Banquet to Kickoff ISU Ag Engineering Centennial Celebration

April 18th, 2005

A banquet for students and their families will kickoff a centennial celebration in the Iowa State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.

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

The banquet, which is an annual event, will be held Sunday, April 24 at the Gateway Center in Ames. Lunch will begin at noon, followed by presentations by student leaders in the three majors available through the department - agricultural engineering, agricultural systems technology and industrial technology.

Loren Kruse will be the featured speaker. Kruse is the editor-in-chief of Successful Farming magazine, the nation's largest paid circulation farm magazine. He joined the staff of Successful Farming in 1976 as senior farm management editor, was promoted to managing editor in 1982 and to his present position in 1988.

Davidson is recognized internationally as the "father of agricultural engineering." Not only did he found the world's first academic program in the field, but he was the creative force behind the formation of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE). Davidson was elected in 1907 as the first ASAE president.

As part of the ISU agricultural and biosystems engineering department centennial celebration, a special symposium will be held July 18 at the ASAE annual meeting in Tampa. The symposium will highlight the contributions of the agricultural engineering profession to society.

Other centennial activities will include an alumni gathering in Ames in September and a fall seminar series on the Iowa State campus.

The 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.


Ramesh Kanwar, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, (515) 294-4913,
Carl Bern, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, (515) 294-1270,
Susan Ziegenbusch, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, (515) 294-0462,
Susan Thompson, Communications Service, (515) 294-0705