100th Celebration of ISU Ag Engineering Department Oct. 6-8

September 7th, 2005

Three days of activities Oct. 6-8 caps the yearlong centennial celebration for Iowa State University's Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE).

The department's roots are traced to 1905 when Jay Davidson arrived in Ames from the University of Nebraska to take a position as assistant professor-in-charge of farm mechanics in the agronomy department. He organized the Department of Farm Mechanics, creating the world's first agricultural engineering department.

Activities on Oct. 6 are sponsored by the Iowa Section of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Participants have a choice of four tour options - Barilla America Inc., Martin Marietta Aggregates, 3M Abrasive Manufacturing and the Ames Water Pollution Control Plant. Tours begin at 3:30 p.m. and pre-registration is required.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. at the Molecular Biology building atrium. A steak fry dinner will be served at 6 p.m., followed by an Iowa Section business meeting. Speakers will be Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge and Howard Johnson, former chair of the ABE department and editor of a book detailing the department's history. Cost is $25 per person, with proceeds going to student scholarships.

Several free tours are being offered Oct. 7. These include tours of ABE department buildings and labs around campus, the Davidson family home, the ABE research farm west of Ames, Iowa State's Virtual Reality Applications Center and the Iowa Energy Center near Nevada. A $5 barbecue lunch will be available on the Davidson Hall front lawn at noon. An evening of reminiscing will begin at 7 p.m. at the Scheman Building with a panel of retirees scheduled to speak.

Fifty tickets to the Oct. 8 ISU-Baylor football game are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The ABE department has reserved a tent in the Iowa State Center parking lot north of the football stadium. Tailgating will begin approximately three hours before game time, with lunch grilled by ABE students. The event is open to all, even those not planning to attend the game. Cost is $15.

While the celebration activities are targeted to ABE department alumni and other agricultural engineers, all events also are open to the public. More details on the ABE centennial celebration and how to register for the Oct. 6-8 activities are online at http://www.abe.iastate.edu/abe100/.

The ABE department is administered jointly by the College of Agriculture and the College of Engineering. Its original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system - the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling and use of food, fiber and other biological products.

Contacts: 

Ramesh Kanwar, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, (515) 294-4913, rskanwar@iastate.edu
Carl Bern, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, (515) 294-1270, cjbern@iastate.edu
Beth Weiser, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, (515) 294-0557, weiser@iastate.edu
Susan Thompson, Communications Service, (515) 294-0705, sander@iastate.edu