Resource Magazine — May/June 2014
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from the President
Lalit R. Verma

The Future of Ag and Bio Engineering

The membership has spoken: The proposed reconfiguration of ASABE’s technical divisions was approved by 88% of the voting members in the recent election. The Board of Trustees will now pursue this reconfiguration, along with development and execution of a strategic marketing plan. Communicating what ASABE offers will help us increase our membership and promote the value that we offer to the larger world. Watch for more developments on this effort in the coming months.

With the membership in mind, the MVP (Membership Value is Priority) agenda of my term is now being pursued through five task groups: the Agricultural and Biological Engineering P.E. Exam (led by Jay Harmon), Biological Engineering (led by Mark Riley), Global Challenges (led by Ajit Srivastava), Marketing ASABE (led by Leon Schumacher), and Students to Professionals (led by Naomi Bernstein). Each of these task groups is off to a good start and making progress.

We are also pursuing strategic partnerships with allied organizations. Serving as your president has allowed me to represent ASABE to our counterparts in Japan, Korea, China, and India. Professional organizations in these countries have a great desire to work more closely with ASABE. In February, we participated in the first-ever Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (see Joel Cuello’s article in this issue), which highlighted the grand challenges that we face in achieving sustainable food, water, and energy. Our profession is critically important to addressing these challenges.

That said, though, our profession is not yet achieving its potential, as measured by membership growth in our Society. We are working on this, and we will continue to work on it. There is also a need to address the role and scope of advocacy in ASABE, and the Board of Trustees will explore these topics in its next meeting at ASABE Headquarters. Our goal remains to provide compelling value to prospective members, so that they will join with us, their fellow ag and bio engineering professionals, to help the people of the world by addressing the grand challenges that we face. These challenges are very real, but I remain optimistic that the future will be a better place, both for ASABE and for the world.