Recent COE grad thriving as Purdue’s extension educator

September 12, 2018


Abby Heidenreich, a 2017 master’s graduate from the College of Education’s Agriscience program, has taken what she learned at Auburn and put it to work as an extension educator in agriculture and natural resources at Purdue University.

Heidenreich, who organized Auburn’s first-ever FFA Greenhand conference, is continuing to provide outreach and service to others as part of our great Land Grant tradition.

“Things are going so well here,” Heidenreich  said. “For starters, I’m prepping for a new year of 4-H and FFA enrollment. In my position here, I’ll do a lot of farmer training and educational programming as well as youth development work. I’m developing an agritourism initiative along with a series of precision ag workshops. I’m also working on a farm family communication program. So it’s very exciting.”

David Virtue, head of the College’s Department of Curriculum and Teaching, said he is not surprised by Heidenreich’s enthusiasm and active agenda.

“In our Agriscience program, we prepare folks who become great K-12 classroom teachers and, as exemplified by Abby, great teachers in other contexts, too! We are proud but not surprised at her continuing success. Interestingly, AgriScience is the only program in the department that retained all of its freshmen from 2016-17 and 2017-18. Plus, in each of those academic years the program picked up some new sophomores. That’s pretty remarkable, and I know Abby played an important role in this.”

Heidenreich credits much of her current success to her time at Auburn.

“I can’t say enough about how the graduate program at Auburn prepared me for my work now,” she said. “I miss everyone there so much and hope to visit during the fall and football season. I’m sure that the Ag Ed program is continuing to grow and flourish. French Lick, Indiana is beautiful in the fall, but I still miss Auburn so much!”

Heidenreich’s professors at Auburn knew she would do well in her new environs.

“Abby’s impact on our program is noteworthy in both the College of Education and the College of Agriculture,” said James Lindner Agriscience program coordinator.  “She helped lay the groundwork for the modernization and rapid growth of our  program.  She made us look good and continues to make us proud.”

Assistant professor Christopher Clemons agrees.

“Abby’s dedication and understanding of Agriscience education was paramount for creating opportunities for Auburn students and high school agriculture programs,” he said.

Best wishes for continued success, Abby, and come visit soon.

Abby Heidenreich