Enrollment in Purdue University's College of Agriculture reached an 11-year high this fall, buoyed by a strong freshman class.

Total enrollment in Purdue's 42 agricultural majors is 2,535 — four shy of fall 1997, says Dale Whittaker, ag college associate dean and director of academic programs.

“Interest in agriculture is taking off,” Whittaker says. “Our enrollment is going up because students see agriculture as offering strong, viable careers where they can make a living. Students want to make a difference in the world, and they see agriculture as a way to do that.”

The new agriculture students are among Purdue's best, according to Whittaker. “Our average new agriculture student ranked in the top 20% of his/her high school graduating class, which is higher than the university average,” he says.