Church where he currently serves on the Missions Committee, and has served as an elder, member of the board of directors for the youth ministry, Parents of Teens class and Harrison High Young Life ministry. He is also an advisor to Purdue Campus Crusade for Christ.