Dan Egel Retiring Feb. 2, 2024 – Vegetable Crops Hotline

Dan Egel Retiring Feb. 2, 2024

A Golden Career

Dan Egel will retire from Purdue University as of February 2, 2024. Dan has been in the Botany and Plant Pathology Department since 1995, stationed at the Southwest Purdue Ag Center in Vincennes, IN. He has been the vegetable pathologist for Purdue University with statewide responsibilities in Indiana.
Dan Egel in greenhouse

Figure 1: Dan Egel, Vincennes, IN

Petrus Langenhoven, Vegetable Crops Specialist and Editor of the Vegetable Crops Hotline Newsletter, agrees with colleagues and growers that during his career, Dan has made a significant contribution to the success of the Indiana vegetable industry. He made numerous farm visits and presentations at field days, workshops, and conferences and has written a great number of articles for the Vegetable Crops Hotline Newsletter, where he addressed urgent issues growers faced. His work is especially valued by the watermelon, cantaloupe, and pumpkin growers in southwestern Indiana. He will be missed.
The articles he wrote and co-authored are read in Indiana and all across the world. I would like to highlight a few of his most viewed articles.
  • 10 Useful Rules for Fungicide Applications, published on May 5, 2021, in issue 688. This is the most-viewed article in the history of the Vegetable Crops Hotline (VCH) Newsletter. At almost 83,000 views, this article accounts for 8% of the total page views the VCH Newsletter received since 2021.
  • Pumpkin Fruit Set, published on September 1, 2016, in issue 620. Dan and Liz Maynard co-authored this article, which has received almost 26,000 page views since 2016*.
  • Fungicide Applications During Rainy Weather, published on March 24, 2021, in issue 685. This article has attracted nearly 22,500 views since 2021.
*No data was available for 2017. Data was obtained from Google Analytics. The webpage was accessed on January 4, 2024.


“As for me, Dan has been instrumental in providing vegetable growers with not just data, but wisdom borne of experience. It’s obvious to anyone who works with him that he cares deeply for the growers and that he views it as his privilege to get to work with them. He has generously shared his expertise with BTNY 605 students and has unfailingly provided tours to show the gamut of Indiana vegetable production. I’m gonna miss him!”

Janna Beckerman, Professor, Botany and Plant Pathology

“Dan Egel has been a highly dedicated Extension Plant Pathologist, providing invaluable service to vegetable growers in Indiana and beyond. I am consistently impressed by his kindness and responsiveness to concerns raised by growers. With over two decades of experience closely collaborating with growers, his expertise and wisdom are irreplaceable. I extend my gratitude to Dan for his years of service to Purdue, the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, SWPAC, and the community. We aim to build on Dan’s success and continue serving the stakeholders in Indiana.”

Tesfaye Mengiste, Department Head, Botany and Plant Pathology

‘I’ve always been impressed by Dan’s dedication to supporting the growers; from diagnosis to management recommendations to site visits, he is always thinking about how best to meet the needs out there. Production of the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide every year is another example of Dan’s tireless work, often behind the scenes, in making the best information available to producers. Dan has always been a pleasure to work with and has been a reliable partner in Extension. He’s leaving some big shoes to fill.”

Tom Creswell, Professor, Botany and Plant Pathology

“Dan is the consummate, “bellyflop” biologist, in that he is willing to get down and dirty to diagnose pest problems. Multiple times he was on the forefront of detecting disease and insect, problems encroaching into the state. His astute and quizzical nature has made him an invaluable Purdue IPM team member. His diagnostic, communication, and photographic skills have greatly benefited Indiana’s agriculture. Dan, you will be missed!”

John Obermeyer, IPM Specialist, Entomology

“Dan has been a great mentor to me and a crucial lifeline to the growers we work to serve. He was always willing to take a call from a grower and spend a few extra minutes talking about the bugs that I find so interesting. We have had fun learning about the management of some insect-vectored pathogens and he has always provided unique insights. His hard work, passion, and commitment to the job have been appreciated and will be missed. Enjoy your retirement and be careful on the sidewalk!”

Laura Ingwell, Assistant Professor of Entomology, Specialty Crops IPM Extension Specialist

“Dan has been an amazing resource for the growers and scientific community. Providing great insights on emerging diseases as well as practical tools for their control – always with a nice dose of humor. He will be sorely missed!”

Lori Hoagland, Professor, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Productive, knowledgeable, generous, reliable, hard-working, caring… it is hard to let that colleague go! Dan’s work has been invaluable in so many ways, among them his long leadership of the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide (ID-56). Dan’s photos, explanations, and demonstrations about identifying diseases have taught me a tremendous amount. Dan, I hope your life ahead includes much of everything you enjoy.

Liz Maynard, Clinical Engagement Professor, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Collage of Pictures

Who Will be the New Plant Pathologist?

The process of hiring a vegetable pathologist to replace Dan has already begun, with the goal of having someone in place by summer 2024. The new pathologist will be stationed at the Southwest Purdue Ag Center and will continue Dan’s activities and responsibilities. Candidates will be interviewed on the West Lafayette campus as well as at the Southwest Purdue Ag Center. Opportunities for stakeholders to offer input in this process will be available. Watch for announcements here in the Hotline for more details.

Retirement Receptions

A retirement reception will be held for Dan on the West Lafayette campus on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, from 12:30-2:30 in WSLR 116.  A second reception will be held at the Southwest Purdue Ag Center, 4369 N. Purdue Rd., Vincennes, IN, on January 24, 2024, from 2-5 p.m.

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