Resource Magazine — May/June 2013
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from the President
Tony Kajewski

Ag and Bio Engineers Reach Out to the World

Last summer, when I took over the ASABE presidency from Sonia Maassel Jacobsen, I said that I would continue to promote her platform: E-I-O—Expertise, Image, and Outreach.

It’s clear that the Expertise of our members is strong, and growing. Just consider the wide range of technical advances that was showcased by the AE50 Awards and the AE Gold and Silver Awards this year. Advances in biological processing, information systems, and equipment automation were honored. For more than 100 years, ASABE members have set high professional standards. Today, we are recognized as the leading experts—the “go-to guys”—in important new fields, such as biorenewable energy.

Our Image is also improving. Higher food prices are in the headlines, along with stories about sustainability, environmental impacts, and climate change. As a result, the public is becoming more aware of the challenges that we face in securing our food, water, and energy. On a recent trip to California, I saw billboard battles over water rights. The signs stated that “water for agriculture means jobs.” In other words, ag and bio engineers must find ways to use water more efficiently as a matter of economic necessity. The challenges of providing low-cost renewable energy are also in the news, and employers are recognizing our unique skills in this area. Several universities are reporting that their ag and bio engineering graduates have a higher placement rate than other engineering majors.

Now Outreach is the key. This issue of Resource is devoted to people who are reaching out and making a difference on this planet. From Honduras to Haiti and other parts of the world, in public schools and on college campuses, ASABE members are improving lives in fundamental ways. Yes, these stories are inspiring—and they are also about finding practical, engineered solutions to real-world problems. That’s what ag and bio engineers do best. Together, working through our Society, we’ll continue to “build better” and provide everyone with the essentials of life.

P.S. Here’s some news I just learned at press time: A reprint of Joel Cuello’s terrific article, “Notes from a Decade of Travels in a World Without Walls,” from the May/June 2012 issue of Resource appears in the Spring 2013 issue of The Bent, the quarterly magazine of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. Hit the internet and check it out:

That’s Expertise, Image, and Outreach all in one. Congratulations, Joel!