Resource Magazine — July/August 2014
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from the President
Lalit R. Verma

The Global Potential of Ag and Bio Engineering

Our profession is gaining recognition. Case in point: ASABE has been named 2015 co-chair of DiscoverE (formerly known as Engineers Week), which we will lead with corporate partner Shell Oil. Related to that distinction, the theme selected for next year’s Future City Competition will be “urban agriculture”—which is all about ag and bio engineering! To learn more about what lies ahead with DiscoverE, be sure to read this month’s Last Word by ASABE Fellow and Past President Sonia Maassel Jacobsen and Dolores Landeck, ASABE Director of Public Affairs, who are leading our efforts. And for more information on DiscoverE, visit

In addition, the global appetite for affiliation with ASABE is creating further recognition of our profession. We can capitalize on this interest by reaching out to our sister organizations in other countries for hosting technical conferences at their locations and recognizing their unique needs and abilities. The grand challenges that we face call for collaborative solutions, and ASABE can best provide the vision, direction, and goals for the journey ahead. This effort will lead to membership growth, and it will ensure sustained recognition of our profession.

Meanwhile, the quest to provide value to our current and potential members is continuing. So far, our efforts to retain a greater percentage of student members have achieved mixed results. However, the growing recognition of our vital role in addressing the grand challenges should help in this task. Change is always difficult, but the rewards of capitalizing on our global potential far outweigh the disruptions of moving outside our comfort zone. The commitment of your Board of Trustees to enhance the marketing of ag and bio engineering, and of ASABE, is a great example of the kind of change we need.

Thank you all for the work that you’ve done and that you continue to do. It has been an honor to serve as your President. This past year has made me more confident than ever that the future of ASABE is bright, and that our profession will continue to feed and clothe a large and growing world.